Columbus City Utilities
1111 McClure Road
P.O. Box 1987
Signing Up For Services
Click the items below to show additional details.
Am I Eligible?
The CCU is a municipally owned and operated utility. It has certain
procedures for citizens of the City to gain services and different
procedures for those who live outside the corporate limits. If you
live outside of the City of Columbus, you should first go to the
Bartholomew County planning office and make an application for service
with them. We have a brochure titled "Water and Sewer Service for
Rural Residents" that explains the procedures that must be followed
to obtain service.
If you reside within the City limits, there are probably water and
sewer facilities available to your property, but sometimes there are
exceptions. Recent annexations or old property subdivisions sometimes
create "pockets" where extensions are required. The CCU will work with
you in extending facilities to your site if this is the case, but
extensions can take time. So, if you suspect that facilities are not
available, it would be to your benefit to make an early contact with
the CCU Engineering department.
After it has been determined that facilities are available to your
property, the next question to answer is whether or not assessments
are due on the property.
Assessments are fees charged by the Utilities to assist in the payment
for the pipes adjacent to your property. The rates are set by local
ordinance and cannot be modified by staff. The assessment rates are
multiplied by the property dimension that abuts, or lies next to, the
water or sewer line. Staff has authority to apply certain adjustments
to oddly shaped parcels that do not readily fit this rule. The assessment
rate for water lines is $9.30 / abutting foot. The rate for sewer lines
is $13.10 / abutting foot. Many newly created parcels belong to developments
where the water and sewer lines have been built by private developers and
not by the CCU. In these cases, there are no assessments charged the customer.
In addition to assessments you will also be expected to pay connection charges
to the Columbus City Utilities. These fees reimburse CCU for the labor and
materials spent in providing the service. For water services a normal residential
service (5/8" x 3/4") will cost $1100. If a meter pit or vault has already been
set then the charge will be $500. For larger services the actual costs are tabulated
by the distribution crew and the customer is billed. For commercial connections
requiring fire service lines or large meters, the builder provides all but the actual
tap to the public main which is made by distribution crews and billed to the owner.
For sewer services the fees are considerably less since they are only intended to
reimburse the Utilities for the costs associated in inspecting the sewer connection
to the public main. Fees for residential taps are $70. Industrial taps have fees of
$70 associated with them. An important distinction is that while an application for
service must be made by the eventual customer, it is the excavator who will be making
the connection that must obtain the sewer tap permit.
How do I start?
You will have to sign a customer service agreement before we can
give you service so it is mandatory for you to visit our offices at
1111 McClure Road and discuss your connections with our Customer
Services Representative. When you plan your trip it will be helpful
to have some specific information about your property to help us
calculate your total charges. A little preparation can save you
Assessment charges are based upon the lengths of your
property lines adjacent to water or sewer lines. In addition, whether or
not assessments even apply to your case can be dependent on the subdivision
in which you live. Your mailing address is often not enough to determine these
charges. This can be as complex as a full legal survey or as simple as a
deed stating something like "Lot 5 of Any wood Addition".
If your property has been served before you may not need to pay assessments.
Sometimes properties are served for years and then replatted. If the street
address of the property has changed then we will have no record that assessments
have been paid for the new address. The more you can tell us about the history
of your site the less likely these errors are to happen.
If you are unable to determine any of these things we can look them up for you.
There may be a bit of a wait though.
How much will CCU do?
As mentioned above, the connection fees paid by the customer
are to cover the costs associated with the installation of a water meter and pit.
This means that the location of the pit may have already been determined at the
time of your application. The CCU Distribution Dept will tap the public main and
extend a service line to the approximate property line and will set a meter pit
and meter. It remains your responsibility to install and connect to the pit and
to the building system. During busy construction seasons it may take up to two weeks
or more to install the service.
When sewer lines are installed, building wyes or laterals are
installed for buildings to connect to. These wyes are typically 6" in diameter and
are located at a depth no greater than five to six feet below the surface. Newer
wyes may have a section of pipe protruding above the ground surface to facilitate
location. When sewer tap permit is obtained, the Engineering department will work
with the excavator to locate the sewer lateral. This is done through a combination
of methods using first record or "as built" measurements provided to the department,
and then magnetic location techniques. If these other methods prove ineffective, the
wye can be located using television line inspection equipment. The excavator hired
by the customer is responsible for the final location of the lateral and connection
of the building system to the public sewer. Before the excavator backfills the trench
he is to call the Engineering department for a final inspection.
The CCU does not make recommendations for, or against, private
contractors or vendors. It is a requirement that excavators who obtain sewer tap
permits provide us with a proof of insurance so that we may be protected against any
liability due to their negligence. A list of contractors who provide this proof can
be made available upon request.
Who fixes it when it breaks?
The CCU maintains and will make any necessary repairs to the water
main, the service line leading up to the meter pit and the meter pit, including the
meter. The line leading from the customer's side of the meter is considered the customer's
responsibility to maintain and any water usage recorded on the meter will be billed
accordingly. (A sewer credit can sometimes be arranged if it is shown that a leak caused
large quantities of water to pass through the meter and not enter the sewer system).
Unlike water lines, the customer assumes a responsibility for the building
lateral when they connect. The sewer use ordinance defines a building sewer as beginning at
the branch wye from the mainline sewer. The customer is therefore responsible for every part
of the sanitary sewer system that serves only his site. This can sometimes mean that the homeowner
must make repairs that are located within the public right of way. In these cases, care must be
taken in selecting contractors capable of performing this type of work. The homeowner should check
with the City Engineer before final hiring of a contractor.