Are the cemeteries owned by the Town of Reading, or are they privately owned?
All four cemeteries in Reading are owned and operated by the Cemetery Division.
What hours are the cemeteries open?
Cemeteries are open from sunrise to one half hour after sunset.
Who can purchase a cemetery lot in Reading?
Current Reading residents can purchase a cemetery lot. Please refer to the price list on this website for further information.
Can I plant flowers in the ground?
No, there is no planting in the ground in any of the cemeteries. You may place a planter no larger than the length of the headstone in Laurel Hill, Forest Glen and Wood end. In Charles Lawn a single pot of 8 inches or less is allowed.
Are there other restrictions for lot decorations?
Yes, there are no decorations allowed on top of the monuments. Religious items such as vigil lights and crosses are not allowed. Also hanging baskets, fences, stones, rocks, borders, bird houses, and glass items are not allowed.
How do I find information about family plots, lot location or genealogy?
The cemetery records are stored at the Town Hall. Coverage in the cemetery office varies, so it is recommended that you contact the Cemetery Department first by calling 781-942-9086.
How can I report stolen flowers off a grave site?
Stolen flowers can be reported to the Cemetery Office at the Department of Public Works 781-942-9086 and to the Reading Police Department 781-944-1212.
When do they remove Winter/Christmas decorations?
Winter/Christmas decorations are removed April 1st.
Is grave rubbing allowed in any of Reading's cemeteries?
No, grave rubbing is not allowed. The wax or marker material can get on the grave markers and can accelerate their deterioration.
Does the Town test the water?
The Town of Reading is required to meet state and federal drinking water standards and test the water in accordance with those standards. Visit the Town of Reading website at www.readingma.gov or the MWRA web site at www.mwra.com for the annual water quality reports.
Does MWRA water contain lead?
MWRA water is lead-free when it leaves the reservoirs. MWRA and local distribution pipes that carry the water to your community are made mostly of iron and steel, and do not add lead to water. However, lead can get into your tap water through pipes in the home, lead solder used in plumbing, and some brass fixtures. Corrosion or wearing away of lead based materials can add lead to tap water, especially if water sits for a long time in the pipes before use.
Is drinking water the main source of lead exposure?
Lead contamination from lead-based paint, dirt, and dust accounts for most lead exposures. Lead from drinking water can make up to 20 percent of a person's total exposure to lead. The two most cost effective ways to minimize lead exposure from drinking water are to:
1) flush the kitchen faucet for one minute in the morning or after coming home from school/work
2) use only cold water for drinking and cooking.
How is my water tested for lead?
To monitor lead levels, the Reading Water Department tests tap water in homes. But not just any homes. Under EPA regulations, homes that are likely to have high lead levels are usually older homes which may have had lead service lines or lead solder - must be tested at first flush after water has been sitting overnight. The EPA rule requires that 90% of these worst-case samples must have lead levels below the Action Level of 15 ppb.
What are the results? What levels have been found?
Visit the Town of Reading website at www.readingma.gov or the MWRA web site at www.mwra.com for the annual water quality reports.
What can I do to reduce exposure to lead?
Be careful of places you may find lead in or near your home. Paint, soil, dust and some pottery may contain lead.
Run the tap until the water feels cold. Then fill a pitcher with water and place in refrigerator for future use.
Never use hot water from the faucet for drinking or cooking - especially when making baby formula or other food for infants.
Ask your local water department if there are any lead service pipes leading to your home.
Test your tap water. Contact MWRA for more tips and a list of certified labs.
Should I buy a water filtration system or bottled water?
Most homes in the service area do not have lead issues with their tap water. Also, simply running your tap for 30 seconds, after the water has been sitting for several hours, is usually a much cheaper and effective alternative to a filter or bottled water.
Also, some water filtration systems do not remove lead. Before you purchase a filter, you should verify the manufacturer's claim. A good resource is the National Sanitation Foundation at www.nsf.org or at 1-877-867-3435. If your water has elevated levels of lead after flushing, bottled water is an option, but it may cost as much as 1000 times more than tap water.
