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 and essential services.


The Department of Public Works has online and mobile tools to help customers conduct business, including:


Customer Service Representative Staff will be available from 7 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to answer calls and provide instruction on 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 closed, 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 the Engineering Office requesting a Permit
  2. Office Engineer or Permit Engineer will ask what the work entails
  3. Based on the work described staff will determine what Permits are required
  4. Engineering staff will determine the fee necessary and advise the Contractor
  5. Engineering staff will check to confirm that Bonds & Insurance are up to date
  6. Engineering staff will fill out the Permit
  7. Engineering staff will contact NPD to sign-off on Permit
  8. Once NPD has signed-off, Engineering staff will give to area field Inspector
  9. Field Inspector calls Contractor that Permit is ready
  10.  Field Inspector will arrange to meet (outside):
  • Have Contractor sign the Permit
  • Receive check from the Contractor
  • Give Contractor their copy of the Permit
  • Return Permit and check to Engineering staff

Yard Waste Pickup

Yard waste pickup is starting early.  Yard waste pickup will begin on Monday, March 23, 2020.  Yard waste pickup will occur on your regular trash and recycling collection day.

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.

In-person and Non-Essential Services Suspended

In order to reduce potential exposure to essential Utilities staff, effective immediately, the following non-essential services will be suspended until further notice.

  • In-home or on-site routine inspections, repairs, and maintenance
  • non-essential deliveries will be prohibited or curtailed as reasonably possible
  • customers and business visitors will be prohibited from the building
  • In-person payments are not allowed, payments can be made either online or by putting your payment in the drop off box in front of City Hall.Please include your contact information with the payment should we have any questions (name, phone number, email, etc.).

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.

Water emergencies on private properties will be addressed on a case-by-case basis in as far as crews are able to address from the outside or by referring the customer to private contractors. Utilities crews will not enter privately owned homes, buildings, or facilities to make repairs until further notice, unless it is an emergency situation.

Customer Service

Customer service representatives for billing/account inquiries and field services will continue to be available by telephone and email to assist customers.

For billing/account questions,

For water emergencies

  • 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.

Information on Eversource Projects

Find information on the Eversource Reliability Improvement Project by clicking here

Find information on the Eversource Walnut Street Pole Replacement Project by clickinghere.


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