Water Department Description

The Cambridge Water Department (CWD) is a municipally owned and operated water utility serving approximately 101,000 permanent residents. The department is under the general direction of the City Manager, while a five-member Water Board, made up of Cambridge residents appointed by the City Manager, serves as an advisory group to the Department. The CWD is regulated by Federal and State drinking water codes and is comprised of five major divisions: Administration/Business, Engineering and Program Development, Water Quality and Treatment Operations, Transmission and Distribution and Watershed Protection. The Departments’ responsibilities include:

  • Protecting tributaries and reservoirs in a 25-square mile watershed within and outside of the Cambridge City limits to ensure the highest raw water quality.
  • Operating, maintaining and improving a 24-million gallon per day water treatment facility to purify the water to a level that not only meets, but also exceeds, Federal and State drinking water standards.
  • Protecting, maintaining and improving the Fresh Pond Reservation as the City’s terminal water supply reservoir and its largest open space.
  • Operating, maintaining and improving the 190 miles of piping network, including the pipeline that brings the raw water from upcountry to Fresh Pond as well as the subsurface water distribution system throughout the city.
  • Providing engineering, design, permitting, construction services and contract administration for water and other City projects.
  • Protecting purified water from potential hazardous contamination through improper connections to the piping network.
  • Removal of lead water services wherever possible.
  • Responding to and repairing leaks throughout the water piping network 24 hours per day, 7 days per week and 365 days per year.
  • Support emergency and snow removal needs of the City of Cambridge.
  • All of the operating, capital and debt services relating to the Cambridge Water Department are financed by the sale of water. An increasing water rate structure serves to promote water conservation by means of a progressive pricing schedule that raises the cost of water in blocks of higher consumption.
  • The City continues to offer the Senior Citizen Discount Program of 10 or 25 percent on water/sewer bills, depending on certain qualifications.