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Obtaining Water Service


    1. Application for Water Service
      1. Owner or owner’s agent applies at District Office.
      2. The following information is needed to apply:
        1. Property location including street address assigned by Portsmouth Fire Department.
        2. Tax Assessor’s map and lot number.
        3. Property owner’s name, mailing address and daytime phone number.
    2. Submittals
      1. The following submittals are required:
        1. Copy of the building permit.
        2. Copy of the Individual Sewerage Disposal System (ISDS) drawing (full scale) as approved and stamped by DEM showing the proposed location of the water serviceline.
        3. A site survey plan showing house location will be required when frontage on an existing water main is not obvious or when the distance from the property line to the house exceeds 150 feet.
        4. A site survey plan and engineer’s statement of water demand is required for non-residential use.
    3. Curb Stop (Water Main to Property Line)
      1. The District will install all curb stops. If the property does not already have a curb stop the following is required before the curb stop will be installed by the District and before the property owner can install the serviceline:
        1. Apply for curb stop at District office.
        2. Pay curb stop down payment as follows: NOTE: THIS IS ONLY A DOWN PAYMENT
          1. $1,800 down payment if the property is on the same side of the road as the water main with the main under the road shoulder.
          2. $3,100 down payment if the property is on the same side as the water main with the main under the pavement.
          3. $4,300 down payment if the property is on the opposite side as the water main.
          4. Estimated cost of work for state roads, newly paved roads and/or special conditions.
        3. Mark out desired location of curb stop at property line.
      2. The property owner shall pay the final curb stop invoice if the cost exceeds the down payment. A refund will be provided if the cost is less than the down payment.
    4. Serviceline (Property Line to Building)
      1. The serviceline is installed by the property owner’s contractor under the following conditions:
        1. Serviceline must be installed to District’s standards.
        2. Serviceline must be inspected by the District prior to backfilling. The normal inspection cost is included in the meter installation fee.
        3. Inspection must be scheduled with the District one business day in advance.
        4. Construction of the serviceline must be performed by a Rhode Island licensed ISDS installer or a Rhode Island licensed master plumber approved by the District.

NOTE: A $80 service charge will be billed for each additional site visit required because the serviceline does not meet specifications or is not ready for inspection.

    1. Meter
      1. Prior to the District installing the water meter the following is required:
        1. Meter Installation fee must be paid. (fee varies with meter size – $425 for 5/8″ meter)
        2. Plumbing must be set up per District specifications (see attached drawing) to accept the meter.
        3. Meter installation must be scheduled with the District one business day in advance.

NOTE: A $80 service charge will be billed for each additional site visit required because the plumbing set-up does not meet specifications or there is no access to property.

  1. Meters Installed Prior To House Being Weathertight & Secure
    1. In an effort to address water needs during construction, if a homeowner or contractor wishes to have an approved meter installed prior to the structure being weathertight and secure the following will apply:
      1. The meter must be adequately protected from vandalism, theft and freezing as approved by the District.
      2. The property owner is responsible and liable for protecting the meter, for any water use through the meter and for any estimated water use in the event of a frozen or vandalized meter or serviceline.
      3. The meter setting and all accessory valves shall be installed per the standard requirements before the meter is installed by the District.
      4. A return site visit by the District will be required to inspect the meter and accessory valves when the building is substantially complete and to install the remote reading device on the finished building exterior. The property owner will be charged the normal $80.00 service charge for this site visit.


