Consumer Information

Cross Connection Program InformationWater ConservationWatershed ProtectionHigh Water BillSystem Maintenance and UpgradesHomeowner’s Guide to Service Line FlushingWater & Sewer Commission Meeting MinutesRadio Read Meter InstallationInsurance Service Office Rating Improvement
What is a cross connection?

A cross connection is an interconnection between the potable drinking water line and any connection with non-potable water, gases, or chemicals.

Where do we find cross connections in the home?

Garden hoses connected to an outside water tap are the most common sources of cross connections in the home. The garden hose creates a hazard when submerged in a non-potable water such as a swimming pool or when attached to a chemical sprayer for weed killing. Other common sources of cross connections in the home include connections of lawn sprinkler systems, boilers, and appliances to the drinking water plumbing.

Who protects public drinking water from cross connections?

Your public water supplier is required to survey all industrial, commercial, and institutional facilities to ensure that all cross connections are eliminated or protected by an appropriate device. The water supplier is also responsible for inspecting each device to ensure it is providing maximum protection.

At your workplace – it is the owner’s responsibility to ensure that every cross connection is eliminated or protected by a backflow device. The owner must also ensure the device is in working order and has been registered with the Town of Groton’s Water Department.

What can I do to make sure my water supply is protected from cross connections?

Have all changes to your plumbing system performed by a licensed plumber. For further information please contact Stephen Knox, Cross Connection Control Coordinator at (978) 448-1122.

The Board of Water Commissioners voted on February 28, 2013 to institute a mandatory Odd/Even Outside Water Conservation Program for all of its customers for the period beginning June 1st through September 30th. Please note that this is a mandatory program.

Mandatory Water Conservation Program
odd numbered house
on odd numbered calendar days 12:00 a.m. (midnight) to 9:00 a.m. and from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m
even numbered house
on even numbered calendar days 12:00 a.m. (midnight) to 9:00 a.m. and from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

All outside watering on Mondays is prohibited to everyone.

Click here for the complete mandatory water conservation program notice.

Water Conservation Kits

Water conservation kits are no longer available at the Groton Water Department Office located in the Town Hall. However, these kits can be purchased at your local hardware store.

Kits include:
– Leak detection tablets that enable you to see if toilets are constantly running.
– A modern, efficient showerhead that will give you a full force shower while you save water.
– One kitchen faucet aerator (2.2 GPM) and one bathroom faucet aerator (1.5 GPM).
– An adjustable flush toilet flapper.
– Complete instructions for easy installation.

Outdoor Water Conservation Tips

  • Lawn watering — Water in the early morning or evening when evaporation rates are lowest. Don’t water the pavement! One inch of water per week is all that is generally necessary to maintain your lawn. Avoid over-watering by using a rain gauge or coffee can to measure the volume of water being applied. As a general rule, lawns only need watering every five to seven days in the summer and every 10 to 14 days in the winter. A hearty rain eliminates the need for watering for as long as two weeks
  • Lawn care — Allow your grass to grow taller in hot, dry weather. Longer grass means less evaporation and will encourage roots to grow deeper, leaving your lawn more drought-tolerant.
  • Car washing — Use a bucket to wash. Keep a nozzle on your hose. Do not let water run when not in use.
  • Pool — Use a pool cover to keep water clean and reduce evaporation.
  • General Maintenance — Use a broom instead of a water hose to clear debris from patios, driveways, and sidewalks.
  • Landscaping — Plant trees to provide shade. Decrease lawn area. Use drought-resistant shrubs. Increase areas of ground cover. Mulch.
  • Valves and hoses — Check outdoor pipes, hoses, and faucets for leaks.
Indoor Water Conservation Tips
  • Only wash full loads of dishes or laundry when using a dishwasher or washing machine.
  • Turn off the water when brushing your teeth or shaving.
  • Install low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators to cut down on the amount of water you use.
  • Repair leaking faucets, tanks, and pipes.

Watershed Protection

By protecting land around well sites we are able to maintain high quality drinking water. This prevents possible contaminants from reaching drinking water sources.

Shattuck Well (65.8 acres)
Gibbet Hill Water Storage Tank (1.5 acres)
Baddacook Pond Well (5.9 acres)
Whitney Pond Well (72.4acres)
Brooks Orchard Water Storage Tank (4.0 acres)
Rocky Hill (Future Water Tank Site) (1.85 acres)
Dead River (Future Well Site) (10.0 acres)

What to do if you have a high water bill:

Unfortunately, for most people the first sign of a leak is a high water bill. If your bill is higher than usual, or if you see a pattern of steadily increasing bills for several billing cycles, you should check to see if you have a leak.

