Water & Sewer Extensions
Stafford County Water and Sewer Extension Policy
The Stafford County Board of Supervisors desires to protect the public health, safety, and welfare of Stafford County citizens. The majority of the County’s developed properties are serviced by public water and sanitary sewer services; yet, there are developed areas within Stafford County that are not serviced by public water and sanitary sewer services. Public health concerns arise when these properties experience failing septic tanks and wells.
The purpose of this policy (hereinafter referred to as “Policy”) is to establish an equitable, documented, uniform, and systematic mechanism by which Stafford County Department of Public Works (Utilities Division) (hereinafter referred to as the “Department”) can plan and extend its public water and/or sanitary sewer utility services to those developed properties not currently served by the same and that experience documented well and/or septic system failure. This policy replaces all previous policies related to the extension of water or sanitary sewer services to existing residential neighborhood and/or individual private parcels or properties.
Under this Policy, the following terms shall be defined as follows:
Design Deposit shall mean the percentage of costs that must be paid by an Eligible Property Owner in order to proceed with the design of a Project. Design Deposits must be accompanied with an executed payment agreement and are non-refundable once the Design Phase commences.
Design Phase shall mean the design of the public water and/or sanitary sewer facility extension performed by the Department, or through its agents or contractors.
Eligible Property shall mean an existing and developed lot within the Extension Area. In addition, upon the discretion of the Department, documented evidence of the well or septic system’s failure or state of failure may be required from (1) a Virginia licensed Onsite Soil Evaluator (OSE), (2) a Virginia licensed Professional Engineer (PE) and (3) the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).
Eligible Property Owner(s) shall mean the title holders and record owners of an Eligible Property within the Extension Area as listed in records of the Stafford County Commissioner of Revenue, that have obtained certification from (1) a Virginia licensed Onsite Soil Evaluator (OSE), (2) a Virginia licensed Professional Engineer (PE) and (3) the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), that states that no other suitable, onsite disposal system is available for the Eligible Property.
Extension Area shall mean an area of developed lots, subdivision, or development that is within 300 feet of a public water or sewer line, as defined by the Department.
Private Connection Costs means the costs to Eligible Property Owners for pipes, labor, availability and connection fees, and other appurtenances that may be necessary to properly connect a dwelling unit to the public water and/or sanitary sewer system.
Project shall mean the construction, installation, and extension of the public water and/or sanitary sewer facilities and all action necessary to administer the same.
Utility Extension Application shall mean the Departmental form that permits property owners to submit a written request to extend public water and/or sanitary sewer services to an Extension Area.
III. Extension of Water or Sanitary Sewer
Eligible Property Owner(s) may petition the County for extensions of public water or sanitary sewer utilities within the scope of this policy. Any extension that is determined by the Department to be outside of this scope will not be considered under this Policy.
A. Extension Projects (EP)
An EP is an extension of up to 300 feet of public water or sewer per Eligible Property within an Extension Area, with the remaining Private Connection Costs being required of the Eligible Property Owner(s). All EPs are subject to available funding. The Department may consider EPs with costs in excess of available County funding, or for extensions greater than 300 feet of public water or sewer per Eligible Property, if those excess costs are born entirely by the Eligible Property Owners.
1. EP Requirements.
Each EP is permitted to extend water and/or sewer to Eligible Property (s) within an Extension Area. All EPs are subject to the following conditions:
(a) EPs are subject to the ability of the Department to accommodate the request at the discretion of the Director of Public Works or their designee.
(b) In his/her consideration of the request, the Director of Public Works shall consider the number of Eligible Property Owner(s), size of the Extension Area, cost savings of connecting multiple parcels in one Project, good engineering practices, and all other conditions deemed applicable by the Department.
(c) EPs shall conform to the Stafford County Comprehensive Plan, good engineering practices as determined by the Director of Public Works, and all standards for design, construction, maintenance and performance.
IV. EP Process
(a) General EP Requirements
• Eligible Property Owner(s) shall submit a Utility Extension Application and in the case of a Public Sewer Extension request shall provide certifications from (1) a Virginia licensed Onsite Soil Evaluator (OSE), (2) a Virginia licensed Professional Engineer (PE) and (3) the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), that states that no other suitable, onsite disposal system is available for the Eligible Property. In the case of a Public Water Extension request the Eligible Property Owner shall submit a Utility Extension Application and provide certifications from (1) the VDH and (2) a certified well driller that states that no other suitable well site is available for the Eligible Property. No Utility Extension Application will be accepted without the required certifications.
• The Director of Public Works or their designee will establish a preliminary alignment and cost of Project, and determine if the Project will comply with all standards and the ability of the Department to accommodate the request.
• All Eligible Property Owner(s) must provide the Design Deposit and payment agreement to the Department before any Design Phase will proceed. Design Phases are required prior to the construction of the Project.
(b) EPs Less than $50,000
• EPs that are estimated to cost less than $50,000 may be approved administratively by the Director of Public Works or their designee.
• Approved EPs will proceed to the Design Phase as provided under subsection (e) below.
(c) EPs Greater than $50,000
• EPs that are estimated to cost more than $50,000, will be sent to the Utilities Commission (UC) for consideration. The EP must obtain the majority support from the UC for a recommendation of approval.
• Once UC approval is obtained, and if the EP’s cost is less than $100,000, the EP will proceed with the Design Phase as provided under subsection (e) below.
(d) EPs Greater than $100,000
• EPs that are estimated to cost more than $100,000, but less than $250,000, require the majority support of the BOS.
• The BOS may consider the request and recommendation of approval from the UC, and determine if the EP should proceed to the Design Phase.
• If BOS approval is obtained, the EP will proceed with the Design Phase as provided under subsection (e) below.
• Projects with an estimated cost greater than $250,000 shall not be allowed under this policy but may be pursued under a Service District. The County may terminate a Project for excessive costs.
(e) Design Phase
• The Department must receive a non-fundable Design Deposit and an executed payment agreement from each Eligible Property Owner.
• The Department, or its agent, will design the Project and acquire the necessary easements from the adjacent Eligible Property (s) and any other affected property owner.
• Eligible Properties that connect to the public water or sewer line as a result of the EP shall not be compensated for easements. Properties that received compensation for easements that do not connect at the time of construction shall be required to return those funds prior to connection.
(f) Final BOS Approval
• Following the Design Phase, the EP will be submitted back to the BOS for approval of the construction of the Project.
• If the BOS approves the project for construction, the County will bid the Project for construction. At that time the Eligible Property Owner(s) must pay the Extension, Water and Sewer Availability and all other applicable fees, as described in Section IV., in full or enter into a payment plan with the County.
• Final construction costs and the EP construction contract will be presented to the BOS for approval.
The following fees shall be required once EP is approved by the BOS.
Extension Fee: $15,000 per property for each water or sewer (includes Connection Fee)
Design Deposit: $1,500 per property for each water or sewer Water and Sewer
Availability Fees: Reference Water/Sewer Availability, Connection, and Service Fees Schedule