ADA Compliance
The City of St. Augustine remains committed to providing accessibility to all and provides for handicapped accessible parking in the city. For a map of accessible parking locations, Click Here To notify the city regarding accessibility concerns contact: Will Franke, Building Official, Phn: 904.825.1065, Fax: 904.209.4335, Email: wfranke@citystaug.com; or Todd Grant, Public Works Deputy Director, Phn: 904.825.1040, Fax: 904.209.4286, Email: tgrant@citystaug.com. You may also write either of these contacts at City of St. Augustine, P.O. Box 210, St. Augustine, FL 32085-0210.

Consumer Confidence Report
The City of St. Augustine remains committed to providing clean and safe drinking water. For the previous year's sampling results please click here. To notify the city regarding water treatment concerns contact: Patrick Timoney, Water Treatment Plant Supervisor, Phn: 904.825.1044, Fax: 904.823-2280, Email: ptimoney@citystaug.com; or woperators@citystaug.com, or write the City of St. Augustine, P.O. Box 210, St. Augustine, FL 32085-0210.

Utility Availability, New Connections & Changes of Use
Frequently Asked Questions

( Updated 10.01.12; subject to change at any time without notice. )

Click on each question for information.

For a print-friendly copy, click here.

Questions

1. What is the first step I need to take?

2. How long will it take to provide water and/or sewer service?
3. How can I pay Utility Connection Charges?
4. When should I pay Utility Connection Charges?
5. How do I unlock my water meter, set up, activate or change a City Utility Billing Account?
6. What are Utility Connection Charges?
7. If my building already has water and/or sewer connected, why do I need to fill out a Request for Letter of Availability form?
8. Are Utility Connection Charges transferable?
9. My property is outside City limits; why do I have to contact the City for utility service?
10. Is City Water and Sewer Connection Mandatory?
11. Where will my new water and/or sewer services be located?
12. If I am constructing a new building, at what point during construction is the City able to install my utility services?
13. Is construction water available?
14. What sizes of water and/or sewer services are available?
15. Are double services allowed?
16. How do I obtain a separate water meter for Landscape Irrigation?
17. How can I obtain Fire Hydrant Flow Test information?
18. Are Backflow Prevention devices required?
19. What is the difference between gravity sewer and force main?
20. Who connects the building to the new water and/or sewer service?
21. Who is responsible for maintenance and repair of service connections?
22. Where can City utilities be installed?
23. When is the City utility work crew not responsible for installation of water and sewer services?
24. Are Master Meters allowed?

25. Demolition of existing building connected to City water and/or sewer?
26. What is required for existing wells and septic tanks after connection to City water and/or sewer?
27. What if I want to develop property that is not adjacent to existing City water and/or sewer lines?
28. What are the water and sewer Utility Assessment Fees (Flow-Based Fees) for some standard types of uses?

Answers

1. What is the first step I need to take?
The first step is to determine water and/or sewer availability for the specific property. A Request for Letter of Availability form must be filled out and submitted to City Public Works in order to provide utility information. Utility information will not be given out over the phone or in person. (Submitting this Request form neither guarantees service nor commits the customer to connect.) By submitting this Request form, you will receive an official Availability Letter for the specific property with water and/or sewer availability, all estimated connection charges, important information, and further instructions to proceed with utility connection. Please read your letter carefully and thoroughly.

