This section contains information about the Water Department finances.

The Water Department operates as an enterprise system and all expenses must be covered by the collection water rates and fees.  As a result the budget contains a few sections other budgets do not.

Operating Budget

Salary - The salary section contains line items related to the compensation of the Water Superintendent.

Wages - The wage section contains several line items to fund the union and non-union hourly wage positions in the department.  Also included in this section is a line item for outside help which is typically used to pay overtime to employees of other departments that work at water main breaks, hydrant flushing, etc.

Other - This major line items in this section provide funding for electricity, water treatment, water testing, public works supplies, emergency and non-emergency maintenance, bill printing and mailing, and other maintenance activities.


The Water Department operates on an enterprise accounting system.  Each year the Town is reimbursed for expenses paid on behalf of the Water Department through Indirect Costs.  The costs include expenses such as telephone service, insurance, legal fees, financial and personnel services, retirement benefits and police services.  The Town Accountant calculates Indirect Costs each year for the last complete fiscal year.

The costs can vary from year to year and are particularly sensitive to changes in staffing levels.  The Water Department is comprised of 3 full-time and one part-time employee.  Costs rose by 48% in FY2017 because FY2016 costs were artificially low as the multi-year history shows.  

In FY2014, on which the FY2016 costs were based, we were down one operator for 8 months of the year which lowered health and retirement expenses.  The new operator was hired at the end of FY2014 and costs in FY2015 returned to normal levels.  The cost increase from FY2015 to FY2017 is only 3% over two years.


This section of the site contains information about the Water Department Budget.  Descriptions of various sections and actual budgets will be posted.

Pay your water bill online

81009 83017 0Please visit the Unibank site to pay your water or tax bills online.


Water Department

279 Boston Street

Topsfield, MA 01983


911 -  After Hours Emergency

Office Hours: Monday-Friday 7 AM to 2:00 PM

Highway Department

279 Boston Street

Topsfield, MA 01983


Hours: Monday-Friday 7 AM to 3 PM