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Policies for Admission to the MWRA
Massachusetts Water Resources Authority


MWRA has detailed policies that address the procedures and criteria for handling requests for services to locations outside the MWRA's water or sewer service areas.

For more information, please contact:

Pam Heidell
Policy & Planning Manager, Planning Department
(617) 788-1102


Stephen Estes-Smargiassi
Director, Planning and Sustainability
(617) 788-4303



The policies are as follows:

  • OP.04, Sewer Connections Serving Property Partially Located in a Non-MWRA Community. This policy applies to persons seeking MWRA sewer services for buildings and structures partially within and partially outside MWRA's service area. It is also known as the "Sewer Straddle" policy.
  • OP.05, Emergency Water Supply Withdrawals. This policy applies to communities outside MWRA's water service area that are seeking water on an emergency basis. The MWRA may approve emergency withdrawals for no more than six months at a time.
  • OP.09, Water Connections Serving Property Partially Located in a Non-MWRA Community, also referred to as the "Water Straddle" policy. This policy applies to all parties seeking to obtain water for a location, building, or structure situated entirely outside the MWRA water service are but located on a parcel of land, under single ownership, and which is subject to an integrated plan for use or development, that is partly inside the MWRA's water service area.
  • OP.10, Admission of New Community to MWRA Water System. This policy applies to communities seeking admission to the MWRA water system, and to state, county, institutional, and federal facilities seeking MWRA water for a location outside MWRA's water service area, as defined in MWRA's Enabling Act. (Connections and withdrawals by private entities outside the water service area are prohibited, except for those that are eligible under the straddle policy).
  • OP.11, Admission of New Community to MWRA Sewer System and Other Requests for Sewer Service to Locations Outside MWRA SewerService Area. This policy applies to communities seeking admission to the MWRA sewer system and to all parties seeking sewer services for locations outside the MWRA service area.

MWRA must approve all extension of service to entities outside the existing service area pursuant to the applicable policy noted above (see list of MWRA communities). This is the case even when an entity outside the service area is not directly connected to the MWRA, but instead to a community local system that is part of the MWRA service area.

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Updated February 18, 2015

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