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Gravity sewer is the most common type of sewer service and works exactly how it sounds – sewage flows by gravity from building to sewer lateral and from there to the main sewer line. Pressurized (forcemain) sewer may be an alternative when gravity sewer is not available – sewage is pumped by a grinder pump installed near the building and travels by pressure through collection mains. Typically, a 2 inch sewer tap with check and plug valves is installed at the right-of-way.
Things to keep in mind when getting a sewer installed:
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Please note, the fees shown below are effective through September 30, 2019 and are only for flow-based fees; any fees related to hard costs - taps, connections, meters, etc. - are not included. Fees shown are for both water and sewer combined. These figures do not include Northwest Area Forcemain Surcharge fees which may be applicable for specific properties. Fees provided here are for general information only; for an official fee determination, submit a Request form for a specific property. See the Water and Sewer Fee Schedule (PDF) for a complete list of fees.
View the following payment options:
View the process for the Financial Agreement:
Contact the City Finance Department at 904-825-1030 for all questions regarding finance options.
Providing service will take some time! – Typical connections require between 60 days for simple meter-only installations, to 120 days (or more) for new service taps, following payment of connection charges. Some connections may require longer than 120 days for complex projects. It is the customer’s responsibility to pay connection charges enough in advance to allow time for service to be provided. Once installed, a new water meter is locked and can be unlocked once the user sets up a Utility Account.
If your availability request is a true unanticipated emergency situation (for example, if your well has run dry), clearly state "Emergency Request" on your availability application and provide the nature and details of your emergency. In these cases, City staff will do our best to rush the connection process following fee payment by the customer; however, certain regulations (such as utility locates and permits) must still be followed which will take some time beyond our control.
The City will not begin any work to provide service until connection fees are paid. Pay utility connection charges well in advance of when you expect to need utility service. It is your responsibility to allow enough time for service to be provided. Check your Availability Statement for the estimated time required to provide service.
A paid receipt for utility connection charges is required for a Utility Commitment, Building Permit, Business License or Certificate of Occupancy. Your Availability response will state a payment deadline or expiration date after which the response and quoted fees become void.
A paid receipt for utility connection charges is required to start the process of utility service installation. The City cannot install the service taps until you have cleared the area, established the final grade in the area of the water / sewer services, and heavy equipment will not be driving over the area of the taps. The customer is responsible for protecting the water meter and sewer tap during all construction activities. Should damage occur, the customer is responsible for paying the City for any repairs/replacement needed to restore the services to good working order. Following connection fee payment, contact the Utility T&D Department at 904-825-1043 to inquire about the schedule for your service installation.
For single-family residential homes, in some cases you may choose the location along your property boundary (street right-of-way line) where the water / sewer service will be installed. In this case, when you pay connection fees, wood stakes will be provided to you to mark the desired locations. The blue stake is for water service; the brown stake is for sewer service. The City's Utility personnel will inform you if the location of your stake(s) needs to be adjusted. Generally, water / sewer services are not allowed inside driveways or other paved areas unless specifically approved in advance and in writing by the Public Works Department.
There may be existing conditions both above and below ground that might prevent a service line from being installed in a particular place, for example: trees, roots, landscape walls, other existing utilities. It is strongly recommended that you and your plumber coordinate closely with the City for all service line locations. The City will not be responsible for building service lines installed to locations that are unacceptable for City taps to be made. Your water meter and sewer cleanout / valve will be placed at the property line. On rare occasions when the City must install the meter or sewer cleanout / valve on private property, a utility easement will be required.
Set up a Utility Account to have your new water meter unlocked after installation. At any time after you pay connection fees, email City Customer Service or call at 904-825-1037 to set up your account.
