Extending water service to non-residential customers begins by identifying the location of the nearest public water main. A water main extension is required if no main exists in the road bordering the property. These mainline extensions are handled just like those for residential subdivisions. See Water Service for New Residential Developments.
If a water main already exists, and is of adequate capacity to serve the business, then a mainline extension may not be required. If the business needs only a domestic tap (no sprinklers or fire systems), water service may be requested by applying for water service. In this instance, the District will tap the main and set the meter at the edge of the property. For more information on the application, see Applying for Water Service.
If the business needs water for both domestic and fire service, a private fire main is required. Fire service mains are constructed by the business owner and maintenance of fire mains is the responsibility of the business. There are several alternative configurations that are acceptable for locating the domestic meter and backflow prevention devices. The most commonly used configuration has a single combined domestic/fire main that extends from the public main into the building, then splits within the mechanical room for metered domestic service and fire service. A flow meter and approved backflow prevention device must be provided on the fire main. In some cases a “reduced pressure” backflow preventer will be required. The District’s specifications and construction standards are included in the Developer Policies, Procedures and Standards for Water Systems (DPP&S) See Construction Specification sections 2.02.U1,2.02.U2 and 2.02.V and construction detail CS-10 for acceptable devices and configurations.
For any project having fire service, engineering drawings must be submitted to the District for review prior to commencing construction. The District’s inspector will witness installation and testing and an inspection fee ($400 plus $.60 per lineal foot of fire main) is invoiced for this service. A copy of the approved sprinkler system design must also be submitted to the District. These prints are used to calculate billing for fire service.
The Berkeley County Planning Commission may require a water availability statement for the project. The District will issue an “Intent to Serve Public Water” letter. Letters are to be used only by the Planning Office and are valid for a period of one year from issue. To request 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 estimated water usage for the proposed business.
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, an Application for Water Service must be submitted by the building owner. The signed copy of the Application may be used to obtain a permit. However, if the mainline extension and/or fire main has not been completed at the time of application, the District will issue a Preliminary Tap Approval letter that may be used to obtain the building permit. In the latter case, the meter will not be set until all construction requirements are met and all fees paid.
Additional information concerning the application process is available in the Applying for Water Service section of this web site.