This division is responsible for maintaining all the town's sewage system including public sewers, building sewers, force mains, and pumping stations.

Fats, Oils, & Grease

Fats, oils, & grease "FOG" are very problematic for the sanitary sewer system.  When these substances are poured or flushed down the drain into the sewer system they solidify and form blockages in the main.  These blockages can cause sewer backups into basements and properties. Please dispose of cooled FOG with your household waste, for liquid wastes please use a sealed container like an empty jug or jar.  For more information and tips on handling and proper disposal of FOG at your home or business please check out our FOG info sheet (PDF).

"Flushable" Wipes/ Baby Wipes

Do not dispose of "Flushable" wipes or baby wipes in your toilet or otherwise in the sanitary sewer system.  Please discard them bagged with you household waste.  These wipes are made of a resilient material that does not disintegrate easily in the sewer and can jam equipment, cause sewer blockages, and sewer backups (maybe into your home). For more info on what not to flush: WEF's Stop, Don't Flush That page.

Plugged Sewers & Sewage Backups

The Department of Public Works (DPW) is available around the clock including weekends and holidays to respond to blocked sewers and related backups. If the problem is located in the public sewer there is no charge for our service.

The following fees are charged to clear a blockage in the building sewer serving individual properties:
Fee Time/Type of Day
 $150 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. on Normal Work Days
$405 During Other Hours, Weekends and Holidays
DPW emergency employees can be reached when the Town Offices are closed by calling the Police Department at 413-786-4767.

The property owner is responsible for the cost of clearing blockages on the building sewer that serves only his house regardless if the blockage is in the street or on their property. We guarantee the work we do for a 3-month period unless the problem is from roots and then the guarantee is for 6 months if a private tree or 2 years if a public shade tree.

Note: Rates current as of April 18, 2017 and are subject to change.

Building Sewer/Sewer Lateral

As defined by Agawam Town Code §175-1: Sanitary Lateral or Connection - Sanitary service connections are private structures to be owned and maintained by the property owner to the point where it connects to a sanitary main in the right-of-way or Town’s easements; same as “building sewer.”

Sewer Connections

The DPW can advise you as the availability of sewer service in the community. Should sewers be available or become available you will need to obtain a permit to connect.

The cost of building sewer already installed as part of a sewer extension project must be paid in full upon application.

Sewer Entrance Fee

There is a charge of $807 per dwelling or business unit for each new unit connecting to the municipal sewer system. This charge represents a proportionate share of the investment the Town has made in the general benefit items of the sewer system such as:
  • Collection sewers
  • Force mains
  • Interceptor sewers
  • Pumping stations

Water/Sewer Bills

A complaint regarding water usage generates a check of the meter reading, a review of the customer's property for plumbing leaks, removal of meter and testing for accuracy. Abatements are not granted unless test results indicate a problem with the meter.

Meters are allowed to have a 2% accuracy range by Mass General Law. We generally find that meters read low with age and record less water than actually passes through them. In some instances where need is evident, billing for usage above historic high will be reduced to our actual cost of water/wastewater treatment.

Sewer Rate Information

The Agawam DPW currently bills for water use semiannually. The minimum sewer charge is $36.50 per billing period. (Rate information is current as of March 2017 and is subject to change.)

Sewer use rate is $3.65 per 100 cubic feet. For residential accounts, sewer billable cubic feet is 90% of water usage except accounts that have a secondary irrigation meter. Where there is a secondary irrigation meter, the sewer billable cubic feet is 100% of the water usage of the primary meter.

Note: Rates are subject to change.

Additional Document Resources