First, check your current meter reading against the reading shown on your current bill. (If you don’t know where your meter is located, please call the office – we’ll be happy to assist you with finding it!) Look at the meter register (usually a blue top with a clear plastic dome) – it will resemble a car odometer.

Read all of the numbers from left to right, including any printed on zeros that may appear on the face of the meter. The reading on the meter should be higher than the “current reading” on your bill.
Calculating Water Usage

Remove the last two digits from your consumption to convert to units consumed.
(This step converts from CF to One Hundred Cubic Feet (HCF) (Example: 3,600 CF would equal 36 Units.)

Units _________ Multiplied by 748 equals ________ Gallons Consumed.
(Example: 36 X 748 = 26,928) (1 Unit = 748 Gallons of water = One Hundred Cubic Feet (HCF) of water)

Determining if You Have a Leak

When you have verified your meter reading, look at the low flow indicator – a small red triangle on the face of the meter.
If you are not using any water – i.e., all faucets are closed, and no appliances like a dishwasher or clothes washer are in operation – the triangle should not turn. If it is turning, even very slowly, this is a sure sign that you have a leak. If it is spinning fast, you have a serious leak that requires immediate attention, and you should repair the leak as soon as possible.

If the leak indicator shows a repeating pattern of turning slowly, stopping, then turning slowly again, you may have a small leak or a leaky toilet flapper valve. While these problems may seem small, they too require prompt attention to keep them from getting worse.

Please note: Water Department personnel cannot repair leaks on the interior of your home. If you are unable to repair the leak yourself, you need to engage the services of a licensed plumber.

The Water Department is currently working on projects to improve water quality, water quantity, fire protection, customer service and the overall functions of the water system.

Hydrant Upgrades

The Water Department is also continuing its fire hydrant replacement program within the water distribution system. The fire hydrant replacement program is a collaborative effort with the Fire Department based on the operational needs for fighting fires. The replacement program over the past four construction seasons has upgraded nearly thirty fire hydrants throughout the water distribution system.

Baddacook Pond Water Treatment Plant

In November 2005, construction began on the Baddacook Pond Water Treatment Plant. Funds for this project obtained through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts State Revolving Loan Program (SRF). This program is a low interest loan program administered though the Water Pollution Abatement Trust and the DEP.

The construction involved putting a small addition (800 sq ft) onto the existing Baddacook Pump House building. This addition houses two filtration vessels and all necessary equipment.

The plant was completed in February and began removing iron and manganese (naturally occurring minerals) from water pumped from the Baddacook well, thus improving overall water quality. Included in this project are new SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) controls for our water distribution system. These new controls will help us better monitor changing water quality and demands, thus enabling us to supply our customers more reliably.

Homeowner’s Guide to Service Line Flushing

The groundwater pumped from our wells contains naturally occurring minerals (manganese and iron.) When the well water is treated with chlorine these minerals fall out of suspension and settle on the bottom of water mains and service lines. These mineral deposits are flushed from our mains twice annually, as part of our routine maintenance, but service lines are not. Customers can obtain better water quality in their homes by implementing their own domestic service line flushing program.

Home owners can flush their service lines by simply running a large volume of cold water thorough their service line by opening three or more faucets in the home at the same time.

To flush service lines:

This should take between 10-20 minutes of flowing water, depending on the length of your service line.

(Note: Faucets without aerators, such as the bathtub spouts or garden hose spigots, flow more water and yield better results.)

· Run cold water only! This keeps sediment out of hot water tanks.
· Open all outdoor garden hose spigots.
· Open all bathtub spigots (COLD WATER ONLY).
· Remove aerators and run faucets (COLD WATER ONLY), if possible.
· Continue flushing until water runs clear.

Once cold water runs clear, hot water tanks can be flushed using attached instructions.

To ensure clear drinking water this flushing should be conducted at least twice per year.

If any problems arise or further assistance is needed please contact us.


