Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the Utilities Extension Project?
- Why is the City extending Water, Sewer and Irrigation Services to my area?
- How will the City’s utility system work?
- Who is performing the work?
- How is the project funded?
- Do we have to connect to the new water, sewer, and irrigation lines after they are installed?
- How long before I have to connect?
- Where do I obtain a permit and water meter, and what are the fees?
- Do I have to pay a deposit fee?
- How do I connect to the new system?
- Do existing water wells and septic tanks need to be removed?
- Where can I view City codes and requirements pertaining to utilities connections and abandonment of the old system?
- What is the quality of the City’s potable water?
- What if I cannot afford to pay my utilities assessment?
- Can I pay off an assessment?
- Is the cost of driveway replacement included in the assessment?
- What is the cost of having a septic tank pumped and demolished?
- Why doesn’t the City defer the line extension (square foot) and CFEC assessments for undeveloped parcels?
- If a property owner pays for the irrigation assessment but elects to continue to use there well for irrigation, will that property owner be billed monthly?
- If I sell the property and have not prepaid, do I have to pay the assessments?
- Do I have to choose the same payment option for each assessment?
- What is the City’s methodology for assessing property owners for the extension of water, sewer and irrigation mains?
- If I participate in the Amortized Payment Option, can the annual installment be escrowed with my home mortgage payment?
- Is there a discount for disabled veterans or senior citizens?
- Do we have to connect to the new water, sewer and irrigation lines after they are installed?
- What if I cannot afford to pay the plumber’s connection?
- Where will the work take place?
- Why are there construction supplies stored on vacant property?
- How will construction work be accomplished?
- What is the construction process?
- How will I be notified of construction activities?
- When will construction start in my neighborhood?
- Will there be road closures and detours?
- Will I be able to get in and out of my driveway during construction?
- Will construction affect garbage pickup and mail delivery?
- Will school bus stop locations change?
- When will the contractor work?
- Will the work be noisy?
- What will happen to the landscaping and specialty mailboxes in front of the homes?
- How much of my driveway and lawn will be disturbed?
- When the contractor removes a portion of the driveway, how do they replace it to match?
- What safety precautions should we take?
- How do I know if my street is closed?
- What is the process and timeline for street paving after utilities are installed?
- Will my property be restored once construction is complete?
- I am building a new house in the next Utilities Extension Area. Do I have to install a well and septic tank system if City utilities are coming?
- What is the process for abandonment of the septic tank?
- Does the person who demolishes the septic tank need to be a licensed plumber?
- Do I retain my well equipment like the holding tank?
- Who is responsible for damage to vehicles such as rocks, etc. incurred from construction equipment used by contractors?
- Will construction affect trash pickup and mail delivery?
- Who do I call if I have questions or concerns during construction?
What does UEP stand for?
UEP stands for Utilities Extension Project.
What is the Utilities Extension Project?
The Utilities Extension Project (UEP) extends City water, sewer, and irrigation services to previously unserved areas of the City of Cape Coral. As part of the improvements, it will include newly installed potable water, sewer and irrigation lines along with fire hydrants, new lift stations, master pump stations, and existing roads and storm drainage systems are reconstructed.
Why is the City extending Water, Sewer and Irrigation Services to my area?
The City of Cape Coral Utilities Extension Project will provide residents access to the City's potable water and irrigation water treatment and distribution facilities, and wastewater collection and treatment facilities.
The installation of municipal water, sewer and irrigation infrastructure provides a variety of services and environmental benefits to the community, including, but not limited to:
**Eliminates the need for individual potable water wells and reduces the frequency of wells running dry and saltwater intrusion.
**Reduces dependence on fresh water demand for irrigation and fire protection.
**Provides reliable fire protection enhancing public safety and City insurance ratings.
**Eliminates needs for individual onsite septic systems which are not effective in treating sewage in urbanized areas.
**Provides a method for disposal of treated wastewater for irrigation purposes and other non-potable uses.
**Improves utility reliability and quality of service with a system designed to meet demand now and into the future anticipating population growth of the City to build-out.
How will the City’s utility system work?
The City’s potable (drinking) water system source is groundwater pumped from deep wells situated in the Lower Hawthorn Aquifer. The groundwater is treated and then pumped into the distribution system. The UEP will connect to this existing water system, which provides a reliable source of high-quality drinking water to customers. The City uses a gravity sewer system consisting of sewer lines and lift stations to collect the wastewater and transport it to the water reclamation facilities for treatment. Irrigation water is derived from two sources, reclaimed wastewater from the water reclamation facilities and surface water from the City's extensive freshwater canal network. Irrigation water from these two sources is distributed to customers through irrigation-only water lines and may be used to water lawns and landscaping. Cape Coral is a leader in water reuse technology, which is an important conservation tool.
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Who is performing the work?