How do I get information about lead in my drinking water?
Contact the MWRA at 617-242-5323 or at www.mwra.com.
Contact the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Lead Exposure Office at 617-284-8400 or at www.state.ma.us/dph.
Contact the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD or on-line at www.epa.gov/lead/.
Who can I contact if I have questions about the specific water treatment techniques used in my community or if I have questions about the test results presented on this report?
The best source of information on these topics would be your local water supplier. Their staff would be the most knowledgeable source for water quality information specific to your community. They will be able to answer questions and provide you with information on local water quality conditions and the type of treatment processes used in your community, as well as how often the water supply is analyzed for specific contaminants.
Who can I contact if I have questions about government regulations of drinking water supplies or water quality in general?
If you have questions regarding the development of the MCL and MCLG levels shown on your report, you can contact the EPA's safe drinking water hotline at 1-800-426-4791. The staff at this hotline number can address questions about federal drinking water standards and provide general information on water quality in the United States.
The NSF Consumer Affairs Office can also address questions on these and other water quality topics. You can contact their Consumer Affairs Office via a toll-free consumer hotline at 1-877-867-3435 or send them an email at email@example.com.
I have a home water treatment system (or am interested in purchasing one). Where can I go for independent information on these products?
Some consumers may have issues related to the taste, odor, or presence of a particular contaminant in their drinking water supply. If you have or are considering the use of a home water treatment device, we encourage you to visit the Drinking Water Treatment section of the NSF website.
NSF is the leading independent tester of home water treatment. They evaluate hundreds of brands of water treatment devices each year to ensure they meet the design and performance requirements of national public health standards. Consumers can be confident that home water treatment devices that carry NSF certification will actually reduce the contaminants as claimed by the manufacturer on the product label. In addition, you can also be assured that the product itself is not adding harmful levels of contaminants to the water.
Unlike many other product testing programs, NSF-certified products must be re-certified each year; this allows them to assure consumers that the products they are using continue to meet the strict national standards for public health and safety.
Although they do not make product recommendations, the NSF Consumer Affairs Office is available to answer general questions regarding home water treatment products and the testing our organization performs on these devices. You can contact their Consumer Affairs Office via a toll-free consumer hotline at 1-877-867-3435 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I use a filter in my home and I have to change it more frequently than the manufacturer specifications. Why is this?
The use of filters is a personal one. Some homes may experience particular problems or specific concerns that impact their decision to use a filter. It is important to note that manufacturer specifications are based on generic conditions and are not based on actual water quality in the MWRA service area. Since MWRA is an unfiltered surface water supply, it is likely that more frequent filter changes will be required. In particular, during certain times of the year, the source water reservoirs experience algae blooms and these can result in rapid fouling of filters. Also, depending on local conditions, iron may be elevated and this will result in more rapid fouling of the filter. It is important to properly maintain your filter. To reduce required filter changes, you may want to filter only the drinking water, not all the water entering the house.
The Water System
Massachusetts Water Resources Authority
Frequently Asked Questions about Drinking Water
Massachusetts Water Resources Authority
Water Quality Test Results
Massachusetts Water Resources Authority
Parks & Forestry:
How do I determine if a tree in front of my house belongs to me or the Town of Reading?
Contact the Department of Public Works at 781-942-9092 Monday through Friday 7:00 am to 3:00 pm.
Who do I call in an emergency if a tree or large limb falls from a Town tree?
Contact the Department of Public Works at 781-942-9092 Monday through Friday 7:00 am to 3:00 pm.
Does the Town have a spray program for gypsy or winter moth?
The Department of Public Works does not have a Town-wide spray program.
What can I do about tree roots pushing up the sidewalk?