Homeowner’s Guide to Service Line Flushing

Flushing Gas Hot Water Tanks

1) Leave the cold water feed valve on. The tank will need the incoming water to help flush the discolored
water up and out through the elevated garden hose.
2) Locate the gas control valve and turn the knob to the “pilot” position.
3) Allow water in tank to cool.
4) Connect a garden hose to the water draw off valve. Run the hose up your stairs or up and out through the
window. The hose should be placed so that the water can safely drain (ex. grass, sloped pavement, catch
basin, etc.) Remember – the water can be very HOT!
5) Open the water draw off valve fully (turn the valve all the way to the left.). The tank will begin to drain.
6) Once the draining water runs clear (check by filling a white cup with the water), turn the water draw off
valve off. Crimp the hose to stop the water from draining back in, and remove the hose.
7) Turn the gas control valve to the “ON” position and the gas will turn on to begin heating the water.

Flushing Electric or Oil Hot Water Tanks

1) Locate the electrical circuit breaker or the fuse box and remove the fuse or flip the breaker. For oil tanks,
you may need to locate the red wall switch and flip it off or find the breaker or fuse box.
2) Allow water in tank to cool.
3) Leave the cold water feed valve on. The tank will need the incoming water to help flush the discolored
water up and out through the elevated garden hose.
4) Connect a garden hose to the water draw off valve. Run the hose up your stairs or up and out through the
window. The hose should be placed so that the water can safely drain (ex. grass, sloped pavement, catch
basin, etc.) Remember – the water can be very HOT!
5) Open the water draw off valve fully (turn the valve all the way to the left.). The tank will begin to drain.
6) Once the draining water runs clear (check by filling a white cup with the water), turn the water draw off
valve off. Crimp the hose to stop the water from draining back in, and remove the hose.
7) Dry your hands thoroughly, then replace the fuse or turn the breaker back on.

Water & Sewer Commission Meetings

Meeting minutes are in PDF format and can be viewed by clicking on the links below. Minutes are also available at the Groton Town Hall Water Office.

Water Commission Meetings 
Sewer Commission Meetings 

Water Meter Replacement

The Water Department continues to replace all of its water meters with new radio “drive-by” read meters.

Attached to your water meter is a transponder that transmits your water meter reading to our Water Department vehicle. This transponder has a long-life battery that has to be replaced approximately every six to ten years.

radio meter

Continuing Efforts Increase Public Protection Classification/ISO Rating

The Groton Water Department and the West Groton Water Supply District, in conjunction with the Groton Fire Department through the Board of Selectman’s Office, recently completed a Public Protection Classification survey for insurance coverage and insurance rates for the Groton community. The Insurance Service Office, Inc. (I.S.O.)—a nationally recognized organization and the leading supplier of statistical, underwriting, and actuarial information for the property/casualty insurance industry—conducted this comprehensive survey. The Public Protection Classification is used by most insurance companies for underwriting and calculating premiums for residential, commercial, and industrial properties.

I.S.O. (Insurances Services Office, Inc.) program evaluates communities according to a uniform set of criteria defined in the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule. This criterion incorporates nationally recognized standards developed by the National Fire Protection Association and the American Water Works Association.

I.S.O. reviews the fire suppression capabilities of a community and assigns a Public Protection Classification—a number from 1 to 10. Class 1 represents exemplary fire protection, and Class 10 indicates the program does not meet the minimum recognition criteria.

In Groton, ISO uses a split classification with the first number four (4) representing properties within five (5) road miles of a fire station and within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant. The second number nine (9) represents properties beyond 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant but within the defined distance of a fire station.

According to the survey’s findings, the town’s fire suppression services have improved to a Class 4/9 in 2005 from a Class 5/9 in 1991. Major features assessed by I.S.O. Survey were fire alarm and communication systems, fire department apparatus and training, and water supply systems.

The Water Department’s hydrant replacement program, additional water storage tank, and water main replacement efforts led to improved scores in the Groton Community. Many of the older hydrants in the Groton water system recently have been replaced with modern hydrants that have four-inch steamer ports. As a result of the Department’s ongoing hydrant maintenance program, a perfect score was achieved on the condition of the fire hydrants in town. The recently completed Capital Improvements Program added an additional water storage tank to the water system, doubling our capacity in the event of a fire. The water main replacement program completed a redundant transmission main line to the town center. Furthermore, other undersized water mains were replaced in an effort to improve fire flows in other areas of the distribution system. After the improvements noted above, the Water Department staff conducted nearly 12 predetermined fire flows tests on the water supply system achieving an overall rating or score of 94% efficiency.

It is also important to note that fewer than 7% of the communities surveyed and/or rated have achieved a rating of 4.