Connection charges are established and adjusted from time to time by Resolution of the City Commission passed after public hearing. Charges must be paid prior to service being provided. Customer is responsible for costs associated with making connection to the City utility, including but not limited to:
According to Section 26-51 of the City of St. Augustine Code of Ordinances, Utility Connection Fees must be paid in order to provide utility service. Utility Connection Fees cannot be waived or transferred to/from another property. See the Water and Sewer Fee Schedule (PDF) for a complete listing of fees. Descriptions of the various Utility Connection Fees are provided below:
Flow-based fees cover treatment facility improvements and maintenance, and collection, transmission and distribution system improvements and maintenance. Flow-based fees are calculated based on City Code Sections 26-51 and 26-53. Flow-based fees are a one-time charge for a specific use or flow that is calculated for the property. There is no “generic use” to calculate flow-based fees; the City Public Works Department will not permit “shell buildings”; the applicant must choose a specific use from City Code Section 26-53 for a proposed building or business modification.
If the “Flow” (calculated in gallons per day by City Code Section 26-53) for the proposed use is higher than the flow that was paid for the previous use of that property, then additional flow-based fees will be due to change the use, increase the intensity of use, or add a use. If the proposed flow is equal to or lower than the previous use, then no additional flow-based fees would be due.
The City has the right to charge for extensions and special or non-standard installations. In these cases, actual in-house costs (parts, equipment and labor plus overhead), plus any necessary outside consultant or contractor costs, plus 25% administration.
Submit a Request form to inquire about a Change-of-Use, Increase in Intensity of Use, or Additional Use at a specific property. Proposed building/business changes can trigger required updates to City utility records and flow-based fees may be due.A paid receipt for such utility fees may be required prior to changing the use of a property, increasing the intensity of use, adding a use, and/or to obtain a Building Permit, Business License or Certificate of Occupancy. Paid utility fees for a specific property are attached to that property and are not transferable should the business decide to relocate.
Flow-based fees are calculated based on City Code Sections 26-51 and 26-53. Flow-based fees are a one-time charge for a specific use or flow that is calculated for the property. There is no “generic use” to calculate flow-based fees; the City Public Works Department will not permit “shell buildings”; the applicant must choose a specific use from City Code Section 26-53 for a proposed building or business modification.
If the flow for the proposed use is higher than the flow that was paid for the previous use of that property, then additional flow-based fees will be due to change the use, increase the intensity of use, or add a use. If the proposed flow is equal to or lower than the previous use, then no additional flow-based fees would be due. The flow is calculated in gallons per day (GPD) in accordance with the uses listed in City Code Section 26-53. For this purpose, the term "flow" does not mean actual gallons of water used, such as on a monthly utility bill.City staff will research previously paid flow-based fees (flow credit) using all available resources; however, the ultimate burden for documenting a claim of flow credit rests with the applicant.
Do not assume that an existing or previous business has any "grand fathering" rights in terms of flow credit or paid flow-based fees. Submit a Request form and get the City's official flow credit determination.
The Request Form is also used for the following:
Sometimes, proposed changes of these types trigger a required update to City utility records. Also, flow-based fees may be due because of proposed changes to the building or business. Under section 4, check “Existing building currently connected to City water and sewer” and complete section 5 with as much information as possible. Attach additional pages with a more detailed description of your project. A paid receipt for utility charges may be required prior to changing the use of the property, and/or to obtain a Building Permit, Business License or Certificate of Occupancy.
Paid Utility Connection Charges for a specific property are attached to that property and are not transferable to another property. Paid Utility Connection Charges may only be refunded subject to the conditions stated in City Code Section 26-51(e):
Connection charges paid prior to the installation of facilities to provide service to a property run with the real property benefitted by the services and facilities provided and will be refunded only to the owner of the property at the time of the refund request subject to all of the following conditions:
Quotes for unpaid utility connection charges expire at the end of each City fiscal year (September 30th) or per the "Valid Through" date on Availability Statements. When this occurs, a new availability request would be required to provide current, updated availability and fee quote for the specific property. If there is no change to the City's fee schedule, then City staff may extend Availability Statement expiration dates on a case-by-case basis.
