Water Service for New Residential Developments

A mainline extension will be required to provide water service to new developments and to existing lots not already on public water. These mainline extensions are completed at developer expense and include the water mains, fire hydrants, valves, all individual water services (taps, service lines, meter box, etc). The project may also include off-site improvements (eg, main upgrade), if such improvement is hydraulically necessary to serve the proposed development. District's Developer Policies, Procedures and Standards for Water Systems (DPP&S) describes all mainline extension requirements in detail. A copy of the DPP&S may be picked up at the District's office upon payment of $10.00 for reproduction costs.

The mainline extension process begins with the developer signing an Alternate Mainline Extension Agreement. After the Agreement is signed by the developer, it is forwarded to the West Virginia Public Service Commission for approval, and is then executed by the District.

The next step is the production of engineering drawings for the mainline extension. It is recommended that the developer's engineer meet with the District at the onset of the project to identify any unique requirements early on in the design process. Engineers should refer to the DPP&S for construction details, material requirements, submittal guidelines and other requirements.

Engineering drawings must be stamped by a registered engineer and submitted to the District for review. Engineers should allow two or three review cycles for water system design drawings. Once the drawings are acceptable, the engineer must submit original mylars for approval and signature at the District's Board of Directors Meeting. After the drawings are signed, the engineer must pick them up and forward two sets of the signed drawings to the District for its use. Electronic drawing files must also be submitted.

For most projects, the engineer must submit hydraulic calculations (hand computations or output from hydraulic modeling software) that predicts static and firefighting pressures and flows within the development. Typically, the model starts with flow and pressure test data obtained from a fire hydrant nearest the development. The District has test data for many hydrants in the system, and this data is available at no cost to engineers running hydraulic computations. However, if data is not available for a specific hydrant, then the requesting party must forward payment of $50 to conduct the test. The location of hydrants may be determined from the 911 map of Berkeley County (go to www.berkeleycountycomm.org: on the left side of the home page, under Common Topics - Services, select "GIS Maps"). For additional information concerning the hydraulic calculations, refer to the DPP&S.

Commonly required permits include the Permit to Construct from the West Virginia Department of Health and a utilities construction permit from the West Virginia Division of Highways. The District must be shown as the applicant and must sign the application forms for both of these permits. Refer to the DPP&S for additional information concerning permitting.

Fees for mainline extensions include the engineering review fee (lump sum of $300 plus $.20 per lineal foot of mainline extension) and a fee for construction inspection (lump sum of $400 plus $.60 per lineal foot of mainline extension). The developer is invoiced for the fees.

The Berkeley County Planning Commission requires that all developments proposed to be served with public water obtain an availability letter from the water provider. The District will issue an "Intent to Serve Public Water" letter for use by the Planning Office. Statements are valid for a period of one year from issue. To obtain the letter, submit a written request that includes a description of the proposed land use, a sketch plan, map or plat showing the site, and the number and type of services to be set.

To obtain a building permit, the County Engineer 's office requires documentation to confirm that public water is available. The District provides this documentation in two ways. First, if the mainline extension is not yet completed, the District will issue a Preliminary Tap Approval letter that may be used to obtain the permits for a group of lots. If the mainline extension is already completed, an Application for Water Service must be submitted for each lot; the signed copy of the Application may be used to obtain a permit for each lot. Additional information concerning the application process is available in the Applying for Water Service section of this web site.

Following an on-site preconstruction meeting, payment of all fees, and receipt of necessary permits, the developer may begin construction of the water system. The work will be inspected by the District's inspector. After all tests have been conducted, the District issues a Certificate of Substantial Completion. At that point, the water system installed by the developer is turned over the District and new services may be activated.

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