Development & Construction Requirements

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Typical Development Requirements

I. New Water Service: new water service requests, review, and processing can be accomplished in several ways; however, in each case, specific requirements must be met. Plans must be reviewed and approved by the City.

  • Plans must show all existing and proposed utilities.
  • Developer must resolve any conflicts that occur with proposed water facilities.
  • Provide a minimum of five feet of horizontal clearance from City water facilities to other underground systems.
  • Provide ten feet of horizontal clearance between City water facilities and sanitary sewer facilities (mains, laterals, etc.), recycled water facilities and trees. Additionally, City water facilities must be at least one foot above sanitary sewer facilities.
  • Provide three feet minimum clearance around all above-grade water facilities.

II. Payments must be made for all proposed water improvements. Contact the Public Works Department for land and property development fees, telephone: (408) 615-3000Click to call: (408) 615-3000.

III. Applications must be filled out for all proposed services: domestic services, irrigation services and fire services.

IV. The City Fire Marshal's approval must be obtained for any proposed fire service or modification. The Fire Department telephone number is (408) 615-4970Click to call: (408) 615-4970.

V. New Sanitary Sewer Service: all new sewer services must have a City sewer cleanout installed at the developer's expense. Sewer connection and sewer capacity fees are assessed per the current fee schedule.

The City of Santa Clara Water Utility employs its own construction crews for installation of most new public water facilities. In some instances, the Water Utility, at its discretion, may authorize construction by the developer with inspection fees collected by the Water Utility. Standard detail drawings showing various water services may be found under Technical Documents.  Developer shall provide Material Submittal for review by the Water Utility Engineer prior to construction activities. See Other Miscellaneous Water Services and Fees in section below. The following fees are effective as of July 1, 2018 and are subject to periodic review and revisions.

For additional information on rates, fees, and charges and other details contact an engineer in the Water Engineering Division at (408) 615-2000Click to call: (408) 615-2000.

Hot Tapping Fees

Hot tapping fees are required for all new connections to the City's water mains. The tapping fee needs to be added to the service fees below.  Developer/contractor is to provide all tapping materials.

2 inches and smaller $1,159
3 inches and larger $2,267


Water Service Connections

5/8" x 3/4"






1- 1/2"






3"   $30,422                        $1,192  $31,614
(Dual Meters & Backflows)






(Dual Meters & Backflows)






(Dual Meters & Backflows)






(Dual Meters & Backflows)






Public Works Department Encroachment Permit fees are calculated separately by Land and Property Development Division and are not included.
  • Charges for other sizes shall be based on the cost of materials and labor expended for each installation. 
  • The City will deduct itemized costs from the total fee when they are not applicable. For service sizes 1" and smaller, deduct $234 where backflow preventer is not applicable. 
  • Where the City or entity with jurisdiction prohibits the open trenching of a public street, there will be additional charges for the necessary boring.
  • Water upgrade fees shall be based on cost of material and labor expended for each installation.

Water Mains

Public Works Department Encroachment Permit fees are calculated separately by Land and Property Development Division and are not included.

  • Where frontage exists on only one side of the street, fee is $92 per foot of frontage.
  • For on-site main extensions, fee is $167 per linear foot.

 Fire Service Connections

Service Size  installation fee Fee (W/DCDA) FEE (W/RPDA)
2"  $14,098



4"  $30,422



6"  $30,422



8"  $30,422



10"  $30,422




Service Size upgrade fee  Fee (W/DCDA) FEE (W/RPDA)
4" $12,429



6" $12,429 



8" $12,429



10" $12,429



  • Charges for other sizes will be based on the cost of materials and labor expended for each installation.
  • Fire Department approval is required for any fire service upgrades.
  • The City Fire Marshal requires that the developer provide on-site fire protection and allow a municipal hydrant located in the public right-of-way. The City has the option to install (at developer's expense) a municipal hydrant at less than the normal hydrant spacing.
Fire Hydrant
Special Fire Hydrant



Inspection Fees

Public Improvements cost     INSPECTION FEE
$0 - $15,000  $278
$15,001 - $25,000  $1,112
$25,001 - $50,000  $2,782
$50,001 - $100,000  $4,637
$100,001 - $200,000  $7,421
$200,001 - $500,000  $15,768
$500,001 - $1,000,000  $31,539
Greater than $1,000,000, for every additional $500,00 or fraction thereof  $10,203

 Public Works Department Encroachment Permit fees are calculated separately by Property and Land Development Division and are not included.

