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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Frequently Asked Questions - Do You Know? - Providence Water

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).