Town of Derry
14 Manning Street, Derry, NH 03038
Water Division Frequently Asked Questions

 Where does Derry's water come from?

Derry's core system water customers receive treated water from Manchester Water Works.  

Customers in the Autumn Woods, Meadowbrook, Rand-Shepard Hill, Willow Bend and Woodlands Developments are each part of a community water system which receives water from common bedrock wells.  With the exception of iron filtration at the Rand-Shepard Hill system, these water supplies are chlorinated prior to entering the distribution system for the purpose of disinfection.
What do I do if I have an emergency outside of Derry's regular business hours?
The Derry Water Division has an employee on stand-by duty outside of the Divisions regular business hours.  Customers may contact the Derry Fire Department's regular business line at 432-6121.  They will page the operator on duty.  Be sure to leave a complete message with the dispatcher including your name, address, nature of the emergency and a return phone number.  Please be aware that a 3 hour call out charge may be applied to your account for emergencies not under the Town's responsibility (i.e. household plumbing leaks requiring shut offs at the street).

Is the water fluoridated?

Yes, Manchester Water Works began fluoridating our treated water in December 2000 at a dosage rate of 1 ppm as recommended by the NH Department of Environmental Services and Centers for Disease Control.

Can I get my water tested if I believe there is a quality concern?
Derry Water Division Customers  should contact the Department of Public Works at 432-6144.  One of our administrative staff will call to schedule an appointment to collect an appropriate sample and you will be notified with the results.  Private water testing may be requested through Granite State Analytical, 22 Manchester Rd, Derry NH  03038  (603)432-3044.

What is going on regarding the Manchester Water Works Water Treatment Plant renovations and how will this affect my water?

The Water Treatment Plant underwent a major renovation and process upgrade. Derry Core System customers will  receive water which has been disinfected primarily with ozone instead of chlorine and that has been filtered by eight new, deep bed filters. This change will mean that your tap water will not have a noticeable smell of chlorine, taste better and be safer for you to drink. This work is completed.

Why will the water still contain low levels of chlorine?
Even with the use of ozone, federal regulations require that public water systems maintain a disinfectant throughout the entire piping network. MWW now uses a  form of disinfectant called chloramine to meet this requirement.

Are there any restrictions on activities on Lake Massabesic?

Yes, the NH Department of Environmental Services and Board of Water Commissioners has adopted Administrative Rules for the protection of Lake Massabesic water quality. Boating, sailing and fishing are generally allowed in all areas east of the Auburn town line. Body contact activities such as swimming, water skiing and the use of jet skis is prohibited. In all cases we ask the public to respect the lake as a precious and fragile resource serving over 140,000 residents in Southern NH.
Where can I get information about drinking water standards?
The Town of Derry and Manchester Water Works posts its annual Water Quality Report elsewhere on thieir websites. These reports are mailed to all customers. Information is also available from the USEPA and NHDES.

What are the Derry Water Division office hours?

Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Billing questions may be directed to our customer service clerk at 432-6147.  Questions relative to bill payment may be directed to the Office of the Tax Collector at 432-6106.  Payments  made in person may be dropped off Mon, Tue, Thurs, Fri 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m or Wed 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Who do I contact for storm water and sewer problems?
You should contact the Derry Public Works Department at 432-6144.

What would cause a higher than normal water bill?

The most common cause of a high water bill is a toilet leak. These are not always easily detectable. Check the water level in the tank to make sure it is not dripping into the filler pipe. Another simple test is to add food coloring to the tank before going to bed at night. If in the morning the water in the bowl has turned to that color, then there is a leak.

Other causes of high usage could be leaks such as dripping faucets or a leaking irrigation pipe. Also, people tend to use more water during the warmer months for lawn and garden watering, car washing, filling pools, etc..

How much will my water cost me?

Effective 1/1/05, a typical single-family household in Derry should expect to pay $360/year. These amounts are based upon a typical household using 275 gallons of water per day.

What is the conversion of gallons to cubic feet?

There are 7.48 gallons in 1 cubic foot. Derry bills in hundreds of cubic feet; therefore there are 748 gallons in 100 cubic feet.

Does Derry accept payment of water bills by credit or debit cards?
Not at this time.

Can payment of my water bill be withdrawn automatically from my checking account?
Not at this time.

Is there a charge for ownership changes for utility billing?

Yes, The Town must read the actual meter inside the property (Those properties who have a meter transponder do not require access)  A $15.00 final bill charge is applied to the account.

When do I call for a final water bill?
Call at least 2 business days before the closing date (or date that you want the final bill effective) to set an appointment to have the actual meter inside the property read.   The bill will be ready on the same business day as the reading.

What information do I need for the final water bill?

In addition to the reading, The Town will need the new owner’s name, date of the closing and what needs to be done with the final bill (do you want it mailed, faxed or will it be picked up).

As a landlord, can I put a bill in a tenant’s name?

Yes. For residential property the bill can be put in “care of” the tenant. The tenant needs to come into the office to sign a Tenant Agreement form. The tenant also needs to provide proof they are living there (i.e., a lease or a letter from the owner saying you are responsible for the water bill). The next full bill will go to the tenant and there is a $1.00 charge that will be applied to each bill.
For commercial property, we will send the owner an authorization form. When the signed form is returned to us, we will change the bill in care of the tenant. Ultimately, however, an unpaid water bill is the responsibility of the property owner and is considered a lien on the property itself.

Do we need to notify the Town if we are filling a pool?

You do not need to notify us when using an outside faucet or silcock from your house for pool filling. All water usage is metered and billed at normal rates. If you want to fill the pool from a nearby fire hydrant, you or your contractor should call the Town 3 days in advance to make the necessary arrangements and pay associated charges. Bulk water is available from several area trucking firms.

Will I have to pay wastewater charges if I fill my pool through my meter?
Yes, unless you have a deduct meter. You should call the Public Works Office for questions regarding wastewater billing.  Some one-time credits may be allowed for new pool installations.

How do I apply for a new water service?

All applications for new water services should be done in person at the Public Works office at 14 Manning Street.  All applicants will need a fixture count (i.e. number of sinks, toilets, irrigation zones, if any) and a proper address for the property and the name of a Utility Service Contractor prequalified by the Town of Derry who will be responsible for the service connection.

Why do water meters need to be changed?

Like any mechanical device, water meters are susceptible to internal wear which could lead to faulty registration.  Some larger commercial meters are tested every year. There is no charge to change a meter, and customers are notified in advance to schedule an appointment.

What should I do if I notice a leak at my water meter?

The water meter is owned by the Town of Derry so please contact us immediately at 432-6147. All other plumbing fixtures are your responsibility. If such a leak occurs within the house, you should attempt to shut off the water at the nearest valve or at one of the valves located on the main line at the water meter before calling for assistance. This could save your belongings and property from being severely damaged by the water. All valves located within your home belong to the homeowner and should be maintained in proper working order.

Who is responsible to maintain the water service that feeds my house?
The Town of Derry owns and will repair any leaks that occur from the main in the street to the customer's shut-off valve. The customer is responsible for all repairs on his/her property from the shut-off valve to the building.

Is a backflow prevention device required at my property?

All residential properties with irrigation systems and/or swimming pools are required to install a backflow device to avoid cross contamination of your drinking water. Many commercial or industrial properties are also required to have testable devices and should contact the Town for more information.

How do I recognize a Town of Derry employee?

All meter readers or utility workers that visit your property are required to wear a company marked uniform and carry a photo I.D. badge.