Tree roots can certainly contribute to sidewalk failure, but generally do not cause the heaving initially. We do not remove trees solely because of sidewalk failure. You may contact the Department of Public Works at (781) 942-9077 to have the sidewalk inspected. We will work with the Highway Division to repair the sidewalk without compromising the health of the tree.
I'm tired of raking leaves and cleaning gutters. Why doesn't the Town do something about its trees?
We do not remove trees for this reason alone. The benefits of shade trees along Town streets' shading and cooling your property, regulating the flow of stormwater along your street, the aesthetic value‚ far outweigh the work created by fallen leaves.
Will the DPW plant a tree in front of my house?
If you have an empty Town tree well in front of your house and you want a replacement tree, we will plant one during the next planting season at no cost to you, as long as we determine that a tree is sustainable at that location. (There may be a legitimate reason why the previous tree did not survive.) If you wish to have a tree planted where no tree well currently exists, the Town will share the cost with you under its Shade Tree Program. For $140 we will prepare a tree well and plant a tree, in exchange for your pledge to keep the tree well watered. On average, your contribution covers about one-half to one-third the cost of planting. In either case, our Tree Warden will consult with you about the type of tree that is appropriate for your location.
I think my tree should be cut down. Will the DPW do that?
We do not remove Town trees without good reason. We do not remove trees because they drop leaves or acorns, because it has grown too large or shades your lawn, or because it is not conveniently located. We will remove trees that are hazardous. In the context of state law, a hazard tree poses a threat to persons and/or property. As defined by the International Society of Arboriculture, a hazard tree must meet three criteria:
The tree is sufficiently large enough to cause damage should it fall
The tree has a target (that would be damaged should it fall)
The tree has a condition that would make it likely to fall
We will promptly inspect requests for removal. In many cases, a tree may be developing a condition that would ultimately make it a hazard, but not imminently. The removal of such trees requires a public hearing as prescribed by state law. In some cases, the entire tree may not be hazardous, but some maintenance work is required. We will enter that work request into our database and schedule the work within our priorities.
Where can I allow my dog to run without a leash?
At all parks, the Town of Reading's ordinance on leash control apply. And of course, dog walkers are required to pick up dog waste at all sites.
What can be done about dog owners who don't follow the rules about leashes and sanitation?
Citizens should contact the Animal Control Officer at 781-944-1212.
Whom do I call to reserve a field for sports and games?
You may call the Recreation Division of the Department of Public Works at 781-942-6674
Do I need a permit to have a picnic?
It depends upon the size and complexity of your event. For a small family outing that does not involve on-site cooking, no permit is required. If you have something else in mind, contact the Department of Public Works at (781) 942-9077, give us the details, and we'll advise you on what may be required.
Can I use grills for cooking in parks?
Town regulations do not allow such open fires in parks, unless you are issued a permit for a special event. You will need to complete a permit application, and may need to attend a hearing of the Special Events Committee. Contact the Department of Public Works at (781) 942-9077.
Why should I recycle?
Recycling is responsible resource management. Recycling reduces pollution, saves energy and saves the Town of Reading money! By recycling, we save on the cost of incinerating our trash, currently about $58/ton. Recycling one ton of paper saves 17 trees. The items that we recycle become other useful products.
When is my collection day?
The Town of Reading now has weekly mandatory recycling collection, your recycling is now collected every week on the same day your trash is picked up. Click here to view the street listing to determine your collection day.
What about holiday week collections?
When there is a holiday, collections will be delayed 1 day after holiday occurs (e.g. if your usual day is Monday and Monday is a holiday, your trash/recycling day will be Tuesday. Friday's pickup will be on Saturday that week). If the holiday falls on a Thursday (e.g. Thanksgiving), only Thursday and Friday's collections would be affected.
When should I put out my recycling?
Residents can place their recycling at the curb the night before after 4 P.M. and no later than 6 am on their recycling collection day.
Why didn't the truck pick up my recycling?
Check to make sure you put your recycling out on the correct day. See above
Was it recyclable?
Were paper products separate from your plastic containers?