Paid utility connection charges become expired under these conditions:
In the case where utility service to a property has been inactive, abandoned or otherwise unused without payment of service or flow through the service either water or sewer in excess of ten years from the last known paid utility bill, the property is considered abandoned and carries no credit for flow based fees for the property. To re-establish service the application is treated as new service whereby new taps, service line, laterals and payment of the flow proportional connection charges shall be required in accordance with City Code as if a new property.
In the case of a new building to be constructed on the site of a building which was served by city water and/or sewer prior to being demolished, the applicant must pay the flow proportional connection charges established in this chapter based on the increase in flow between the building which was demolished and the new building. The burden for documenting the previous use of the building and the associated flow rests with the applicant. In the event that the previous building was demolished in excess of ten years from the date the new building is built or the city water and/or sewer flow or connections have been unused in excess of ten years from the date that the new building is built, the connection charges established in this article will be based on the new building.
Customer must email the City Customer Service Department or call at 904-825-1037 and request that the water meter be pulled prior to demolition. Customer and customer’s contractor are responsible for protecting existing water and sewer service taps and water meter box during all demolition and construction activities. The City will not be responsible for damage caused during demolition and construction activities. Should damage occur, the customer is responsible for paying the City for any repairs/replacement needed to restore the services to good working order. Customer is responsible for removing the water line from the building up to the meter box and for capping the existing sewer lateral at the right-of-way / property line and for marking its location.
Contact the City Customer Service Department at 904-825-1037 for all questions, information and directives related to the water and sewer account or the water meter and for disconnecting and reconnecting service. Plan ahead and allow ample time for reconnection of services. During construction of the replacement building, the contractor may request a “Construction Water Only” account in contractor’s name to not be charged sewer usage for construction water.
The City of St. Augustine assumes the continued use of all existing water and sewer service taps. Continued use is required, or the unused service must be abandoned at the main line with costs borne by the customer. The City owns the water service from the water main up to and including the meter and meter box and the sewer service from the sewer main up to the right-of-way/property line. The gravity sewer cleanout that is required just inside the customer’s property line is the customer’s responsibility. All plumbing from the water meter and sewer cleanout to the building are the customer’s responsibility.
Customer and customer’s contractor are responsible for installing a sewer cleanout one foot inside the property line (if this cleanout is not present and in good condition). Building sewer connection must be made to lateral stubout, not cut-into cleanout standpipe. Only gasketed fittings are allowed below ground – no screw-on or glued fittings. Cleanout cap must be adjusted to finished grade. Cleanouts in sidewalks shall be ADA compliant. Cleanouts in vehicular traffic areas shall be H-20 traffic rated.
The City of St. Augustine Utility Service Area extends well outside City limits. The City provides water and sewer service in many areas of St. Johns County. Use this interactive GIS map to see the service area boundary, and look up specific properties: City of St. Augustine Utility Service Area Look-up Tool
View a County-wide map of all water/sewer utility companies: St. Johns County Utility Service Areas Map (PDF)
If City water service is available, you are not allowed to install a new well or replace an existing well for drinking water. (Wells are allowed for landscape irrigation water.) If City sewer service is available, you are not allowed to install a new septic tank or replace/repair an existing septic tank.
Installation and connection of any type of water or sewer service must be approved and inspected by the City Public Works Department. It is unlawful to connect to a water/sewer system without prior authorization from the utility provider.
Customer is solely responsible for contracting with a plumber to connect the private building water line to the water meter and for all plumbing and maintenance on the customer side of the water meter.
Customer is solely responsible for contracting with a plumber to connect the private building sewer line to the gravity sewer tap, (not to the cleanout standpipe), for installing a cleanout at the property line (if one does not already exist), and for all plumbing and maintenance on the customer side of the cleanout. Cleanout must be adjusted so that the cap is at or above finished grade and located in pedestrian/sidewalk areas shall have caps that are finished flush with grade and be Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant. Cleanouts located in vehicular traffic areas shall be flush with grade and be H-20 rated.
