Conditions for Approval

  1. All Contractors must be bonded with the City of Cambridge.
  2. All abandoned(e.g. Temporary, domestic, fire, irrigation, non-active etc.) water lines must be cut out of the water main it is connected to and replaced with an appropriately sixed “splice-piece”. This requires coordination with the Cambridge Water Department (CWD) and must be scheduled at least 72 hour (3 business days) in advance. Cutting and capping the old ”T” and valve and abandoning the same (in place) is only allowed by CWD approval. If cutting and capping is allowed by the CWD it must be with restrained joints and then inspected by the CWD. Trench and surface conditions must be inspected by the Department of Public Works. (DPW)
  3. All materials must meet American Water Works Association (AWWA) standards. All other materials must meet specifications set by the DPW.
  4. Ductile iron pipe must be Double Cement Lined Class 52 or greater.
  5. Copper tubing shall be type “K” only.
  6. Taps must be a minimum of 3’(ft) from any joint or bell on the main being tapped and/or 3’(ft) from flange to flange.
  7. All water work construction must be inspected by CWD prior to trench backfill. Calls for inspection must be made at least 24 hours in advance of inspection.
  8. All shutoffs/turn on must be performed by CWD personnel. Arrangements must be made by calling CWD’s Distribution Office at (617) 349-4770.
  9. Upon completion of work, legible “swing-tie” drawings must be submitted to CWD. “Swing ties” must be taken to all valves and bends and must be measured and recorded from permanent and visible structures. (e.g. catch basins, hydrant, etc.) If legible “swing ties” drawings are not submitted to the CWD upon completion of the water related work the deposit may be forfeited and the water/fire service will not be turned on. Final “as built” drawings must be submitted, preferable in electronic format such as Auto CAD, (In Triplicate) to the CWD within 60 days.
  10. After the Water Construction Permit has been approved a Street Opening Permit must be obtained from DPW.
  11. The Cambridge Water Department (CWD) must be notified at least 24 hours before any water work construction begins.
  12. If a water service is to be used for construction purposes, back flow devices may be required. For more information on back flow prevention, please contact the CWD’s Cross Connection Program Supervisor, John Blouin at (617) 349-4025.
  13. Cambridge Fire Department (CFD) approval is required for all fire line or hydrant installation or relocation.
  14. A check, made payable to the City of Cambridge in the amount of 10% of the contract cost or $1,000, whichever is less, shall be held on deposit by the CWD until satisfactory completion of the water work construction. (No deposit is required for work on private property)
  15. The CWD requires 72 hour notice to “mark out” the water utilities before water work construction may begin.
  16. A “Dig Safe” number must be obtained before construction may begin.
  17. All new water mains must be pressure tested, chlorinated and certified free of bacteria before activation in the distribution system. New piping must be chlorinated and held for a 24 hour period. This step can be done in conjunction with the two (2) hour pressure test or separately but it must be done! This test must be certified by a State certified testing firm and submitted to the CWD before flushing and bacteria sampling is done. Chlorination taps must be located within 3’ (ft) of new gate valves and or permanent end caps. Flushing of pressure tested and initially chlorinated piping must be conducted by the contractor and CWD. CWD personnel are the only personnel authorized to turn gate valves in order to “flush the line”. The contractor is responsible for the chlorinated water being flushed and dechlorinated from the new work to the appropriate receptacle which must be pre-approved by the DPW. After the new work is completed the CWD will take a bacteria sample for analysis. CWD will close all new gate valves of the flushed water main and if the bacteria sample passes, will return 24 hours later to open all gate valves. The contractor is advised to plan water main testing accordingly. The latest that the CWD will open new gate valves and place new water mains in service as result of successful bacteria testing is noon on Fridays.
  18. New fire services must be certified by a Massachusetts Registered Professional Engineer (PE). The CWD requires that the PE responsible for the design of the fire service certify the correct water main to be tapped and that the service feed pipe from the water main to the dwelling has been appropriately sized for proposed new fire service. Specifically, the CWD requires the drawing of the proposed fire service to be stamped by the fire protection design engineer. This drawing will become part of the CWD permit package. The following must be included in the subject drawing; Certification from the design engineer  that a hydrant flow test has been conducted within the past six months (include date) on the dwelling/building in question. The design engineer also must certify that the service pipe size and all appurtenances are acceptable for the dwelling /building in question. Subject drawings must also include: the square footage of the dwelling /building to be protected, maximum gallons per minute (GPM) per zone, the total number of sprinkler heads to be installed and the type and size of the back flow device. Please Note:  CWD requires a permanently installed valve, acceptable to the fire sprinkler design engineer of record, inside the building and just upstream of the backflow device.  This valve allows for the efficient removal of the backflow device, for any reason, without the need to shut the service off at the water main in the street.

CWD will issue an initial copy of the Cambridge Water Department’s (CWD) Construction Standards and Specifications for free. Additional copies will be sold at a cost of $25 per copy.