Were your recyclables in a recycling bin and separate from your trash?
Was your cardboard 4'x 4' or less and tied or taped in bundles of 6' or less?
Who do I call if my trash/recycling is not picked up?
D.P.W. Garage between 7:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M. Monday thru Friday at 781-942-9092.
What can I recycle?
PAPER: Newspapers including inserts, magazines, catalogs, phone books, junk mail, clean paperboard such as cereal / pasta boxes and egg cartons and flattened cardboard no larger than 4' x 4' are some of the paper type items.
COMMINGLED ITEMS: Metal cans, glass bottles and plastic containers labeled # 1 to 7, (excluding #6 Styrofoam).
How do I put items out for recycling?
All glass, plastic and metal containers, can be commingled and placed in your recycling bin. If you cannot fit all your glass/plastic/metal items in your recycling bin, you may place the extra in plastic bags. Do not use paper bags.
All newspapers, cereal boxes, junk mail and magazines should be put in brown paper bags like those received at a grocery store and placed beside or on top of recycling bin or in its own recycling bin. Cardboard should be flattened and tied or taped in bundles no larger than 4 feet by 4 feet by 6 inches thick. Place your recycling separate from your trash.
Do I need to rinse out my bottles and cans?
Yes. Rinsing cans, bottles and jars helps to reduce odor and discourage pests from invading your bin. An easy way to do this is to place cans and bottles and plastics in your dishwasher or rinse them with the rinse water after you have finished your dishes.
Do I need to separate cans, bottles and plastic containers from each other?
All glass, plastic and metal containers, can be placed (commingled) in your recycling bin.
What about Styrofoam, Styrofoam that has the recycling symbol with the number 6 in it, is now being collected at the DPW garage, Monday thru Friday from 7:30am to 2:30 pm.
What about pizza boxes, pizza boxes can be put out with your recycling as long as they do not contain any food particles.
Can I put out more than one recycling bin?
Yes. But please keep containers separate from paper products.
Where can I get a recycling bin?
Bins are available at the Department of Public Works Facility Garage, 75 New Crossing Road.
Does the Town collect yard waste (leaves, grass clippings other easily raked material)?
Is there a drop off location for yard waste?
The Town operates a compost site at Strout Ave that is opened from April thru November. See Compost Schedule Residents are allowed to bring leaves, grass clippings, branches up to 8" in diameter and 8" lengths. Residents must purchase a Community Access Sticker at the Police Station or a Compost Card Permit at the D.P.W. Administration Office in Town Hall.
What about Christmas trees?
Residents who want to recycle their Christmas trees are asked to bring them to compost facility when open.
Does the Town collect Construction & Demolition material?
The Town of Reading does not have the ability to pick up any construction and demolition material with either trash or recycling. This category generally includes asphalt, bricks, concrete and other masonry materials, soil, rock, wall coverings, drywall, plumbing fixtures, insulation, roofing shingles, plate glass, metal, wood waste, and electrical wires.
What can I do with old paint, used motor oil and other chemicals?
Latex paint can be dried out (solidify with kitty litter or with specifically designed products that are now available) and placed in the trash.
Oil based paints, chemical and other household hazardous waste should be brought to the Town's annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection day, see schedule. For more information, call the Department of Public Works 781-942-9077
What can I do with mercury containing items?
Thermometers, thermostats, mercury switches and button batteries can be brought to the D.P.W. Garage 75 New Crossing Rd during normal business hours.
Fluorescent lamps should be brought to the D.P.W. Garage 75 New Crossing Rd during normal business hours. For more information, call the Department of Public Works 781-942-9077.
What do I do with unwanted appliances?
Household appliances are not allowed with regular trash. Appliances are picked up weekly by calling JRM directly at 1-800-323-HAUL (4285) and arranging payment and scheduling the pick up.
How about CRTs: television sets and computer monitors?.
