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Frequently Asked Questions

I bought a new dishwasher and the manufacturer wants to know what the hardness of the water is?

With a system-wide average for hardness ranging between 2 and 5 grains per gallon (a unit of measure commonly used by dishwasher manufacturers) or 15-90mg/L, Concord’s water is considered to be relatively soft. For more information on the hardness of Concord’s water, please click here

What is the pH of my water?  
On average, the pH of Concord’s water ranges from 7.0 to 7.5 units. For water treatment purposes, we strive to keep the pH between 7.0 and 7.8 units. This adjustment is done primarily to prevent the water from becoming corrosive and leaching metals into your water from household plumbing structures. For more information on the pH of Concord’s water, please click here

What do I do if my water bill seems high?

First, you want to check for leaks (see below). The “usual suspects” for leaks are toilets and in-ground irrigation systems. If no leaks are detected, then you can do some sleuthing by using your water meter. Most water meters are located in basements near the wall closest to the street. They can also be in a utility closet, mechanical room or outside in a pit in the ground. In Concord, the meters measure water use in cubic feet (CF). One cubic foot equals 7.48 gallons.

You can use your meter to track water usage throughout the day or week to determine when a lot of water is being used. Are evening baths the culprit? Daily loads of laundry? Or morning lawn watering?  Still baffled? CPW offers free water use audits to residential customers.  Call 1-888-772-4242 to schedule an audit.

How can I check to see if I have leaks in my house?

Make sure all water using appliances in your home are shut off.  Most water meters have a low-flow detector, often displayed as a small red or black triangle. You have a leak if you see this triangle move. Also, CPW has dye tablets available to determine if your toilet is leaking.

Sometimes my water smells like a pool, what causes this?

Concord adds a small amount of liquid chlorine to its groundwater supplies.  This prevents bacterial re-growth once water is put into the distribution system.  Showers and warm weather can bring out the odor more easily.

Why does my water appear cloudy or milky?

Tiny air bubbles much like the ones found in carbonated beverages cause this appearance.  These bubbles do not make the water unsafe to drink.  In fact, they will rise to the top within a few minutes and your glass of water will be clear again!  This tends to happen more in cold weather months or after service has been performed on the water system.

Where can I pay my water and sewer bill and who should I call with questions about my bill?

Payments can be mailed to: Town House, P.O. Box 535, Concord, MA  01742-0535. Payments can also be made in person at the Town House, located in Monument Square.

Any questions regarding your water and sewer bill can be directed to the Utility Billing Clerk at the Town House, who can be reached at 978-318-3062.

We cannot accept payment at the Water and Sewer Division office.

Why is my hot water brown and not my cold water?

This is caused by sediment buildup in your hot water system.  Currently, iron and manganese are treated chemically to sequester the particles and keep your cold water running clear.  When heated, especially in large tanks and at temperatures above 125° Fahrenheit, the chemical bonds break down and particles settle out.  Over time a layer of sediment will buildup in the tank and when high demand is placed on your hot water the sediment becomes stirred up.  This situation can typically be remedied by turning down your hot water tank temperature if it is high and flushing out your tank twice a year.  Manufacturers suggest doing this once year for general maintenance but twice a year (when you switch your clocks) will keep it nice and clean.

How do I schedule a final water meter reading?

Call the Concord Municipal Light Plant at 978-318-3154 to schedule your final water meter reading.  At that time the clerk will also set up the billing information for the new owner.

Does my water contain fluoride?
Fluoride can be found in nearly all naturally occurring water sources at varying levels, and has been added to public drinking water supplies throughout the United States since 1945 to promote dental health. After a 1969 Town meeting vote, Concord Health Department was authorized to order the upward adjustment of fluoride in Concord’s drinking water. Since that time, the Water/Sewer department has been adding fluoride to the Town’s drinking water supply in accordance with state and federal recommendations.

For treated drinking water, the US Public Health Service and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend between 0.7 and 1.2 parts fluoride per million parts of water. Concord water strives to achieve and maintain a fluoride concentration of 1.0 parts per million (ppm) in its municipal drinking water supply. For more information on the content of Concord water, please see our most recent Water Quality Report here.

Where are the wells located, and from which well does my water come?
Concord’s water system consists of six groundwater supply wells located in Concord and one surface water supply located on the Acton/Littleton town line. In addition, it has associated pumping stations, two storage reservoirs with a 7.5 million gallon total capacity, and approximately 130 miles of water main. A number of factors impact which sources are being run at any given time, such as time of year, system demand, pump station maintenance/upgrades, and source quality. Water from each individual source is treated to the same overall standards, so regardless of which well(s) may be running at any given time, the water is clean and safe for consumption.

For a map of the Concord Water Supply click here.

Is my drinking water clean?
When water is either pumped from a well or withdrawn from Concord’s surface water supply, the water contains small amounts of impurities like salts, metals, pesticides, herbicides, viruses, and bacteria. Prior to being delivered to homes and businesses in the community, Concord treats all of its drinking water to ensure that the water that is being delivered is clean, good tasting, and safe for consumption. For more information on Concord’s water quality, click here

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