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Did You Know?

It’s important to keep sidewalks in front of homes and businesses clear of ice and snow to avoid falls and injury. To avoid flood and traffic accidents, do not shovel snow from driveways and sidewalks into the street.

Regulations

Boston Water and Sewer Commission (BWSC) has a number of regulations, policies and guidelines governing the use of their water, sewer and storm drain systems. If you are planning new construction, renovating one of Boston’s historic properties or any work on the water, sewer or storm water systems, you must familiarize yourself with these regulations, policies and guidelines. Below is a listing of these documents with links for downloading:

  • Water Regulations

    water regulation thumbnailGoverns the use of the public and private water facilities in the City of Boston. The purpose of these regulations is to protect public health, safety and welfare and to ensure proper and safe operation of BWSC’s water distribution facilities. The regulations are divided into 9 Articles/Chapters as follows: Import of Regulations, General Provisions and Definitions; Use of Water and Water facilities; Water Service; Private Fire Protection; Cross Connections; Private Wells; Enforcement; Appellate Procedures; Import and Adoption.

  • Water Wells Regulations

    Read about the Boston Public Health Commission's regulations regarding the industrial, irrigation, geothermal, and human consumption water wells, as amended on October 17, 2013.

  • Sewer Regulations

    sewer regulation thumbnailGoverns the use of the public and private sewers and storm drains in the City of Boston. The purpose of these regulations is to protect public health, safety and welfare as well as to protect the environment. The regulations are divided into 9 Articles/Chapters as follows: Import of Regulations, General Provisions and Definitions; Use of Sewers; Building Sewers, Storm Drains, Connections and Appurtenances; Requirements for Design and Construction of Facilities; Discharge requirements, Prohibitions and Restrictions; Industrial Discharge and Pretreatment; Enforcement; Adoption; Penalties.

  • Construction Specifications

    Outlines commonly used technical specifications for water and wastewater construction. Specifications for specialty construction are available upon request through BWSC’s Engineering Department. Please note that these specifications are updated on a regular basis. If you have any questions, contact the Engineering Department at 617-989-7000.

  • Standard Details

    Provides the most commonly used standard details for BWSC’s water and wastewater projects. Other standard details are available upon request from the Engineering Department. Please note that the standard details are updated on a regular basis. In addition, this section contains a Site Plan Review Checklist for your use. If you have any questions, contact the Engineering Department at 617-989-7000.

  • Material Requirements

    PDF docProvides specific size, diameter and material requirements for water lines, sewer pipes and storm drains.

  • Groundwater Conservation Overlay District

    Provides information on how to determine if your proposed project is located within the District as well as complying with the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s (BRA) Article 32. Although BRA oversees the Groundwater Conservation Overlay District, BWSC requires additional specific information.

  • Backwater Valve Regulations

    PDF docGoverns the requirement and installation of backwater valves in homes and businesses in low-lying areas of Boston. If a plumbing fixture in the basement lies at an elevation lower than the manhole cover of the public sewer in the street, sewage backup within the home can occur. To prevent this, a backwater valve should be installed.

  • Cross Connection Control Regulations/Guidelines

    PDF docGuidelines for installing a Backflow Prevention Device that protects drinking water from contamination.

  • Sewer Betterment Policy

    PDF docProvides the procedures for residential properties on public ways or private ways, which are open to public use or travel, but are not connected to BWSC’s sewerage system, to connect to the system. In addition, the policy also allows residential properties on private ways whose connection to BWSC’s sewerage system is in a state of disrepair or inadequate to be repaired or made adequate. The policy is divided into four Sections as follows: Definitions; Areas of Responsibilities; Procedure for Approval of Betterments; and Financing the Project.

  • Grease Trap Guidelines

    Grease Trap IconRequirements for commercial kitchen grease traps and their usage.

  • Billing, Termination and Appeal Regulations

    PDF docCovers all billing and collection charges for water and sewer services. In addition, these regulations describe the conditions necessary for BWSC to terminate these services as well as the disputes and appeals process.

  • Consent Decree

    BWSC’s plan with EPA to improve Boston’s water quality, increase public awareness and protect the environment.

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