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Service Connection FAQ

Click on a topic below to view the answers.

I have a failing septic system or well and need to connect to the Service Authority's water/sewer system. Will the Service Authority build the lines to my property or fund the connection?

In order to maintain fairness and equity to all of our customers, property owners in unserved areas who wish to connect to the system are responsible for paying the cost to extend distribution or collection lines from existing Service Authority mains to their property as well as the applicable Availability Fees.


The Service Authority is an independent agency and is completely funded by customer rates and fees. We do not receive any taxpayer funds. Therefore, the Service Authority Board of Directors has adopted a "growth pays for growth" policy when adding new customer accounts. This means that growth should pay for itself over time and that growth-related costs for water and wastewater infrastructure are fully recovered.


For example, as subdivisions are being developed with public water and sewer, it is the developer who funds and constructs the local mains necessary to serve the residents of the particular development. In addition to constructing and funding the local infrastructure, the developer also pays Availability Fees for each customer who is added to the Service Authority's customer base. Availability Fees recover the cost of the additional capacity in our system allotted for each customer from Service Authority-funded capital investments in major facilities, including the water and wastewater plants, tanks, transmission mains and regional sewer facilities. Essentially, the residents in subdivisions developed with public water and sewer service funded their portion of the water and/or sewer infrastructure as well as their share of capacity in the system when they purchased their homes.


Conversely, existing homes and businesses that were not developed with public water and sewer did not fund their share of the local public water and sewer infrastructure at the time they purchased their homes, nor did they purchase capacity in the system through the payment of Availability Fees.


The cost and manner in which individuals connect to the public water and sewer system can vary significantly based on a number of factors, including a property's distance from existing Service Authority infrastructure. Therefore, should you wish to obtain public water and/or sewer service, the engineers in the Service Authority's Development Department can provide direction as to the particular steps you would need to take in order to obtain service for your particular property.


If you have any further questions about the Service Authority's role in relation to the residential development process, or would like to obtain more information about obtaining public water and/or sewer service, please contact Samantha Kearney, Service Authority Project Engineer, at (703) 335-7925 or skearney@pwcsa.org.
Is there a requirement to connect a home to a proposed sewer or water line if located within 2,500 feet?

In accordance with County ordinances, there is no mandatory hook up for any homes located within 2,500 feet of public water or 1,000 feet for sewer that are classified Semi-Rural Residential (SRR) or Rural. Under the County code, new development on SRR- or Rural-classified land has the option to connect to any sewer line within 1,000 feet and any water line within 2,500 feet, provided the connection is technically feasible and not otherwise prohibited by the Prince William County Comprehensive Plan or County code. The Service Authority follows the guidance of the County Comprehensive Plan and County code, which are adopted and can only be amended by the Prince William Board of County Supervisors (BOCS). Only the BOCS can modify these provisions/restrictions in the Comprehensive Plan or County code.
Does the installation of a sewer and/or water line(s) lead to growth and increased density?

Some believe and have stated that the installation of a sewer and/or water line will inevitably lead to development, growth and increased density. This is not the case. Development and rezoning to increase the density of development are land use issues controlled by the Planning Commission's review and BOCS approval process. The allowable density is determined by the Comprehensive Plan and County code. A density increase could only come about if the BOCS amended the Comprehensive Plan and rezoned to permit greater density. The Service Authority only reviews new development plans to advise availability of utilities and is bound by the Comprehensive Plan regarding any new development's use of public water and sewer in the development area.
Does the Service Authority follow the Comprehensive Plan?

Yes.

 

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