  1. Application – Application for water service shall be made at the District office, 1944 East Main Road, Portsmouth, RI on the prescribed form and signed by the property owner or the owner’s authorized agent. Applications for water service shall be approved by the Administrative Board before installation of the serviceline or water meter.
  2. Scheduling Inspections and Meter Installations – Inspections of water service installations and meter installations by the District are required to be scheduled at least one business day in advance.
  3. Curb Stop – The District will install a curb stop for obtaining water service for properties that do not have an existing curb stop. The applicant shall pay for the full cost of curb stop construction at listed billing rates, plus an administration and inspection fee. The applicant shall make a down payment for curb stop construction in accordance with the Schedule of Rates and Charges at the time of application. The curb stop will be owned and maintained by the District.The applicant may request that an existing curb stop for a property be abandoned in favor of a new curb stop in a different location. The District shall abandon the existing curb stop and install the new curb stop in accordance with the above procedure and the cost shall be borne by the applicant.The District reserves the right to abandon, at its sole discretion, all or part of any existing curb stop that is presently not supplying water to an active customer when it is determined that the curb stop, or any part thereof, is unsuitable for use due to deterioration, poor construction, inferior materials, or any other reason that may affect the present or future integrity of the curb stop, the water main or the water system. In such instances, the cost of a new curb stop shall be borne by the applicant in accordance with the above procedure, except that the administration and inspection fee may be waived by the Administrative Board.The property owner shall be responsible for ensuring that the curb stop box is exposed and accessible at all times.
  4. Servicelines – A separate serviceline and meter shall be required for each building, trailer, or condominium. Extension of servicelines from one building, trailer or condominium to another are prohibited.The property owner shall provide all labor and materials to construct the serviceline from the curb stop to the building. Said construction shall be performed by a Rhode Island licensed ISDS installer or a Rhode Island licensed master plumber approved by the District. Serviceline installations and repairs shall be performed in accordance with the District’s rules and regulations and shall be inspected by the District prior to backfilling. All piping and fittings on the building side of the curb stop valve, except for the meter, will be owned and maintained by the property owner.A copy of an ISDS drawing (full scale) as approved and stamped by DEM shall be provided to the District prior to installation of the curb stop and inspection of the water serviceline. The horizontal distances between the parts of an ISDS and water supply mains, curb stops and servicelines shall conform to RI-DEM rules and regulations. Non-compliance requires a variance from DEM and the District.Service piping between the curb stop and meter shall be 3/4″ plastic tubing “PE 3408” without joints, unless otherwise approved by the District. Service piping shall be installed in a one foot envelope of sand bedding, i.e., one foot over, under, and on both sides. There shall be a minimum of four feet of earth cover from finished grade to the top of the service pipe. All fittings and valves through the outlet shutoff valve shall be brass or bronze body. Soldered joints are prohibited.The contractor shall provide a temporary shut off valve on the end of the serviceline inside the building to facilitate pressure testing by the District’s inspector.
  5. Valves – The installation of a pressure reducing valve (PRV) is required after the water meter for locations below elevation 90 feet MSL in the low service area and below elevation 210 feet MSL in the high service area (see PRV maps), as determined by the District. A dual check valve (spring type) is required on all services after the meter, or after the pressure reducing valve if one is required. Shut off valves are required to be installed before the meter and after the check valve. Connections prior to the outlet shut off valve are prohibited.
  6. Meters – Meters are owned by the District. Only District personnel are authorized to install, remove or repair water meters. Meters will be installed by the District only after approval of application by the Board and inspection of the serviceline and the meter setting. Meters shall be located in approved, accessible locations at the point where the water service enters the building. A remote meter reading device, supplied by the District, shall be attached to the outside of the building.The customer is responsible for protecting the water meter. In the event of a damaged, frozen or stolen meter, the property owner will be charged for meter repair or replacement along with applicable service charges. Meters shall be protected from frost in a manner approved by the District. Devices employing open flame or intense heat such as lanterns, torches, etc., shall not be used under or around meters to prevent freezing.Refer to attached drawing entitled Requirements for Small Water Meter Installation.
  7. Cross Connections Prohibited – In accordance with District regulations and the state plumbing code, the plumbing for any secondary water supply is required to be physically separate from and without any inter-connections to the plumbing system supplied by the District. Separation of the two plumbing systems by valves is prohibited.
  8. Tampering – The water meter and curb stop are owned by the Portsmouth Water and Fire District. Persons removing, tampering with, turning on/off, or otherwise injuring any water meter, curb stop, pipeline, equipment or other District property or obtaining water service without District metering, are subject to District fines of up to $500 and/or prosecution under RIGL 11-35-6 and 11-35-7 with penalty of imprisonment up to one year or fine up to $1,000.00.
  9. Use Of District Water For Cooling – Use of District water for once-through cooling of air conditioning, refrigeration and other equipment is prohibited. Cooling with District water shall be accomplished through re-circulation of the water to prevent water waste and shall be approved by the District.


Revised 05/16