Engineering Plan Review Fees

  • Engineering plan review for Projects up to $15,000 (fee includes 3 reviews) -- $278 per plan set. Additional $92 per plan set for 4th and subsequent reviews.
  • Engineering plan review for Projects over $15,000 (fee includes 3 reviews) -- $973 per plan sheet. Additional $92 per plan sheet for 4th and subsequent reviews.
  • Inspection and Tap for small water and fire services (2" and smaller) -- $2,411.
  • Inspection and Tap for large water and fire services (3" and larger) -- $3,709.
  • Inspection and Tap for fire hydrant installation -- $3,709.

 Other Miscellaneous Water Services and Fees

  • Water meter testing (non-routine testing for accuracy) -- $275 deposit; refundable if meter falls outside accepted range. 
  • Developers shall be required to pay for engineering and inspection services rendered by the Water Utility relating to public water improvements which are installed by developer. 
  • Small Water Service (2 inches and smaller) abandonment -- $7,403.
  • Large Water Service (3 inches and larger) abandonment  -- $16,949.
  • Water Service relocation -- $6,678.
  • Water supply assessment preparation fee for development with water use equivalent greater than 499 dwelling units -- $9,275.
  • Supplemental assessment preparation -- $5,936.
  • Fire Hydrant Flow Test -- $1,298.
  • Water utility field marking -- $171 for the first 50 feet and for every additional 50 feet or fraction thereof of excavation. 
  • Recycled Water utility field marking -- $171 for the first 50 feet and for every additional 50 feet or fraction thereof of excavation. 

Water From Fire Hydrants
General Information 

Portable hydrant meter rental including backflow device is available for a $1,603 deposit, $125 of which is not refundable.  A minimum monthly charge applies. The application for a hydrant meter, Authorization For Use of Hydrant Water Meter (PDF), must be submitted to the Water Utility's office at City Hall.

It is unlawful to take water from any City fire hydrant without a meter. The penalty for using water without a meter may be a fine of up to $1,000 and a charge for the water taken at twice the normal rate, or being prohibited from taking water even with a meter (Chapter 13.15.220, City Code). Information on obtaining a portable fire hydrant meter follows:

  • Keep the meter and equipment in good condition. You will be charged full replacement cost if it is lost or damaged. 
  • Always use the spanner wrench for operating the hydrant. If the spanner wrench is lost, a replacement can be obtained from the Water Department at a nominal cost which is less than the cost of repairs you would be required to pay should the fire hydrant be damaged due to improper operation.
  • Remember the basic reason for a fire hydrant is fire protection! Remove the meter after each use in order that you do not impede the use of the fire hydrant by the Fire Department. 
  • Cross-connection control: The California Code of Regulations, Title 17, requires the use of appropriate cross-connection control when there is any potential for backflow contamination of the water distribution system. To prevent contamination, City policy requires all portable water meters include a backflow prevention assembly. 
    It is the responsibility of the party renting the hydrant meter to inform the City of the intended use of the hydrant water, particularly if it will be physically connected to any on-site equipment using water. 
  • When the meter is supplied with a backflow prevention assembly, the user agrees to keep the apparatus adequately supported. The apparatus must not be set up in a manner that is a hazard to the public safety.

Payment for water used may be handled in one of the following options:

The customer should read the portable water meter monthly and report the reading by the 20th of each month. Record the reading carefully, as you will be billed for the amount of consumption that you email to us.  Record every number on the dial including leading and trailing zeros (7 numbers - XXXXXXX). Email the company name, meter number, and reading to:

Please note: Under no circumstances is the applicant to keep the meter and/or backflow assembly for more than one year without returning the unit to the City at 1705 Martin Avenue for inspection and repair. If the assembly is leaking at any time, the applicant must contact the City's Water Department and we will dispatch a technician to investigate.

  • Customers who do not provide their meter reading each month will automatically be assessed a monthly minimum charge for each month the meter is in their possession, which is not refundable and cannot be applied toward payment for water used and reported at a later date. 
  • The City's regular water rates will apply only to water utilized within the limits of the City of Santa Clara. Water drawn for use outside the City shall be billed at 1-1/2 times the regular rate. It is unlawful to obtain water from a City hydrant for use outside City without paying for that water at 1-1/2 times the regular rate (per current water rate schedule). 
  • It is unlawful to take water from a City hydrant for such purposes as would be otherwise prohibited under a Water Conservation Plan or any Code or Ordinance of City (Chapter 13.15 Article III, City Code). 
  • When water is no longer required, return your meter promptly to the Water Service Center Meter Shop to avoid the monthly minimum charge.
  • Your deposit, less the non-refundable portion (per current fee schedule) and the cost to repair any damage to the meter, backflow prevention assembly or hydrant, and less the final billing for water usage, shall be returned to you in approximately 60 days. 
  • For further information contact the City of Santa Clara Water Department, 1500 Warburton Avenue, Santa Clara, telephone (408) 615-2000Click to call: (408) 615-2000 or FAX (408) 247-0784.

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