Dear Water Customer,
We are pleased to announce that, effective August 1, 2020, and for the first time since 1879, the Town of Hingham anticipates owning your water system – which has been renamed the Weir River Water System. This transition will mark the culmination of nearly 9 years’ worth of work by citizen volunteers, staff, and external partners from Hingham, Hull, and Cohasset. It will be a historic day for us all.
Since receiving Hingham Town Meeting approval in April 2019, we have been taking the necessary steps to transition the ownership of the water company from Aquarion. After a thorough and competitive procurement process that included representatives from Hingham and Hull, SUEZ was selected to operate and maintain the water system under the direction of the Board of Water Commissioners. SUEZ is an industry leader, with more than 150 years of experience in providing safe drinking water to communities throughout the United States. Most of the local Aquarion employees have accepted job offers with SUEZ, providing important continuity of operations and system knowledge.
Aquarion will continue to provide billing services (in partnership with SUEZ) for approximately six months after closing. In 2021, SUEZ will take over full customer billing operations, which will include the opening of a local customer service walk-in office.
Additional transition activities that have been completed include the preparation and approval of a business plan from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, the hiring of a Water Superintendent, and the development of water system rules and regulations.
Hingham has also completed the financing for the acquisition. As part of that process, the Town received the highest credit rating of Aaa from each of the three major credit rating agencies – Fitch, Moody’s, and S&P – on our Series 2020 General Obligation Bonds. This rating, combined with historically low interest rates, will benefit all water customers now and well into the future.
While you will be getting more information in the weeks to come, here are a few important things to know before August 1:
- Water service will not be interrupted by the ownership transfer.
- Water rates are unaffected by the ownership transfer.
- All customers will receive one final bill from Aquarion for service through July 31, 2020.
- Your normal billing cycle should not change.
- Water restrictions will remain in effect.
- Safety Valve water line protection plans are unaffected by the ownership transfer.
Additional important information can be found on the back of this letter or at www.weirriverwater.com. We recommend keeping this letter as a reference.
In closing, we are excited about our new ownership of the water system, our partnership with SUEZ, and the opportunity to help better serve our communities.
Board of Water Commissioners, Weir River Water System
- Who is SUEZ?
- Does SUEZ have experience operating water systems?
- What will SUEZ do for the Weir River Water System?
- Will water rates change?
- Will the frequency of bills change?
- How do I pay my Weir River Water System bill?
- Will account numbers or payment methods change?
- Who do I contact with questions about my bill?
- Who do I contact to obtain the documents needed to apply for a new water service or a water main extension?
- How does the ownership change affect water restrictions?
- What is the irrigation schedule?
- How will I be notified about alerts or outages?
- Who do I contact to start or stop service?
- I have a seasonal water meter. Who do I contact to have it installed/removed?
- Who do I contact with service questions or water issues (water main break, discolored water)?
- What are my rights as a water customer?