Metro Water District

Engineering & Development

This section is specifically for those intend to develop property within Metro Water District's service area and will need connection to the District's water system. Metro Water District is committed to meeting the current and future needs of our customers, and to assist development while also managing the infrastructure necessary to both grow and improve our community responsibly. Below are areas describing the District's policies and procedures regarding development, as well as links to further information.

Development Fees
Water Service Connections and Metering
Water Improvement Plans
Permitting, Inspections and Construction
Facility Mapping and As-Built Records
MDWID Supplemental Specifications and Details
Reference Information
Blue Stake Information

Development Fees
Development fees are dependent upon whether you simply need water service, are developing property or have a project that involves water improvement plans. The District has development fees associated with water improvement plan review, inspection (including infrastructure inspection and backflow inspection), protected facilities (including fire flow impact fees, where applicable) and for water connection on domestic or irrigation meters.

See our Development Fees page for more information.

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Water Service Connections and Metering
If you are a new owner of an existing home in the District service area, and need to establish a new account for your existing service and meter, or you wish to view your current account, or view our current water rates for all types of water connections and usage, please see Billing and Customer Service.

The water service between the water main and meter (as well as the meter itself) comprises the "public side" owned and maintained by the District for each customer. The portion from the downstream side of the meter to the building connection is called the "private side", generally within private property, and owned and maintained by the customer.

For custom home lots needing a service line installation, cost estimates may be provided by our Utility Division for this work if a contractor is not available.

For larger new residential or commercial developments, public services are generally installed without meters by a contractor as part of the overall site improvements, and fees are paid for installation of meters for individual lots or buildings at the time they are constructed (unless part of a master-metered development). Private fire service connections for a building(s) are established at the time of installation of the domestic meter to the building, and are unmetered connections with a set monthly fee.

To make application for a residential, multi-family, or commercial meter, an available public water service (from the water main to the meter box location) must exist prior to the application being submitted to the MDWID.  A fillable PDF form and instructions for making application can be found on the Water Meter Applications page.

Dual metering is a configuration that allows outdoor water uses to be subtracted from the total water usage in the calculation of sewer fees and billing. This is accomplished by the installation of a separate water meter tapped within five (5) feet downstream of the existing water service on the customer's private side, and all outdoor uses isolated to this dual meter. Only the difference between the existing meter and dual meter readings (i.e. the usage entering the house) is then used to calculate sewer fees. Dual meters are only applicable to existing residential meter installations, with commercial or multi-family uses being required to have dedicated irrigation meters to separate out this usage.

Please see our Dual Metering page for more information.

Meter upsizing or downsizing is available for existing customers to increase or decrease the size of a meter that is too small or large, respectively, however a larger meter must have the service line capacity to support it, otherwise a larger service line needs to be installed for the upgrade. See our Development Fees page for more information regarding costs for upsizing or downsizing of a meter.

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Water Improvement Plans
Generally water improvement plans, prepared by a registered Arizona engineer, are required for all public water line installations, other than single service line or fire line taps and installations. Legal descriptions and legal drawings describing any public water easement are also required to be prepared by a land surveyor registered in Arizona. Plan review costs apply to each review, and can be found on the Development Fees page. Based on the cost and nature of the public water line installation, the proposed work may be exempt from review by the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality (PDEQ) and other requirements. If necessary, the engineer is responsible to secure all PDEQ approvals prior to permitting.

Two (2) copies of the water improvement plans will be required for the first review, and only one (1) copy on any subsequent reviews. The review period is approximately two weeks for the first review, and somewhat less for subsequent reviews (depending on the complexity or volume of comments). A copy of paving/grading plans, or other plan with topographic information, may be necessary to determine the need for air/vacuum relief. Once the review is complete, the engineer will have two original plans (one being record mylar) signed by other agencies, and submitted to the District for signed approval. The mylar original will be retained by the District and the other original returned with other approval documents. Four (4) copies of this approved plan will be required for construction along with a copy of the electronic CAD files. The District approvals last one year, and will need to be re-approved for one-year extensions. Along with the approval, the engineer will receive: 1) an approval letter stating what remains to be addressed before permitting, 2) Water Service Agreements to be signed/notarized by the owner and returned, 3) Bill of Sale/Affidavit of Cost documents to be sign/notarized by the owner and returned once the project is installed, 4) an "Ability to Meet Bulletin 10" letter for submittal to PDEQ, and 5) any conveyance cover sheets necessary for the owner to sign/notarize for public water easements.

