Providence Water, although a department of the City of Providence, is regulated by state and federal agencies in addition to city policies and procedures. The quality of our treated drinking water is regulated by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Rhode Island Department of Health. Our revenue and rate structure is regulated by the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission.

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Do You Know...?

Who oversees the daily operation of Providence Water?

The General Manager, the Deputy General Manager of Administration, and the Deputy General Manager of Operations oversee the daily operations at Providence Water.

How many service connections Providence Water has?

Providence Water has approximately 74,000 service connections.

How many employees work at Providence Water?

On average, Providence Water has 250 employees.

What retail areas Providence Water serves?

Providence Water serves Providence, North Providence, Cranston, Johnston, and East Smithfield.

How many wholesalers Providence Water supplies?

Providence Water provides water to (8) wholesalers - Greenville Water, the City of East Providence, Town of Smithfield, Lincoln Water, Kent County Water, Bristol Water, City of Warwick, and Town of Johnston.

What size water meters Providence Water installs?

Providence Water installs 5/8", 3/4", 1", 1.5", 2", 3", 4", 6", 8", 10", and 12" meters.

How many miles of water mains are in our system?

Providence Water has approximately 1,040 miles of water mains in our distribution system - enough to stretch from Providence to Florida!

What purpose the aerators (located in front of the water treatment plant) serve?

The aerators located in front of our Purification Plant are used to improve the taste of the water, as well as to remove any unpleasant odors.

What chemicals are added to our drinking water?

Chlorine, ferric sulfate, fluoride, and lime.

How far below ground the water mains are?

Water mains are generally located 4 feet below ground.  This distance help to protect the mains from frost in colder climates.

How many fire hydrants are in the distribution system?

There are approximately 5,783 fire hydrants in our distribution system.

What the term "gravity-fed" means?



Flow from the source of water supply is entirely by gravity.  At present, the mode of delivery within the distribution system is 75% by gravity and 25% by pumping.

What water mains are made out of?

We have several types of main in our distribution system:  cast iron, ductile iron, concrete, steel, and asbestos cement.

How large the water mains are in the distribution system?

Water mains are various in size, ranging from the smallest (6") to largest (102") in diameter.

How old the water mains are?

Many of the water mains in our distribution system were installed over 100 years ago.

What the water mains were made out of in the late 1800s?

The first water pipes in the US were made from wood (bored logs that were charred with fire).

What the dimensions are for the Scituate Reservoir dam?

The Scituate reservoir dam is 3,200 feet long and 100 feet high.

How much water is in the Scituate Reservoir?

The storage capacity of the Scituate Reservoir is approximately 39.7 billion gallons.

 How deep the Scituate Reservoir is?

 The average depth is 32 feet, the maximum depth is 90 feet.

How often the water "turns" in the Scituate Reservoir and why it turns?

Turns occur right around April and October.  During the change of season, water temperatures differ from top to bottom. The different temperature waters have different density. The heavier water sinks while the lighter water rises thus causing a seasonal turn.

What the average yearly rainfall at the Scituate Reservoir is?

 The average yearly rainfall at the Scituate Reservoir is 49.66 inches.

If fishing is allowed in the Scituate Reservoir?

Fishing is not allowed in the Scituate Reservoir.

How hot/cold the water gets in the Scituate Reservoir?

Excluding the ice cover, the water temperature goes down to approximately 35 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter and climbs to approximately 59 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer (based on the depths that we draw from, not the surface).

What color the water is in the Scituate Reservoir?

The water in the Scituate Reservoir has a tint depending on the biological species present but overall it has a blue appearance.

If the water in the Scituate Reservoir is treated before you can drink it?

Yes, the water needs to be treated to reduce chemical and bacteriological contaminants.

How many Olympic-sized swimming pools it would take to fill the Scituate Reservoir?

It takes six and a half years for the average American residence to use the amount of water required to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool (660,000 gallons).  The calculation is as follows:  (Scituate Reservoir) 39,746,000,000 divided by (Olympic-sized pool) 660,000 = 60,221 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

What the surface area of the Scituate Reservoir is?

The surface area of the Scituate Reservoir is 5.3 sq. miles, or 3,390 acres.

How many square miles comprise our watershed?

The watershed is 92.8 square miles.

How much land in owned by Providence Water in the Scituate Reservoir watershed?

Providence Water owns 5,000 acres of water and 13,000 acres of forest.

How many species were identified in the 2011 BioBlitz that was held on the Providence Water property?

1,000 species were identified (including plants and animals).

What the favorite food is for deer in the watershed?

 The leaves of young tree seedlings.

What forest products are generated from the watershed?

Firewood, lumber, mulch, witch hazel, maple syrup, and wood chips for energy.

If any recreational activities can take place on Providence Water property?

Personal recreational activities are not compatible with drinking water security but we do encourage participation in the guided tours we offer.

In which towns the Scituate Reservoir watershed is located in?

Scituate, Foster, Glocester, Western Cranston, and Western Johnston.

What the five main tributary reservoirs are that flow into the Scituate Reservoir?

The Barden, the Moswansicut, the Ponaganset, the Regulating Reservoir, and the Westconnaug.

What the largest physical asset that the City of Providence owns?

The watershed property is the largest physical asset that the City of Providence owns.

How many trees were planted on old farm land after the creation of the Scituate Reservoir watershed?

7 million trees have been planted.

What are some of the larger tree species (i.e. those that grow large enough to have value as wood products)?

White pine, red pine, pitch pine, scarlet oak, red oak, black oak, white oak, white ash, and yellow birch.

How much water is used to flush a toilet?

A standard toilet uses 3.5 gallons of water to flush.  All of those flushes can add up to approximately 20 gallons per day.

How much water it takes to fill an average bathtub?

Taking a bath requires up to 70 gallons of water.

How much water the average person uses per day?

 The average resident uses about 100 gallons of water per day.

How many gallons of water an average person will drink in their lifetime?

 If the average person drinks the 'required' 64 ounces of water per day and lives to age 80, he/she will consume 14,600 gallons of water during their lifetime.