  • Letters of Availability are typically completed within 3 business days to 2 weeks, or longer, from the date a Request for Letter of Availability form is received at City Public Works, depending on the workload at the time the request is received, the complexity of the request and research needed. Please allow time for this process.
  • At this time, there is no charge for Requests for Letters of Availability. There is no limit on the number of Requests or properties for which a customer may ask for availability.
  • It is strongly recommended that you submit your Request for Letter of Availability form well in advance of when you may expect to need utility service (see # 2 below.)
  • If your property has a well or septic tank, even if operating properly, it is strongly recommended that you submit a Request form to be better prepared in the event that the well or septic tank fails or needs replacement (see # 2 and # 10 below.)
  • Utility connection charges are not the same for all properties; charges can vary greatly, and there are many factors used to determine connection fees for a specific property. Therefore, it is important to request utility availability for each property separately. Do not assume that connection charges for one property are the same or similar for another property.
  • Availability of water and sewer for one property may not be the same for an adjacent or nearby property. Do not make assumptions of availability based on nearby or adjacent properties. Also, permitting regulations that the City is required to follow have changed in recent years; therefore, the City may not be able to install utilities in the same manner as was done previously.
  • It is suggested that you request availability for all utilities, both water and sewer, that you may have interest in both now and in the future, to have ample information for planning ahead.
  • Clearly and legibly write all phone numbers by which you can be contacted on the Request form.
  • It is important to provide as much information as possible on the Request form.
  • It is important to properly complete section 4 of the form. If at any time the property had a structure on it which has been or will be demolished, check the first two boxes in section 4.
  • You may attach a second page to the Request form with a more detailed, written explanation of your request. More information is always better than less.
  • Preliminary Letters of Availability will be written if all necessary information cannot be provided at the time of the request. These preliminary letters give the customer an idea of what to expect. A final letter can be written once enough details are finalized.
  • Completed Request forms may be emailed to the City at UtilConnect@citystaug.com. Request forms may be faxed to the City at (904) 209-4286, or mailed to: City of St. Augustine Public Works Department, P.O. Box 210, St. Augustine, FL 32085. Request forms may be dropped off in person at the Public Works Department – Lobby B – 4th Floor – City Hall – 75 King Street. Letters of Availability will be returned to the applicant via mail, and by fax or email, if requested by the applicant. (Please include a legible fax number or email address on the form.)


2. How long will it take to provide water and/or sewer service?
It is important to understand that providing service may take some time – Typical connections require between 30 days and 60 days following payment of connection charges to provide service. It is the customer’s responsibility to pay connection charges enough in advance to allow 60 days for service to be provided. Once installed, a new water meter is locked. Set up a Utility Account to unlock it for use (see # 5 below.)


3. How can I pay Utility Connection Charges?
Payment of Utility Connection Charges can be made in one of the following ways:
      a. Pay the connection charges in full by mailing a check to the Public Works Department.
      b. Pay the connection charges in full, in person by check, cash or credit card (Visa or MasterCard), at the Public Works Department – Lobby B – 4th Floor – City Hall – 75 King Street.
      c. Make partial payments by financing through the “Deferred Payment of Utility Connection Charges” program, available for properties with existing homes or businesses; not for vacant land. This program is the best assistance the City has for helping customers with connection charges.

  • First, a Letter of Availability for the subject property is required.
    Owner provides a copy of recorded Warranty Deed or recorded Quit Claim Deed (all property owners must sign agreement.)
  • City prepares all of the paperwork (no forms for the customer to fill out.)
  • For residential, a non-refundable $100.00 filing fee is added to the total financed portion of the connection charges. For commercial, a non-refundable $100.00 filing fee is paid up front.
  • For residential properties, an optional down payment can be made in any amount. For commercial properties, a minimum of 10% of the total connection charges or minimum $1,000 must be paid as a down payment.
  • For residential properties, the remaining balance is financed over a period of your choice, up to ten years; the minimum monthly payment is $25.00 per month. For commercial properties, the remaining balance is financed over a period of your choice, up to ten years; the minimum monthly payment is $125.00 per month; the maximum balance that can be financed is $25,000.
  • The finance rate is very minimal. Customer is billed monthly through the City’s utility billing.
  • The interest rate is fixed over the life of the debt, and there is no penalty for early payment.
  • The deferred connection charges become a lien against the property, until paid in full. In the event of payment delinquency, the City may disconnect utility services and may require all remaining amount owed under the payment plan to be paid before reconnecting services.

4. When should I pay Utility Connection Charges?
Pay utility connection charges well in advance of when you expect to need utility service. It is your responsibility to pay connection charges enough in advance to allow 60 days for service to be provided. A paid receipt for utility connection charges is required for a Utility Commitment, Building Permit, Use Permit or Certificate of Occupancy. Also, note the payment deadline stated in the letter.