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Permitting, Inspection and Construction
Prior to permitting, an itemized bid is submitted from the contractor to establish the inspection fees, and a permit fee summary is generally supplied back to the contractor or owner with all fees due at the time of the permit. An explanation of the fees due at permitting can be found on the Development Fees page. Once all District approval conditions are in place from the approval letter (above)--including either proof of exemption or an Approval to Construct from PDEQ on the water improvement plans, four (4) copies of the approved construction plans submitted, fees paid, signed/notarized Water Service Agreements returned, signed/notarized water easements returned (if necessary)--the project can move forward into issuance of the water construction permit. The contractor is responsible for securing all blue staking, right-of-way use permits, approved traffic control and/or other permits or permissions necessary for construction of the water plans apart from approval by the District.

Once the water construction permit is issued, a pre-construction meeting will need to be scheduled and occur with the District Inspector on-site prior to starting work. The District Inspector will review important policies and requirements (such as survey staking and approved materials), project-specific issues (such as required shutdowns or tie-overs) and answer any other questions of the contractor and/or owner. Construction can then proceed within the time-frame specified on the permit. Extensions to the time specified on the permit may be granted if necessary.

Once the water system has been installed (including water services), the contractor has passed the necessary pressure and bacteriological testing on the system, and the new system tied over into the current system and activated, the project will be issued a notice of "Substantial Completion" by the inspector. Prior to application for water service, the owner needs to submit the signed/notarized Bill of Sale and Affidavit of Cost documents to the District office to officially transfer the system. After this occurs, application for water service can be made for any irrigation meter, model home meters on subdivisions (as identified by the developer), and all commercial or multi-family meters, provided the meter boxes on these services have been set by the contractor and verified by the inspector. Production home meters on subdivisions, and the last remaining commercial meter on a project, will not be installed until final acceptance occurs. Water Service Connection Fees related to a meter connection can be found on our Development Fees page, per the "Total Fee" column by the size of the meter.  A notice of final acceptance will be given once site paving is complete, final adjustments are made, meter boxes are set, and any other punch list items are completed. Once final acceptance has occurred, the one-year warranty period on the system begins, and the District assumes all ownership and responsibility for marking and maintaining the new public system.

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Facility Mapping and As-Built Records
The District's Engineering Division maintains and produces schematic facility/valve map records for each section of our service areas, as well as maintains record as-built information, referenced by plan number, for each project. Copies of this information can be produced both on paper ($3 per 24" x 36" sheet) and electronically/PDF. For security reasons, on-line access to our mapping is not supported, and individual requests for maps and/or records showing our system locations and configurations are required. If you have a professional reason to obtain a copy of our facility/valve maps for your specific area or project, please forward your requests to the general Engineering mailbox, along with your contact information, purpose, and area of interest.

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MDWID Supplemental Specifications and Details
For information related to the latest District Supplemental Specifications and Details for construction, links to other referenced specifications, as well as our Approved Materials List, please see our Supplemental Specifications and Details page.

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Reference Information
For information related to District resolutions affecting development, standard water plan cover and plan sheets for development projects in AutoCAD, the plan review checklist, our well capping and abandonment policy, our protected main policy, and miscellaneous permit requirements, please see Reference Information.

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Blue Stake Information
State law requires that all excavation be done under an active Blue Stake ticket. When responding to Blue Stake requests, the District will mark all public facilities, including water mains, fire hydrants and services, up to and including the public side of the meter. The private side of the service, from the meter to the house, and any other private domestic, fire service, or irrigation piping on private property is not marked by the District, and is the customer's responsibility. The duty for marking any new facilities within construction projects lies with the owner and/or their contractor until final acceptance is received for the new system. All requests received for marking areas on-site not yet accepted by the District will be forwarded to the contractor. For more general information about the Blue Stake program, and how or when to create a Blue Stake ticket, please visit www.arizona811.com or dial 811.

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Metro Water increased its storage capacity of 4.5 million gallons in 1992 to over 16.5 million gallons in 2008. More storage increases overall reliability... More>

  • © Metropolitan Domestic Water Improvement District
  • 6265 N. La Cañada, Tucson, Arizona 85704
  • 520-575-8100 (office)
  • 520-575-8454 (fax)

Office hours: Monday – Thursday 7:30am - 5:30pm and Friday 7:30am - 12 noon