Construction Specs

Click the following links to jump to the appropriate section:
•  General Information
•  Codes
•  Inspection
•  Water Service Requirements
•  Building Sewers

General Information

These requirements are applicable to building sewers and water service lines from the property line to the house or building. These lines are maintained by the property owner, but shall be constructed in accordance with these requirements.

In order to connect to district facilities, be sure you and your contractor are familiar with these requirements. Some requirements are supplemental to uniform plumbing code (adopted by the county) due to factors particular to the region. By means of joint power agreement with the county, the district has the primary responsibility for inspection of water and sewer lines. To obtain service:

  1. Complete the application for water and/or sewer service and return it with the required fees within 10 days prior to date service is required. No connections will be allowed until this fee has been received.
  2. Near the beginning of construction, expose the district's water and sewer service at the connection point.
  3. Install the water and sewer service lines and make the connections to the system in accordance with the requirements herein.
  4. Before back-filling around the water and sewer service lines, contact the district for inspection. Your meter will be set and your water will be turned on at this time. If you need water for construction purposes before this and you have paid your connection fee, contact the district. Do not attempt to turn on the water yourself!


Sewers and water service lines must be constructed in accordance with the latest edition of the Uniform Plumbing Code, as prepared by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, except for particular requirements in excess of the Code, as stated herein.


Do not backfill until the installation has been inspected, tested, and approved for covering. Notify the district at least 24 hours prior to installation for inspection. All testing shall be performed in the presence of a district representative.

Water Service Requirements

  1. Use copper, Type K soft annealed seamless tubing, or 200 P.S.I. CTS-Mws-PE. for your service line. Copper is recommended. A dielectric union, plastic or other approved insulator must be installed at the connection point on the District's service pipe, except if the District's and the applicant's service pipe are both copper, in which case none is required.
  2. Maintain a minimum of 30 inches of cover over your service line. Frost levels often get to 30 inches.
  3. Bedding and backfill: The pipeline must be installed on a uniform bed of sand or gravel, 6" deep. After testing, the trench shall be back-filled and hand tamped to a depth of 12 inches above the top of the pipe with similar material. Native material without rocks may be used in the remainder of the trench.
  4. Install a stop drain at an accessible location underneath your house. When you turn off this valve, it automatically drains your cold water lines and prevents freezing problems. This should be at the low point of the house's water system and the next to where the water service lines pass under the foundation. Do not install any hose bibs or have any exposed piping between the stop and drain valve and the connection to the district's system. You should also use a drain at the low point of your hot water piping. During the winter, when leaving the house unoccupied, drain the water heater, open the hot water piping drain, shut off the stop and drain valve, and open all faucets.
  5. Backflow Prevention Device: A California-approved backflow prevention device shall be installed to prevent customer water from entering the public potable water system whenever the district determines there is a hazard. The backflow prevention device shall be installed in accordance with district specifications. Testing by a district-approved backflow prevention tester is required upon installation and yearly thereafter.
  6. Meters shall be furnished and installed by the District but paid for by the property owner. Where meter setters have been provided (all new subdivisions), property owners may hookup to the meter setter prior to the District setting the meter. Otherwise hookup by the property owner must await the District setting the meter.
  7. Pressure Regulators: At service locations where the water pressure is in excess of 80 PSI, property owners are required to furnish individual pressure regulators to protect the house plumbing faculties.
  8. Because of freezing, water service lines under construction shall not be left exposed overnight from September 15 – June 1. Damages to district property will be charged to the property owner.
  9. Before back-filling the trench, water service lines shall be hydraulically tested for leakage in the presence of a district representative.

Building Sewers

  1. Use only cast iron soil pipe, with rubber joints and stainless steel bands, or SDR35 (ATMD 2751) with solvent welded joints. Both must conform to the specifications set forth in the Uniform Plumbing Code.
    Where different pipe materials are joined, the joint shall be made by the use of an approved mechanical coupling specifically manufactured for use with different pipes to be joined. These couplings shall be similar and equal to Caulder Couplings and shall be approved by the district. No grouted connections will be permitted.
  2. Bedding and Backfill: Building sewers shall be installed on a 6" uniform bed of sand. After testing, the trench shall be back-filled and hand tamped to a depth of 12 inches, above the top of the pipe with similar material. The sewer pipe shall have a minimum slop of ¼ inch per foot and shall have a minimum of 12 inches of cover.
    Verify the elevation and location of your sewer lateral before finalizing your building plan. In some cases adjustments your building elevation may be necessary to allow for a ¼:1' grade on your building sewer. A slope of 1/8:1' may be used, on a difficult building sites providing prior approval is obtained from the District.
  3. Back Water Valve: If any of your plumbing facilities will be lower than one foot, above the upstream manhole cover, or on the main sewer serving your lot, (a District representative can show you where it is), you are required to install an approved backwater valve to prevent flooding of your plumbing facilities, in the event of clogged or flooded main or lateral sewer. The district will not be responsible for damages caused by flooding of its sewers; however; it will relieve the situation as soon as possible when notified. Cleaning or unplugging of the building sewer and the lateral sewer all the way to the main is the property owner’s responsibility.
  4. Cleanout: A cleanout to grade is required between the building drain and building sewer. Periodically the district may air test your building sewer along with the district’s main sewer to check for leakage. This cleanout must be accessible, so a stopper ball to be temporarily placed in your building sewer.
  5. Size: Your sewer shall be a minimum diameter of 4 inches for single family residences. Building sewers for apartments, motels, and commercial establishments shall be sized in accordance with the requirements of the Uniform Plumbing Code.
  6. Lateral Sewer Construction: Where lateral sewers have not been provided by the district to the property line, the property owner shall pay the cost of providing the required lateral in the public right of way. Work within the public right of way will be subject to requirements of the governing agencies and the district. A special permit for such connections must be obtained from the district and the property owner shall obtain all other required permits. Work within the public right of way will be performed either by the district or a licensed contractor, where approved. Any necessary bonds and insurance shall be supplied by the contractor to the district. Connect to the sewer main with an approved bolt-on saddle or wye. Where the property is too low to be served by gravity to an existing sewer line, the property owner will install an individual building pump as approved by the district.
  7. Testing: All building sewers shall be hydraulically tested after installation and before back-filling. Plug the end at the property line and fill it with water to a level at least 5 feet above the highest point in the building sewer. This test shall be done in the presence of a district representative and all visible leaks shall be repaired to the representative's satisfaction.

If freezing could be a problem during the test, the owner may elect to use an air test. In such cases, the building sewer shall be plugged (with an air test plug at one end) and pumped to a pressure of 4 pounds per square inch (PSI). The minimum allowable amount of time for the gauge to fall from 4 psi to 3 psi is 0.2 seconds per-foot for 4-inch sewers and 0.4 seconds per foot for 6-inch sewers.