What We Do
Since 1876, the Rochester Water Bureau has been delivering quality drinking water from Hemlock and Canadice Finger Lakes located 28 miles south of the City of Rochester. In 2013, the Rochester Water Bureau was voted as the best tasting water in New York State. The Water Bureau also maintains an abundant surplus of water at three reservoirs, one located in the town of Rush NY and the other two at beautiful and historic Highland and Cobbs Hill parks in the City.
On yearly average, the Water Bureau delivers 37 million gallons of water each day to the residents of the City of Rochester and also sells water to the Monroe County Water Authority and several towns from Hemlock north to the City line. The Water Bureau also maintains 75 miles of conduits from Hemlock to Rochester, 570 miles of distribution mains, 7,100 fire hydrants, 57,000 water meters and 19,000 water valves.
Patrick O'Connor, Director
Bureau of Water
10 Felix Street
Rochester, NY 14608
email the director
For all water billing questions, call 311, or outside of the city, call (585) 428-5990.
Water Works History
Helpful Documents for Contractors
Water Materials - Facilites and Equipment
This section is responsible for procuring Water Bureau equipment, parts, supplies and inventory. This also includes maintenance of the seven acre complex and 78,000 square foot Water Operation Center.
This division implements the capital program through design, plan review, and construction inspection services. It maintains and updates the official records of all water facilities. Engineering has two operational arms: design and field. Design engineering performs hydraulic testing of the water system, develops specifications and contract documents, and plans the system repairs and improvements, including the coordination of water main work with street improvement projects. Field engineering inspects water construction projects to assure compliance with specifications, and records construction data for customer and office use.
Water Production and Treatment
This division monitors the water quality and flow while operating and maintaining the chemical treatment facilities for the system. This includes managing the watershed at both Hemlock and Canadice Lakes, maintaining the reservoirs at Rush, Cobbs Hill, and Highland Park, and operating the Hemlock water treatment facility.
Water Supply and Maintenance
This service division provides maintenance for the 30-miles of upland water conduit that supplies the City, and all watershed properties and reservoir structures.
The Division of Water Distribution is comprised of five activities (Dispatch, Grid Maintenance, Hydraulic Maintenance, Meter Services, and Technical Support) that are responsible for providing an abundant supply of wholesome water for public and private use within the City of Rochester. It is the responsibility of this Division to insure that the piping in which this water travels, and metering system which calculates the annual income is well maintained.
Dispatch – This activity provides immediate response to all water system emergencies on a 24 hour basis. It also keeps records of worked preformed in the distribution system on a daily basis. Jobs and information regarding the water system is relayed to field personal via two-way radio and telephone.
Grid Maintenance – This activity maintains and repairs all water mains, fire hydrants, services, and valves within the distribution system. It is the responsibility of this unit to respond to water emergencies on a 24 hour basis and insure that quality service is provided.
Hydraulic Maintenance – This activity is responsible for the preventative maintenance of the water distribution system. It does this through aggressive programs which include leak location, water waste surveys, water main flushing, and valve exercising. It is the intent of this activity to identify system deficiencies on a pro-active basis to avoid costly damage to roads and property within the City.
Meter Services - This activity is responsible for maintaining the metering system for residential, commercial, and municipal users within the distribution network. It does this through an aggressive repair and replacement program which insures that our meters are well maintained and are running accurately. This activity also manages the City’s backflow prevention program to insure that proper inspection of backflow devises and the identification newly needed devises.
Technical Support – This activity provides the technical support to Water Bureau staff, private contractors and plumbers, as well as responding to customer inquiries through our Dispatch office. They perform work such as the location of City owned underground piping and street lighting for contractors and other utilities digging within the City. This group also responds to water emergencies to shut water mains, secure areas for safe passage, properly notify customers, and safely operates the system to insure our customer’s safe drinking water.