TV's and CRT's (computer monitors) are not allowed with regular trash or recycling
These items can be picked up weekly by calling JRM directly at 1-800-323-HAUL (4285) and arranging payment and scheduling the pickup.
How about microwaves and other electronics?
Counter top microwaves can be put out any week with the regular trash. Computers (except for computer monitors, see above) and accessories may be discarded in the regular trash. However, if they are useable, first try to find a place where they can be put to use.
Do I have to use the official recycling bin? No. You can use any re-usable container for your recycling. Just mark it clearly as "Recycling".
Can I recycle my old telephone books? Yes. Throw them in with your mixed paper recycling.
Why do I have to cut up my cardboard? It has to fit in the recycling truck.
There is a strong sewer odor in my area.
Sewer odors at catch basins can be caused by rotting leaves, low flow in an adjacent catch basin and inappropriate dumping of dog feces, oil, paint or other pollutants. Residents can help alleviate these odors by never dumping anything into a catch basin. Catch basins are installed to collect rainwater only Please call the DPW at 781-942-9092 or 781-942-9077 and leave your name, phone number and nearest address or street intersection where you smell the sewer odor.
Who should I call if I have sewage backup into my home?
If the sewer backs up (for example the toilet, sink, tub or washing machine) please call the Water & Sewer Division at 781-942-9092 Monday - Friday from 7:00 am‚ 3:00 pm. They will make sure that the problem isn't in the Town's system.
Emergency (Nights, Weekends, Holidays) Call Reading Police Department 781-944-1212. Please provide your name, address and phone number.
How much of the sewer service is the homeowner's responsibility?
The homeowner's responsibility runs from the sewer main in the street to the house.
Who do I call to repair the sewer pipe? How do I know if a sewer pipe needs to be repaired?
Please call the Water & Sewer Division first and they will help if they can. A sewer pipe must be repaired by a Licensed Drain Layer. A list of current drain layers is available at the Engineering Division Office. If the problem is in the house and needs to be repaired, the homeowner would call a plumber after calling the Water and Sewer Division.
My water bill is unusually high, what could the problem be?
There could be a leak in some water-using device in your home, such as a toilet, faucet, sprinkler system, etc. that could be causing more than the usual amount of water to be consumed. First check your water meter for a possible leak how to read your water meter. You may want to contact an experienced plumber to check your pipes and other water-using devices. Also, the bill could be applicable to the summer when water usage is naturally higher than the rest of the year. If you still have a question contact the Billing Office at (781) 942-9023
What happens if the Water & Sewer Dept. does not receive a meter reading?
If the Water & Sewer Dept. does not receive a meter reading you will be billed for estimated usage. When we do capture an actual meter reading and it results in your having been over-billed, you will receive a credit to your account. We will subtract the actual usage from the estimated usage and abate that amount. If, however, the actual meter reading results in you having been under-billed, you will then be billed for the full amount of your usage based on the actual meter reading during the next billing cycle.
I am selling my property, how do I obtain a final meter reading and Water & Sewer Bill?
Contact the Billing Office at (781) 942-9023 at least 7 days prior to the closing to schedule an appointment for Water & Sewer personnel to come to your property and conduct a final meter reading. The final meter reading will be conducted on the day prior to the closing. Final bills must be paid with Cash, Bank Check, Money Order, or Attorney's Check at the Collector's Office.
No personal checks will be accepted for final bills.
What is the penalty for not paying my Water & Sewer Bill?
If you do not pay your Water & Sewer Bill by the close of business on the 30th day, the 10% discount is lost. If you do not pay your Water & Sewer bill by the due date, interest is charged at 1.5% per month, 18% per year.
What happens if I do not pay my Water & Sewer Bill?
Interest is assessed on delinquent Water & Sewer charges. Water & Sewer charges that are more than 12 months past due will be liened to the Real Estate Tax bills on the property during the regularly scheduled assessment of Real Estate Taxes. This regular assessment usually occurs in December of each year. These amounts will then be collected in the same manner as Real Estate Taxes which includes the assessment of interest and the possibility of a Tax Taking being conducted against the property. Although appearing on the Real Estate Tax bill, these charges are not deductible as a tax expense.
