Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to our most frequently asked questions regarding the Dedham-Westwood Water District. If you have trouble finding an answer to your question, or you have a more detailed inquiry, feel free to contact us.

Scroll to the bottom for questions on monthly billing


 

Where does our water come from?

The District’s water supply is groundwater. We have fourteen wells, six in Westwood and eight in Dedham. We also have an emergency connections with the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, the City of Boston and the Towns of Norwood and Needham. We also have the ability to purchase water from the MWRA on a routine basis, up to 73 million gallons annually.

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How is our water treated?

The District has two water treatment plants where water from all of its regularly pumped wells is filtered. Chlorine is added for disinfection, fluoride is added for preventing tooth decay, and iron and manganese (naturally occurring minerals found in New England groundwater) are removed. The pH and alkalinity are adjusted to neutralize the  slightly acidic characteristics of the groundwater so that it is less corrosive to piping and plumbing. Numerous tests are performed, ranging from continuously, for monitoring pH and other treatment plant performance indicators, while other parameters are analyzed daily, weekly, quarterly or annually depending on regulatory requirements.

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I have received a water bill that is higher than normal. What should I do?

The first thing to do is to request a meter reading to verify that the bill is correct or you can check the meter yourself if you wish. If the reading is correct and no other changes have occurred in the household, you probably have a leak. Most often, higher than normal readings are caused by toilets running due to an incomplete seal in the back of the toilet. This type of leak may be intermittent and it may not be audible. It  can often be corrected by the homeowner replacing the rubber seal and ball or may require a plumber. Leak detection tablets for toilet leaks are available at the office. Be aware that Water District regulations do not allow for abatements for leaks.

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Why do we have water restrictions?

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has strict regulations on water withdrawals by Public Water Suppliers and other large water users such as farmers and golf course operators. Newer sources of water can be used only when nearby river flows are over a certain threshold. Sometimes this means that when the water demand is highest, there is less available to use. We are also obligated to carry out a multi faceted water conservation program to encourage and assist our customers to reduce their usage as well as minimize the leakage on the underground water system piping.

Our water system currently has the capacity to pump and treat about seven million gallons of water per day. Since the average daily use is about 4.25 million, the District has more than adequate supply for most of the year. However, during the summer, demand may meet or exceed the system’s capacity which then must be replenished by rainfall events to maintain well levels.  Also, water is stored in large storage tanks throughout the towns which must be kept as full as possible for health and safety (fire fighting) reasons. Excessive outdoor use during these times can impact the ability to provide these safeguards.

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How is the Water District planning for the future?

Although a consultant’s report indicates adequate supply to meet anticipated growth through 2023, water use trends are frequently reassessed. The Commonwealth reviews and modifies Public Water Supply water withdrawal permits every five years. If certain benchmarks are not met, the amount of water we are allowed to withdraw from the Charles and Neponset River Basins be reduced. For example, if the average residential water consumer uses more than 65 gallons each day, the withdrawal permit may be made more stringent. Similarly, if the amount of water lost through leakage of underground water piping exceeds 10%, the water withdrawal permit can be impacted.  Through a combination of measures such as pubic education and outdoor water use restrictions, we maintain water withdrawal below permit limits or face heavy financial penalties! The  District is now a member of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority and has the ability to purchase additional water when needed. These purchases are not subject to the same limitations as the water sources located in the metro Boston areas including Dedham and Westwood but is much costlier than water we pump and treat locally.

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I have a leak on my service line. Will the Water District fix it?

The Water District is only responsible for repairs and replacements of water mains in the street, the connection from the main to the shutoff valve (usually at the property line), and meters and remote reading devices. The customer is responsible for the service line from the shutoff valve to the home or business, all plumbing on private property, the meter pit if your meter is located outside in the ground, and repairs to frozen meters where adequate protection was not supplied.

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I’m selling my house and moving soon. What should I do?

To arrange for a final water bill, make sure that you schedule a meter reading by calling us at 781-329-7090 at least two days before the closing. The District requires 24 hours notice and you will need to take your final water reading to your sewer department (if you are on sewer) for a final sewer bill.

Dedham Residents can bring, fax, or email their final water readings to the Collector’s office at Town Hall at least 24 hours prior to needing it. The email address is [email protected]; the telephone number is 781-751-9160; and the fax number is 781-751-9159.

Westwood Residents should contact 781-251-2589 or [email protected]) after they make arrangements for their final water read (I need to check to see if they have a 2nd meter and make arrangements for that to be read), and then they should bring their final water bill to the Westwood Public Works Office at 50 Carby St between the hours of 7:30 – 2:30 for their final sewer bill.

 If we’ve written to you asking to change your water meter please call us to make an appointment. If you are due for a meter change we will not take the final read without the meter change out. Failing to let us change your meter when we request it may results in a $25 penalty added to your monthly bill.

FAQs About Monthly Billing

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

Why is Dedham-Westwood Water District switching to monthly billing?

Monthly billing allows customers to budget more efficiently, reduce water usage and detect leaks in their household plumbing sooner. Detecting leaks and reducing usage saves water and money. We will also begin offering paperless billing with autopay features later in the transition.

 

What are the benefits of monthly billing?

  • Easier for customers, especially those on a fixed income, to manage their monthly household finances.
  • Provides customers with more timely information about their water usage.
  • Enables customers to track and reduce usage, especially in the summer.
  • Allows for the early detection and prompt repair of plumbing leaks, reducing the possibility of a high water bill.

 

When will I begin receiving my monthly bill?

DWWD will transition customers to monthly billing between May and December. You will see a message on your last quarterly bill indicating the month to expect a quarterly bill.

 

 

How often will my meter be read?

Your meter will be read monthly. Your bill will reflect your usage for about 30 days.

 

How will other current quarterly charges be handled?

All other charges, currently billed quarterly, will now be spread out over 12 monthly payments. The quarterly service fee will be prorated into a smaller monthly charge.

 

How can I pay my monthly bill?

By Mail:

  • Please use the envelope enclosed with your water bill and the bill stub and mail to our bill payment processing lockbox address:

If you pay through your own bank with an online check please make sure you have the full 11 digit account number on your check and the mailing address is the lockbox address. If you mail to our old address or do not use the full 11 digit account number-it will delay the processing of your payment.

 

LockBox Payment Mailing Address:

Dedham-Westwood Water District

P.O. Box 240

Reading MA 01867-0340

Online:

  • Through the DWWD website using your credit card or checking account. Visit www.dwwd.org and select the “Pay Online” button. There is a so called convenience fee if you pay with credit card. Currently there is no fee when using a checking account.

 

In Person:

  • You can pay at our office at 50 Elm St in Dedham. We have a payment drive- through that allows you to drop off a payment into a deposit box deposit for your convenience. Please don’t use that deposit drawer for a cash payment. You may pay by credit card in person at our office but there is a so called convenience fee to pay with a credit card.

 

We do not accept any payments by phone at this time

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