5. How do I unlock my water meter, set up, activate or change a City Utility Billing Account?
Set up a Utility Account to have your new water meter unlocked after it is installed. Contact the City Customer Service Department at (904) 825-1037 regarding setting up, activating or changing a Utility Account, the deposits that may be required, and for any questions related to monthly billing. See the Water and Sewer Fee Schedule for a complete listing of fees.

6. What are Utility Connection Charges?
According to Section 26-51 of the City of St. Augustine Code of Ordinances, Utility Connection Charges must be paid in order to provide utility service. Utility Connection Charges cannot be waived. There are various ways to pay Utility Connection Charges (see above # 3). See the Water and Sewer Fee Schedule for a complete listing of fees. Descriptions of the various Utility Connection Charges are provided below:

  • Tapping fees are the charges for adding a service tap to the City’s utility system, and for the water meter installation.
  • Flow-based fees are intended to 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. Generally, flow-based fees are a one-time charge for a specific use or flow that is calculated for a specific property. There is no “generic” use by which to calculate flow-based fees; the City Public Works Department cannot permit “shell buildings”; the applicant must choose a specific use for a proposed building or building modification/alteration/addition.
  • If the “Flow” (calculated in gallons per day according to City Code Section 26-53) for the proposed use of a property 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 of the property (see # 7 below.) If the proposed flow is equal to or lower than the previous use, then no additional flow-based fees will be due.
  • A Northwest Area Forcemain Surcharge fee is charged to connect a property to City sewer service within the City’s Northwest Area Forcemain Overlay area.
  • Restoration Fees are intended for the costs required to restore easements, rights-of-way and roadways to pre-construction conditions following a new tap installation.
  • Permit Fees are intended for the permitting fees that are charged to the City for the permits required on installation of new service taps.
  • Inspection Fees are intended for the costs involved with City utility inspection services.

7. If my building already has water and/or sewer connected, why do I need to fill out a Request for Letter of Availability form?

The Request form is also used for proposed Building Additions, Modifications, Alterations and/or Changes of Use at properties with existing utility connections. Sometimes, proposed changes of these types can trigger a required update to City utility records. Also, flow-based fees may be due because of proposed changes to the building or business (see # 6 above.)

  • Under section 4, check “Existing building currently connected to City water and sewer”.
  • Complete section 5 with as much information as possible. If necessary, attach a second page with a more detailed, written explanation describing the nature of your request.
  • A paid receipt for utility charges is required prior to changing the use of the property, and to obtain a Building Permit, Use Permit or Certificate of Occupancy.

8. Are Utility Connection Charges transferable or refundable?
Paid Utility Connection Charges for a specific property are attached to that property and are not transferable to another property. Paid Utility Connection Charges do not expire, subject to limitations stated in City Code Section 26-51. Paid Utility Connection Charges may only be refunded subject to the conditions stated in City Code Section 26-51. (Chapter 26-Water & Wastewater; Water and Sewer Ordinance and Resolution)

9. My property is outside City limits; why do I have to contact the City for utility service?
The City of St. Augustine Utility Service Area boundary extends well outside the City limits. The City provides water and sewer service in many areas of St. Johns County outside City limits. Visit the City Map Library web page for more information.

10. Is City Water and Sewer Connection Mandatory?

If City water service is available, you are not allowed to install a new well or replace an existing well for drinking water. If City sewer is available, you are not allowed to install a new septic tank or replace or repair an existing septic tank.

  • Inside City limits: “All new development within the City limits is required to connect to City water and sewer service when available. All existing development within the City limits is required to connect to City water and sewer service within three hundred sixty-five (365) days of when such service becomes available.” (City Code Sec.26-6)
  • Outside City limits: “All new development within the service area is required to connect to City water and sewer service when available. All existing development within the service area is required to connect to City water and sewer service when available if and when the existing private water system, wastewater system, well or septic tank, fails.” (City Code Sec.26-6)

11. Where will my new water and/or sewer services be located?

In some cases, you may choose the location along your property boundary (street right-of-way line) where the water and/or sewer service will be installed. In this case, when you pay connection fees, 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. Generally, water and/or sewer services are not allowed inside driveways or other paved areas, unless specifically approved in advance and in writing by the Public Works Department. It is strongly recommended that you or your plumber coordinate closely with the City for the service line locations. The City will not be responsible for building service lines installed to locations that are unacceptable for City taps. (See # 20 below.)

