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Sewer and Water Hookup

erk's picture



I’m contemplating getting into the spec house business by building a small spec that I’ve designed.  I’ve read all of the previous posts on spec houses and understand the potential risks involved, so I have a more pointed question.  I’ve found a one acre lot that I like quite a bit that is on the edge of town.  I’ve run the numbers for the construction and have figures that I like for everything but the water and sewer hookup.   City water and sewer is available but would be about 250 feet from the house location.  Can someone give me a rough estimate of how much it would cost to tap the water and sewer mains and run the lines 250 feet? I’m located about 20 miles north of Des Moines, Iowa.  The street is just seal coated and does not have any curb.  There should be enough fall for the sewer line...





(post #64028, reply #1 of 11)

Often the taps are done by the city.

And the fees that they charge are often not just the cost of taping, but include fees that are intended to pay for the installation of the pipe and treatment plants.

So as a starting point I could check with the city.

. William the Geezer, the sequel to Billy the Kid - Shoe

(post #64028, reply #2 of 11)

I can't comment about sewer costs, however we just connected city water to my Mom's house. The well went out and the city would not issue a permit for a new well because a year ago they laid a new main along her road. It costs $100 per foot of road frontage for her property. Since her lot is 100 feet wide, it cost $10,000!!! That was just the "recovery tax" for the main along the road. The Permit to tap on to the city main cost $3,500. The actual work to do it including a directional bore under the road to get to the main was $4,500. So as you can see it was pretty pricey. A new well would have cost about $5,000, much cheaper.


(post #64028, reply #3 of 11)

Thanks for the warning.  I guess I need to talk with the city before I go anywhere else on this.

(post #64028, reply #4 of 11)


Up in Waterloo/Cedar Falls the city doesn't run the water/sewer laterals. Most plumbers around here charge about 23-28 per line foot including excavation (both lines in the same trench).



(post #64028, reply #5 of 11)

I pay $2,000 for the tap on a 1/2 inch line. There are a few add on fees applied as well which include an application fee and the purchasing of the meter.

A 3/4" tap is $2,400 plus the above mentioned add ons.

I have no idea about sewer fees.

Check with your utility district for your local fees. They may even have a website with all that information available.


Let me drop everything I'm doing so I can work on your problem!

(post #64028, reply #6 of 11)

The tap is relatively incidental, the water and se
sewer lines are the expense factor. I'd check to see if your permit agency will allow the water and sewer in the same trench.

I assume you also have costed a septic and well alternative?

Never serious, but always right.
Never serious, but always right.

(post #64028, reply #8 of 11)



I did talk with the city administrator about this a while back and he did say that anything that was within city limits had to be hooked up to city water and sewer.  I guess that I'll have to talk with him about tap fees.


The admisnistrator also did say that the sewer and water could be in the same trench as long as the water was above the sewer..





(post #64028, reply #7 of 11)

Welcome to BT, erk!

Here in Colorado it cost me $3,500 to purchase the "right to tap" for sewer and water combined.  Cost another $2,000 to run all lines from house to mains.

I went to trade school in the seventies at DMACC in Ankeny.  During those years I lived in Kelley, Indianola, and Grand Junction, IA.  Just happen to be leaving for Iowa tomorrow morning to see my 87 year old dad in Perry.

Where are you?

I'm thankful for the loyal opposition!  It's hard to learn much from those who simply agree with you.

"Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd."

~ Voltaire

(post #64028, reply #9 of 11)

Hi Hasbeen,


I live and do my work in the Madrid area.  I'm sure that you're somewhat familiar with it if you've been between Kelly and Perry.


The weather's pretty crappy right now in Iowa.  Expecting 12-15 inches of snow in this neck of the woods through Thursday.  You might want to hold off for a few days, if possible. 







(post #64028, reply #10 of 11)

I just had this done not too long ago..........

The local facility charge (that's what they charge you per foot for any future sewer lines across the frontage of your lot) mine was $17,500. for an acre. Then the hook up was $11,000. that's when you pay a guy with a backhoe and some pipe to hook up to the nearest existing line.

I think it is grand when they can charge you in advance for a sewer line across the front of your property even though it may never happen in your lifetime.

I lived in a development where all the homes were on septic. All I had to do is connect to a sewer line at the corner of my property of a newer development.

If you are within 350 feet of existing sewer you have to hook up to that sewer even though you have enough land for a septic field.........

Happy Flushing!

"Rather be a hammer than a nail"


"Rather be a hammer than a nail" Bob

(post #64028, reply #11 of 11)

Erk, your municipal (or rural) water service should be able to give you a price idea.  Make sure they are clear what the cost they give you is for.  Does that just run it up to the property line, or does it run it up to the house?  That sorta thing. 

As you can see from the other replies, the possible price is all over the ballpark.  I'd think your location would be a bit cheaper than some of the folks are paying on the left and right coasts, but unless there is a municipal/rural push to get the water out, they might charge you for those 250' feet.  But then again, maybe they will want to extend the lines in that direction, in which case maybe you can just pay a connection fee ($2-5k?).

I spent about 3 or 4 years about 30 miles north of Des Moines.  Just long enough to get a lifetime's worth of student loans ;)




Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.
-- Carl Sandburg