What are the due dates on Water Bills?
There are 4 cycles. Listed below are the cycle billing dates. Payment is due on the 15th of the following month. The only exception is if the 15th falls on a weekend, or on a Monday holiday. In either case, payment is due on the next business day.
Cycle-1 : Quarter 1: September 10
Cycle-2 : Quarter 2: December 10
Cycle-3 : Quarter 3: March 10
Cycle-4 : Quarter 4: June 10
Please note that interest starts accruing the day after the due date, beginning with the billing date.
What if I do not receive my Water Bill?
If for some reason, you did not receive a Water Bill, call the Collector's Office, Water Department: 781-942-9023. They will send you a duplicate bill in the mail.
Under state law, failure to receive a bill does not affect the validity of the bill or any interest or fines incurred due to late payment(s). It is the responsibility of the homeowner to secure his/her water bill when one is not received.
Are you a new property owner?
If you are a new property owner, please call the Collector's Office, Water Department: 781-942-9023. We will provide information to you regarding when to expect your first Water & Sewer bill, our rates, and Storm Water fees.
Where should I mail my Water Bill payment?
Please mail payments to:
Town of Reading
16 Lowell Street
Reading, MA 01867-2601
Please make checks payable to: Town of Reading
For proper credit, write the account number on the check and enclose the top portion of your Water bill. To obtain a receipt, enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope and both portions of the bill with your payment. One will be stamped paid and returned to you.
How do I change the old owner's name that appears on the Water Bill, after purchasing the property?
New owners, at the time of recording the deed, should be sure to fill out the Change of Owner and/or Address card provided with the Municipal Lien Certificate. This will change the "mail to" portion of the bill; the permanent change will take place when the Assessors Office receives the deed from the Registry of Probate.
How do I change the mailing address on my Water Bill?
All change of addresses must be made in writing, either by coming into the Collector's Office and filling out a change of address form or by completing a change of address form and mailing it to:
Town of Reading
16 Lowell Street
Reading, MA 01867-2601
What happens if I overpay my Water Bill?
Overpayments will be applied to the next billing cycle.
How can I tell if my Water Bill is estimated?
If there is an "ES" next to the present reading, this means your water bill is estimated. Continuous estimated bills may result in a large actual bill, when the meter is finally read.
What do I do if my Water Bill is estimated?
If you find that your Water bill is estimated, please record the reading from the water meter (normally located in the basement) how to read your meter and call the Billing Department at (781) 942-9023 well before the due date. The water department will schedule an appointment to verify the read and adjust the bill. We will adjust the bill and do an abatement if the read was estimated too high. If the bill was estimated too low, the quantity is added to the next billing cycle.
The due date of your adjusted bill will not change. It will remain the same as the original water bill.
The Water Department will research the problem that caused the estimated bill, thereby ensuring accurate reads in the future.
If my condominium was a condo conversion, will I get a separate Water Bill?
No. The water/sewer bill is for all condominium units unless the plumbing was separated at the time of conversion. It is between you and all the other unit owners how the water bill charges are divided amongst yourselves. You should have a Condominium Association set up for payments such as water/sewer bills.
A trustee for the Association should be determined and the Treasurers Office notified of their name.
Only one trustee can appear on the water/sewer bill for mailing purposes.
What is the meaning of AC, ES, TE, ME printed next to the Current Meter Reading?
The code, AC, is telling you that it was an "Actual Read"
If the code was an ES it would have been an "Estimated Read"
If the code was a TE it would have been a "Telephone Read"
If the code was an ME it would have been a "Manual Read"
What must I do to renew or install a new water and sewer line and where do I go to apply for this service?
Applications for a renewal or new service for Water and Sewer lines can be obtained on the Engineering Division link under Permits and Applications.