12. If I am constructing a new building, at what point during construction is the City able to install my utility services?

A paid receipt for utility connection charges is required to obtain a building permit. The City cannot install the service taps until you have established the final grade in the area of the taps, and heavy equipment will no longer be driving over the area of the taps. The customer is responsible for protecting the water meter and sewer tap during all construction activities.

13. Is construction water available?

Construction water can be provided through rental of a hydrant meter. Please apply for a hydrant meter in person at the Public Works Department – Lobby B – 4th Floor – City Hall – 75 King Street.

14. What sizes of water and/or sewer services are available?

  • Water tap and meter sizes: 3/4” (typical single-family residential service), 1”, 2” (typical commercial service), 4”, 6”, 8” and above. [3” Taps on City Mains are prohibited. 3” Meters and Backflow Devices are allowed. Customer may choose to install 4” Tap, then reduce to 3” Meter or 3” Backflow Device.]
  • The minimum size for a fire sprinkler service is 2”, and requires a water meter separate from the backflow assembly. Fire sprinkler services 4” and above are required to have a bypass detector on the backflow assembly in place of a water meter.
  • There are no half sizes for utility services.
  • Typical gravity sewer tap is 6”. Typical pressurized sewer service tap is 2”.
  • The City will not be responsible for proper sizing of utility services for specific buildings and/or uses. This should be determined by the architect, engineer, plumber or builder.
  • The Request for Letter of Availability form may also be used to request replacement or upgrade of a smaller water service with a larger one.

15. Are double services allowed?

The City does not allow double services, and there are no exceptions to this rule.

  • All new construction and/or substantial renovations (cost estimate for renovation amounting to 50% or more of building value) must have a separate water service and a separate sewer service for each residential or commercial unit.
  • Water service taps may not be split for different uses. Separate domestic, fire sprinkler and/or landscape irrigation taps are required.

16. How do I obtain a separate water meter for Landscape Irrigation?
At the customer’s request, the City will install a separate water tap and water meter for landscape irrigation purposes.

  • The Request for Letter of Availability form is also used to request landscape irrigation water meters. For commercial properties, fill in the “Annualized average daily flow” amount in gallons per day, and state the size of the meter being requested. For residential properties, both of these items can be left blank on the form.
  • A landscape irrigation tap and meter can be installed next to the domestic water meter for a residential property. A landscape irrigation meter cannot be installed for a residential property that does not have a domestic water meter. Landscape irrigation meters can be installed for vacant “common area” tracts as defined on subdivision plat maps.
  • A Tapping Fee and Restoration Fee will be charged for installation of the new landscape irrigation water service; a Permit Fee will be charged if necessary.
  • The customer will receive a separate monthly utility bill for water use only (no sewer charges) for the landscape irrigation meter.
  • A backflow prevention device is required to be installed and located immediately after the water meter on the customer side, and prior to connecting any landscape irrigation watering system to the new water service (see # 18 below.)
  • Any part of the landscape irrigation watering system installed within the right-of-way is privately owned and maintained. Privately owned and maintained utilities are not covered by the State of Florida one-call utility locate system (Sunshine State One Call 811), and are not the responsibility of the City to locate, maintain or repair.

17. How can I obtain Fire Hydrant Flow Test information?
To request a fire hydrant flow test, send a letter stating the nature of your request, along with a check in the amount of $100.00 payable to the City of St. Augustine. Fire hydrant flow tests can generally be scheduled within two weeks from receipt of the request at the Public Works Department, but may take up to four weeks to complete depending on workload at the time the request is received. Please include the following items in your request:

  • Name of project and street address of project for which the flow test is being requested.
  • Clearly describe the location of the existing fire hydrants for which you want flow test results.
  • Mail the request with $100 check to: City of St. Augustine Public Works Department, P.O. Box 210, St. Augustine, FL 32085-0210. Make the check payable to the City of St. Augustine. Clearly write the words “Fire Flow Test” and the Project Address on the check.

