- 1. Why is Sweetwater Authority required to review jurisdictional building, grading, or improvement plans (currently in review or approved) for my project?
Each newly constructed multiunit residential structure or newly constructed mixed-use residential and commercial structure for which an application for a water connection, or more than one connection, is submitted to the Authority, shall measure the quantity of water supplied to each individual residential dwelling unit. California State Senate Bill SB-7 states such measurements are a condition of new water service. The measurement may be by individual water meters or submeters. The owner of the structure shall install individual meters or submeters that comply with all laws and regulations governing the approval of meter types or the installation, maintenance, reading, billing, and testing of meters, including, but not limited to, the California Plumbing Code and California Water Code.
Jurisdictional plan review provides the Authority the ability to:
- Verify sub-metering is provided
- Verify if the new or existing water meter are adequate for the proposed project (e.g. multiple units, landscape, fire protection, etc.)
- Review design of proposed facilities to ensure conformance to Sweetwater Authority’s Design and Construction Standards
- Ensure compliance with State and Sweetwater Authority Cross-connection requirements (backflow, greywater systems, pumps, etc.).
- Ensure compliance with State and Sweetwater Authority required water facility clearances
- Verify the water meter and fire protection system requirements associated with internal fire protection
- Ensure requested water facilities and required capacity can be provided from an existing Sweetwater Authority water main(s)
- Verify water service is available to the site
- Calculate capacity fees/charges for both Sweetwater Authority and the San Diego County Water Authority
- Categorize the type of water service, it provisions for activation/deactivation, and the applicable metering rate
- Use for cost estimate of proposed water facilities
- Verify and update the water service account to reflect any additional dwelling units to the site, e.g. change from Residential to Multi-Unit number of units 1 to 2, etc.
Also see question #3 below.
- 2. Why is Sweetwater Authority required to inspect the size of my existing/proposed private water supply pipeline?
Sweetwater Authority water meter sizing is based on the Authority Design Standards, CA Plumbing Code, and the National Fire Protection Association, if applicable. Therefore, to confirm compliance with these Standards, the Authority inspects the sizing of the private pipeline to ensure water capacity and minimum water pressure is provided for the service.
Properly sized private water supply pipelines provide:
- Adequate water capacity
- Sufficient residual water pressure to avoid cross-connection
- Adequate water pressure to operate appliances
- Sufficient flows
- 3. If I already have a water service serving my site, why do I need to inform Sweetwater Authority about the project and/or submit City or County plans?
Sweetwater Authority's Rates and Rules indicates no person shall connect a service lateral or other pipe to any Authority water main, meter, or lateral, or change the type of use of the water meter, or implement a “material change” (e.g. Building Permit, sub-division of parcel, change in use, tenant improvement, etc.) without filing an application for water service and provide copies of any city or county approved grading plans, including but not limited to, local fire protection agency flow requirements, site plans, floor plans, plumbing plan including total fixture-unit count and proposed water demands in gallons per day.
Also see question question #1 above.
- 4. Must I notify Sweetwater Authority of a connection to its distribution system, change of water meter use, or “Material Change” to my water service (e.g. Building Permit, tenant improvement, etc.)?
Yes. You must notify Sweetwater Authority of a connection to its distribution system, change of water meter use, or “Material Change” to your existing water service (e.g. Building Permit, sub-division of parcel, change in use, tenant improvements).
Owners and applicants are required to adhere to the Authority’s Rates and Rules. Non-compliance with the Authority’s Rates and Rules could result in denial or discontinuance of water service.
- 5. Why does Sweetwater Authority not allow me to tap and connect to my existing water service to serve my accessory dwelling unit?
Sweetwater Authority Standards requires each water service to include a corporation stop (valve) at the water main connection, and an angle stop (valve) at the meter connection point, and a consumer ball valve (newer installation) post meter connection. The placement of the corporation stop and angle stop allows the Authority to maintain its facilities, while the post meter ball valve permits the owner to operate their water supply. A connection to an existing service lateral, or post meter location would not allow the Authority to isolate a service, say for repair, without affecting more than one water service.
- 6. Why does Sweetwater Authority require Backflow Devices on water services?
Per California code of Regulations Titles 17 and 22, Sweetwater Authority is required to protect the public water supply from contamination by implementation of a cross-connection control program.
- The adoption of operating rules or ordinances to implement the cross-connection program.
- The conducting of surveys to identify water user premises where cross-connections are likely to occur
- The provisions of backflow protection by the water user at the user's connection or within the user's premises or both
- The provision of at least one person trained in cross-connection control to carry out the cross-connection program
- The establishment of a procedure or system for testing backflow preventers
- The maintenance of records of locations, tests, and repairs of backflow preventers