How do I get a pothole fixed?
Call the Highway Division of DPW at (781) 942-9092 or use the DPW Request Form on the Town's website:
Will the Town reimburse me for damage done to my vehicle from running over a pothole?
The Town refers pothole damage claims to its insurer who makes a determination whether the Town is responsible for the claim due to negligence in responding to the notice of the pothole. Any appeals are handled by the claimant's insurer or by a judicial claim. Potholes are considered to be a normal consequence of the freezing / thaw cycle of New England weather.
What happens when I have an after hours emergency?
Contact the Reading Police Department: Emergency (Nights, Weekends, Holidays)
Police Department 781-944-1212. The police will contact the oncall DPW personnel.
How do you decide to pave or re-pave a road?
We are constantly checking streets for safety issues and pavement conditions in order to plan "short-term" and future paving projects. The Town conducts pavement condition inspections every 3-4 years to develop a plan to address some of the worst roads and extend the life of roads with limited deterioration.
How do I get my street swept?
Street sweeping normally begins in late March/early April each year after the danger of snow has passed and the weather gets mild. With only two (2) sweepers and weather permitting it usually takes 8-10 weeks to complete the Town.
How do I report a missing street sign / stop sign?
Residents can call the Highway Division at (781) 942-9092 or contact the Reading Police Department at 781-944-1212.
Can I push snow from my property onto the sidewalk or street?
No. A Town By-Law restricts this act. Additionally, such action may bring liability if an accident should occur. This also increases the Town's cost for snow operations.
Why is my street not plowed first?
The streets are plowed in a set order to maximize efficiency, expediency and our resources. The main roads are generally treated and plowed first, then the secondary roads and the neighborhoods.
How do I report property damage from a plow truck?
If the damage is not in the Town's right-of-way, repairs will be made in the spring at a time when manpower and equipment are available. Please use the DPW Service Request Form.
Town of Reading
Attn: Mike deBrigard
16 Lowell Street
Reading, MA 01867-2601
How can I get a street or sidewalk repaired?
Please call the DPW 781-942-9092 or 781-942-9077 and leave your name, phone number and the address of the sidewalk defect report the damage through our DPW Service Request Form.
Where can I get information on street construction?
Please call the DPW at 781-942-9092 or 781-942-9077 or read the most recent construction notices under our Current Projects.
How do I get a street light that is not working repaired?
Report the address of the light pole or the light pole number (two or three digit number located on the pole usually within 6-8 feet up from the base) to the Reading Municipal Light Department http://www.rmld.com
How can I get a catch basin cleaned that appears blocked?
Please call the DPW at 781-942-9092 or 781-942-9077 and leave your name, phone number and nearest address or street intersection of the catch basin. Residents can assist Public Works by clearing debris off of catch basin grates, cleaning up debris along the curb in front of their property, and by never putting leaves, grass clippings and other yard waste into a catch basin.
Who should I call if I see someone dumping into a catch basin?
Call the Reading Police Department: 781-944-1212 with the location of the catch basin and, if known, the material that was dumped and other pertinent information. You may also contact the DPW at 781-942-9092 or 781-942-9077.
Who should I call if I notice an oily or dirty discharge from a stormwater outfall?
Please call the DPW at 781-942-9092 or 781-942-9077 and leave the nearest street or area of the stormwater outfall.
How can I help maintain the catch basin cover near my house?
With the fall season upon us and many trees already dropping their leaves, your help with maintenance is beneficial to all. If you have a town catch basin near your property it would be very helpful and benefit everyone if you could help maintain that catch basin by clearing all debris from around this area.
1. What is storm water?
Storm water is rain water that runs off impervious surfaces such as streets, driveways, parking lots, rooftops, or other tightly packed surfaces. Impervious surfaces reduce the ability of storm water to be absorbed or infiltrate into the ground.
2. Why did Town Meeting and the Board of Selectmen vote to establish a Storm Water
Enterprise Fund (SWEF)?