18. Are Backflow Prevention devices required?
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 and maintenance of backflow prevention devices are the sole responsibility of the customer. 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 City. Questions related to backflow prevention should be sent to the City Environmental Compliance Inspector at gskipp@citystaug.com.

19. What is the difference between gravity sewer and pressurized sewer?
Gravity sewer is the most common type of sewer service and works exactly how it sounds – sewage flows by gravity from house to sewer tap and from there to the sewer main line. Pressurized sewer may be an alternative when gravity sewer is not available – sewage is pumped and flows by pressure in collection mains. The City installs a 2” sewer tap with check valve at the right-of-way. The customer is solely responsible for providing, installing and maintaining a grinder pump on the customer’s property to connect to the City’s pressurized sewer collection system.

20. Who connects the building to the new water and/or sewer service?
The customer is solely responsible for contracting with a plumber to connect the building water line to the water meter and for all plumbing on the customer side of the water meter. For gravity sewer, the customer is solely responsible for contracting with a plumber to connect the building sewer line to the sewer tap, (not the cleanout) and for installing a cleanout at the property line, if one does not already exist. The customer is responsible for all plumbing on the customer side of the cleanout. Only gasketed fittings are allowed below ground - no screw-caps or screw-fittings. The cleanout must be adjusted so that the cap is at or above finished grade. Cleanouts located in pedestrian/sidewalk areas shall have caps that are finished flush with grade and be ADA compliant. Cleanouts located in vehicular traffic areas shall be flush with grade and be H-20 rated. For pressurized sewer, the customer is solely responsible for contracting with a plumber to connect the building sewer line to the sewer tap and for providing, installing and maintaining a grinder pump (see # 19 above.) The installation of all types of water and sewer services must be inspected and approved by the City Public Works Department.

21. Who is responsible for maintenance and repair of service connections?
The customer is solely responsible for maintenance and repairs of water and/or sewer lines from the building (generally, the lines installed by a building contractor or plumber.) The City is responsible for maintenance and repairs of service taps (generally, the portion installed by the City or 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 or up to the backflow prevention device (if no water meter is present.) On sewer taps, the City owns and maintains the service tap from the sewer main up to the right-of-way line. The gravity sewer cleanout that is required just inside the customer’s property line is the customer’s responsibility.

22. Where can City utilities be installed?
City utilities can only be installed in public rights-of-way and/or City utility easements. Such easements are only as approved by the City Manager and City Public Works Department on a case-by-case basis.

23. When is the City utility work crew not responsible for installation of water and sewer services?
Generally, the City work crew will install taps for one single-family residential home or equivalent; the City cannot install water taps larger than 2 inches. Generally, the City utility work crew will not install taps on commercial projects; these will be installed by the customer’s utility contractor under the City’s direction and inspection. Generally, if a utility contractor will be hired for the project, then all taps will be installed by the utility contractor under the City’s direction and inspection.

24. Are Master Meters allowed?
The installation and/or utilization of master meters is not allowed in the City utility system according to the City’s Consumptive Use Permit for drinking water from the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD.)

25. Demolition of existing building connected to City water and/or sewer? The customer/contractor is responsible for protecting the existing 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. The customer must contact the City Customer Service Department at (904) 825-1037 to request that the meter be pulled prior to demolition. The customer is responsible for removing the water line from the building to the meter box. The customer is responsible for capping the existing sewer lateral at the right-of-way line and for marking its location.


26. What is required for existing wells and septic tanks after connection to City water and/or sewer? You may leave your well in place for use as landscape irrigation water. However, if you choose to do so, you are required by law to install a backflow prevention device on the City water service line (see # 18 above.) You are required by law to properly abandon your unused septic tank. (The drainfield can be left in place, if you so choose.) 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 permitted and abandoned. All questions and correspondence related to septic tanks and drainfields should be directed to the County Health Department office at (904) 823-2514.

