Public Works


Our Mission:

To maintain and improve Newton’s multi-modal transportation network, utility infrastructure, fleet vehicles, and sustainable collection programs with well planned, sustainable and financially sound Public Works initiatives while providing the community with receptive customer service and effective storm event response.

Commissioner of Public Works, James  McGonagle

Chief of Staff, Shawna Sullivan

Current Department of Public Works Operations


The Department of Public Works is working to address the concerns of our residents and customers that we serve to ensure we continue to provide the reliable services.


The Department of Public Works is open to the public by appointment only.  It will fully open to the public on July 6, 2020.


Face coverings will be required to be worn by both employees and the public whenever maintaining 6' of distance is not possible per the Governor's Order.  The state order on face coverings includes a medical exemption for individuals with medical conditions that prevent the use of a face covering.  


Customer Service Representative Staff will be available from 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to answer calls and provide instruction on setting up appointments, obtaining permits and handle any other calls.  Please call (617) 796-1000 to reach a customer service representative.  If calling after hours, please leave a message and a representative will get back to you. 


For an After-Hours Emergencies please call the Police Department at (617) 796-2100.  The Police Department will dispatch the call to the appropriate party.


The public can also report issues by visiting our Newton 311 online customer support portal.


Engineering Division

While City Hall is open by appointment only, the Engineering Division will be accepting plans and providing engineering permits using the following procedures:

Engineering Plan Drop-off

  1. Persons dropping-off plans (ANR, Sub-Division, Drainage, etc.) for review by the Engineering Office will be instructed to use the large silver drop-off box located in front of City Hall.
  2. Persons must supply an e-mail address on plans, as Engineering comments on the plans will be provided via e-mail.  Persons will resubmit revised plans through drop box
  3. Payment should be attached to plans

Planning Board Acting as Board of Survey Meeting Preparation

  1. See above for plan drop offs
  2. Notification and instructions for public hearing through remote participation will be provided by the Planning & Development Department.

Engineering Permits

  1. Contractor will call to set up an appointment by calling (617)796-1020.
  2. Engineering staff will check to confirm that bonds and insurance are up to date.  No appointment will be scheduled if bonds and insurance are not up to date.
  3. Office Engineer or Permit Engineer will ask what the work entails
  4. Based on the work described staff will determine what Permits are required
  5. Engineering staff will determine the fee necessary and advise the Contractor
  6. Engineering staff will fill out the Permit
  7. Engineering staff will contact Newton Police Department to sign-off on Permit
  8. Once Newton Police Department has signed-off, Engineering staff will let the contractor know the permit is ready.  

Utilities Division

The Utilities Division top priority is the continuous and reliable delivery of drinking water service, which are critical to daily life and the public health system. Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Utilities Division is implementing several precautionary measures to protect the health and safety of essential staff that operate and maintain the public drinking water supply system.

These actions are intended to mitigate potential exposure to our employees and customers and maintain continuity of operations.

Drinking Water Operations

All operations related to drinking water will continue. Customers can be assured that their drinking water is safe and can be consumed and used as normal.  According to a technical brief issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 3, 2020, COVID-19 has not been shown to be transmitted via treated drinking water.

Water Emergencies

The Utilities Division priority is to maintain the continuous and reliable operation of the drinking water distribution system for the general population. Utility crews will continue to respond to any water emergencies (water main breaks, etc.) that arise in these systems as normal.

Customer Service

Customer service representatives for billing/account inquiries and field services will continue to be available by telephone and email to assist customers.  Customers can also make an appointment to discuss their bill with a representative at 617-796-1040.

For billing/account questions,

  • Customers and contractors can call 617-796-1640 from 7:00 am-3:00 pm or 617-796-2100 after hours.

Customers should be prepared for possibly longer call response times and should utilize email when possible. Water emergencies will be prioritized.

The Utilities Division will continue to update customers on any further changes in services due to COVID-19. 

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