Public Works will provide the pressure range for pressurized sanitary main connections. Customer is solely responsible for providing, installing and maintaining grinder pump, connection and all plumbing on customer side of sewer tap. Inspection by City of sewer connection is required while trench is open with a startup test of grinder pump with City inspector. Customer must provide copy of grinder pump Performance Curve and Technical Specs to City. Future upgrades to customer's grinder pump may become necessary and will not be the City’s responsibility.
You may leave your well in place for use as landscape irrigation water. However, if you choose to do so, you are required to install a backflow prevention device on the City water service, if one does not already exist.You are required by law to properly abandon your unused septic tank. The St. Johns County Health Department enforces laws related to septic tanks, and the Abandonment Permit that is required. You may be subject to fines if your septic tank is not properly abandoned.
All questions and correspondence related to septic tanks and drainfields should be directed to the County Health Department office at 904-823-2514.
Customer is solely responsible for maintenance and repair of private water/sewer lines from the building (typically, the lines installed by a building contractor or plumber). City is responsible for maintenance and repair of service taps (typically, the portion installed by the City or underground utility contractor.)
On water taps, the City owns and maintains the service tap from the water main up to and including the water meter assembly box, or, up to the property line (if no in-ground water meter is present such as on a fire sprinkler service.) On sewer taps, the City owns and maintains the service tap from the sewer main up to the right-of-way/property line or up to the first cleanout in situations such as condominiums where a right-of-way line may not exist. The gravity sewer cleanout that is required just inside the customer’s property is the customer’s responsibility. On pressurized sewer connections, the plug and check valves are the City's responsibility.
For commercial projects, all existing water and sewer utility services that will no longer be utilized must be properly abandoned by contractor by cutting, capping and repairing service connections at the utility main locations by methods directed by the City Inspector and under City Inspector’s observation. Excavation may be required in order to determine proper abandonment methods.For commercial projects, all existing water and sewer utility services intended to be reused must be investigated by the contractor and contractor is responsible for repairs and/or replacement to renew existing services, meter assemblies and sewer laterals and return to good working order. All investigative and repair/replacement methods will be as directed by the City Inspector and under City Inspector’s observation. Excavation and other procedures such as closed-circuit TV may be required in order to determine proper repair/replacement methods.
At the customer’s request and cost, the City will install a separate water meter for landscape irrigation purposes. The customer will receive a separate monthly utility bill for water use only (no sewer charges) for landscape irrigation meter usage. Follow the following steps to get one installed:
Backflow Prevention devices are required on all fire sprinkler service lines, all landscape irrigation service lines, most commercial buildings, and in some cases residential domestic water services. All costs, installation, testing and maintenance of backflow prevention devices are the sole responsibility of the customer.
Yearly testing reports must be submitted to the Public Works Department. Submit device specifications for City approval prior to installation. Backflow Prevention devices must be tested immediately after installation, and yearly, with test reports submitted to the Public Works. Questions related to backflow prevention should be emailed to the City Environmental Compliance Analyst.
In-Ground Meter or Bypass Detector is required on all backflow devices. In most cases, backflow device must be located immediately after water meter, at street right-of-way line or within 15 feet maximum of water main. For potable/domestic water use, all wetted surfaces of pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings, and fixtures used to convey water must meet the January 4, 2014 “Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act” and contain less than 0.25% lead by weight.
For utility work on commercial, institutional, redevelopment and subdivision projects, City crews typically do not self-perform this type of work. Generally, such work is deemed to be anything more than service connections for a typical single-family house. For all projects, the City reserves the right to assess the scope in terms of difficulty, design and permitting, equipment, personnel and workload to determine if City resources will be utilized for the work (or some portion thereof). When the customer/developer is responsible for utility work (determined through the Availability Request process), then civil engineering plans, review and approval by Public Works will be required, and a Florida licensed and bonded underground utility contractor must perform the work to City specifications at customer/developer’s cost. Refer to the City Construction and Dedication Requirements checklist (PDF) for more information.