27. What if I want to develop property that is not adjacent to existing City water and/or sewer lines? City staff members are available to provide some direction and assistance regarding property development questions. The City generally does not have the resources required to perform this type of work and is not in the business of land development, improving unopened rights-of-way or bringing utilities to undeveloped tracts of land. Private, professional consultants such as land surveyors, civil engineers and land development attorneys are most helpful in providing the type of professional services required for land development projects of all sizes. Please visit the Public Works web page for help with plan submittals and utility requirements.


28. What are the water and sewer Utility Assessment Fees (Flow-Based Fees) for some standard types of uses? Please note, these fees are only for flow-based fees and do not include any fees related to taps or meters. These fees are for both water and sewer service combined. Fees provided here are for general information only; for an official fee determination, please submit your Request for a specific property. Note that a credit may be given for previous use of the subject property. See the Water and Sewer Fee Schedule for a complete listing of fees.

  • General Retail business: Inside City Limits = $117.90 for every 100 square feet of gross floor area; Outside City Limits = $147.40 for every 100 square feet of gross floor area.
  • Convenience Stores: Inside City Limits = $589.50 for every 100 square feet of gross floor area; Outside City Limits = $737.00 for every 100 square feet of gross floor area.
  • General Office use: Inside City Limits = $117.90 for every 100 square feet of gross floor area; Outside City Limits = $147.40 for every 100 square feet of gross floor area.
  • Barber and Beauty Shops or Salons: Inside City Limits = $1,179.00 for each service chair; Outside City Limits = $1,474.00 for each service chair.
  • Carryout Restaurant and/or Catering: Inside City Limits = $707.40 for every 100 square feet of gross floor area; Outside City Limits = $884.40 for every 100 square feet of gross floor area. Business limited to the preparation and sale of food and beverages for consumption off the premises; no customer seating permitted.
  • Grocery Markets, Delis, Bakeries, Meat Markets and Seafood Markets: Inside City Limits = $589.50 for every 100 square feet of gross floor area; Outside City Limits = $737.00 for every 100 square feet of gross floor area. Business limited to the preparation and sale of food and beverages for consumption off the premises; no customer seating permitted.
  • Restaurant (single-service): Inside City Limits = $294.75 for each restaurant seat; Outside City Limits = $368.50 for each restaurant seat. Single-Service Restaurant use is defined as the preparation, sale and service of food and beverages for consumption on the premises with customer seating. Single-Service is defined as serving customers using disposable paper or plastic plates, cups and utensils only; no glass or other washable items permitted. The same connection fees apply for all seating provided, both inside and outside seats.
  • Restaurant (full-service): Inside City Limits = $589.50 for each restaurant seat; Outside City Limits = $737.00 for each restaurant seat. Full-Service Restaurant use is defined as the preparation, sale and service of food and beverages for consumption on the premises with customer seating. Full -Service is defined as serving customers using washable china plates, glasses, cups and reusable utensils. The same connection fees apply for all seating provided, both inside and outside seats.
  • Bars, Cocktail Lounges, Game Rooms and Nightclubs: Inside City Limits = $353.70 for each bar seat or for every 15 square feet of net customer area; Outside City Limits = $442.20 for each bar seat or for every 15 square feet of net customer area. Any establishment devoted primarily to the retailing and on-premises drinking of malt, vinous or other alcoholic beverages, or any place where any sign is exhibited or displayed indicating that alcoholic beverages are obtainable for consumption on the premises, or any place other than a restaurant where alcohol is sold and consumed on-premises. The same connection fees apply for all seating provided, both inside and outside seats.
  • Residential: Inside City Limits = $4,126.50 per residence; Outside City Limits = $5,159.00 per residence. Fee shown is for water and sewer connection, and applies to each residential dwelling unit, regardless of size, including single-family, mobile home, apartment, condominium or townhouse, etc.