The Town of Reading is required by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop a storm water management plan that reduces the discharge of pollutants to our storm water drain system and water ways. The Town is required to be in full compliance with the terms of our National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II permit by 2008 to meet federal and state mandates. The Town established a SWEF to provide a dedicated and adequate source of funding for our storm water management program.
3. Why is storm water management necessary?
Storm water often contains surface pollutants including petroleum products, soaps, detergents, and lawn fertilizer which eventually empty into the Aberjona, Ipswich, and Saugus rivers. Effective storm water management also helps reduce flooding and the erosion of river banks.
4. How is the SWEF fee calculated?
Single and Two-Family properties will be billed at a flat rate. All other properties will be assessed an annual storm water fee based on the total amount of impervious surface area on the lot, which will be billed quarterly. Condominium properties will be billed based on the total amount of impervious surface, at a maximum of the single and two-family rate, for each condominium unit. The amount will appear as a separate charge on your quarterly water and sewer bill. The fee will follow for the following different types of property:
Property Type Storm Water Fee
Undeveloped - No fee
Single & Two-Family Residences - Flat fee of $10.00/ quarter or ($40.00 annually)
Multi-Family, Commercial/ Industrial - Fee is based on Total Impervious Surface Area.
5. How is total impervious surface area determined?
Impervious surface areas were measured using the Towns mapping system (GIS). Buildings,
driveways, and parking areas, were delineated from aerial photos. The surface area of these features was calculated and will be assessed at a rate of $40.00/ 3,210 sq. ft. (annually) for multi-family, commercial, and industrial properties.
6. For what purposes will SWEF fee revenue be used?
Storm water fee revenue will be used to hire two laborers that will perform stream and detention basin maintenance activities. The SWEF will allow the Department of Public Works to address a backlog of stream and drainage maintenance issues that have not been completed due to staffing and funding limitations. Storm water fees will also fund capital expenditures for drainage system mapping (GIS layer), illicit discharge detection, and general drainage system infrastructure improvements.
7. Will residents be assessed a SWEF fee if their property is located on a private way or on a town accepted street that does not have catch basins or storm drains?
Yes, although a property may be located on a private way or on a town accepted street that does not have catch basins or storm drains, the owner will be assessed a storm water fee since the property still produces runoff into the Town's storm water system.
8. Are there certain types of properties that are exempt from the storm water fee?
The Board of Selectmen approved a rate structure as recommended by the Water, Sewer, and Storm Water Management Advisory Committee that does not provide any exemptions for municipal properties, schools, or properties owned by religious or registered non-profit organizations.
Undeveloped property (without impervious surfaces) is the only category of property that will not be assessed a storm water fee.
9. Has the Town made any provisions for storm water abatements?
Yes, to encourage property owners to minimize the amount of runoff from properties and to reduce the amount of pollutants entering Town waterways, the Town has instituted the following storm water abatement program:
Single & Two-Family Residences
Single and two-family residential properties that install and maintain infiltration systems or other means to reduce runoff will be eligible for an abatement of up to 50% of their total assessment.
Commercial/ Industrial/ Multi-Family
Commercial/ Industrial/ Multi-Family properties that install and maintain state-of-the-art storm water treatment and infiltration systems will be eligible for an abatement up to 50% of their total assessment.
10. What are some typical storm water devices that qualify for abatements?
11. What are some typical devices that do NOT qualify for abatements?
Drinking water filtration systems
12. Where can I obtain more information or file for an abatement?
Property owners or condominium associations (on behalf of condominium owners) seeking additional information or would like to file for an abatement should contact the Department of Public Works, Engineering Division at (781) 942-9082. The Abatement Application Form may be obtained through the Town of Reading website at www.readingma.gov, or may be picked up at the Engineering Office at Reading Town Hall, 16 Lowell St.
13. Is the storm water abatement permanent?
The storm water abatement percentage will only change if the impervious surface area changes.