To better serve the City of Cape Coral, contractors are pre-qualified. Only pre-qualified contractors are permitted to bid on the project. The lowest responsive, responsible bidder is selected to perform the work. Each contractor is responsible for providing quality workmanship and keeping the project on schedule. In addition, the City is utilizing a Construction Engineering and Inspection (CEI) consultant to assist City staff with inspections, material testing, public involvement, and species management during the construction process.
How is the project funded?
The City typically obtains State Revolving Fund (SRF) loans or municipal bonds, which the City will pay back over 20 to 30 years. The City may utilize commercial paper or short-term financing to accommodate project cash flow requirements.
Do we have to connect to the new water, sewer, and irrigation lines after they are installed?
Developed properties adjacent to water and sewer utilities must connect within 180 days of the date on the Notice of Availability Letter. Connection to the irrigation system is optional at this time. Undeveloped parcels are required to connect to water and sewer prior to Certificate of Occupancy.
How long before I have to connect?
When the construction is complete, and the utilities have passed inspection and are placed online, homeowners will receive a Notice of Availability (NOA) from the City and must connect to the new system within 180 days.
Where do I obtain a permit and water meter, and what are the fees?
The property owners or their plumbing contractors can obtain the permit for a 5/8” water meter for a typical residential home online at capecoral.gov. Currently the meter installation fee is $310.00, the utility account residential deposit is $225.00 (based upon a utility credit check), and Septic Abandonment Permit Fee is $100.00. *Rates are subject to change
These fees must be paid prior to connecting to the new utilities. After payment(s) is received, City personnel will physically install the water meter, followed by an inspection of the water, sewer, and irrigation services for the property.
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Do I have to pay a deposit fee?
The deposit may be waived based upon a utility credit check.
How do I connect to the new system?
To complete the connection to the new service, contact a local, City of Cape Coral licensed plumber. They will coordinate the connection process with the City for permitting and explain their procedure.
Do existing water wells and septic tanks need to be removed?
After connection to the City’s utility system, septic tanks will no longer be needed. They do not have to be removed, but they must be collapsed and abandoned. This work can be performed by the plumber. Water wells can remain intact as an irrigation water supply. However, a home or business is required to connect to the City’s drinking water and sewer systems.
Where can I view City codes and requirements pertaining to utility connections and abandonment of the old system?
Please see Chapter 19 of the City Code of Ordinances regarding the requirements to connect. These are available on the City’s website or Municode. Section 19-2.5 pertains to the connection to the water and sewer system.
*In reference to plumbing codes for service laterals, please see the 2017 Florida Building Code-Plumbing, available on the City’s website under Building Codes.
What is the quality of the City’s potable water?
Water quality information is published annually in the City's Consumer Confidence/Water Quality Report and is on the City's website under Utilities/Water Quality Report.
For questions related to any Utilities Extension Project, please call 1-833-227-3837 (833-CAPE-UEP).
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What if I cannot afford to pay my utilities assessment?
The City provides a Hardship Deferral Option for permanent residents of Cape Coral. Residents must meet specific income guidelines as established by the federal government. The City also offers financial assistance through Community Development Block Grants to very low-income families to connect to the system.
Can I pay off an assessment?
After the assessments have been levied, if you did not prepay the assessments by July 31, you will pay Amortized Payments. Annual installments are calculated during the months of August and September each year. Therefore, after July 31, benefited property owners may also pay off the imposed special assessment by paying the annual assessment amount included on the tax bill to the Lee County Tax Collector and the remaining principal balance of the assessment to the City of Cape Coral. Any one or all of the assessments may be paid in full. Upon payment in full of both the annual assessment (to the Lee County Tax Collector) and the remaining principal balance of the assessment (to the City of Cape Coral), the assessment will no longer appear on the tax bill.
Is the cost of driveway replacement included in the assessment?
Yes. The portion of the driveway that the Contractor removes to construct the water, irrigation, or force mains will be replaced by the Contractor at no additional cost to the property owner.
What is the cost of having a septic tank pumped and demolished?
Based on recent experience with North 2 UEP, the cost to have all three utilities (water, sewer, and irrigation) connected from the property line to the home is roughly $2,000 - $2,500, including septic tank pump-out and abandonment. The Health Department also charges a $100 septic tank abandonment fee.
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Why doesn’t the City defer the line extension (square foot) and CFEC assessments for undeveloped parcels?
The UEP is funded by assessments imposed on the properties benefiting from the project. Currently, The City has arranged for low-interest loans to provide an affordable means for property owners to pay the assessments over 20, 25 or 30 year periods. The years associated with repayment are subject to change based on each project. The assessment methodology proposed by the City provides a fair, equitable, and predictable means for funding the proposed improvements.
If a property owner pays for the irrigation assessment but elects to continue to use their well for irrigation, will that property owner be billed monthly?
Connection to the irrigation system is not mandatory. The property owner is billed a monthly charge for irrigation if connected. If not connected, there is not a monthly charge for irrigation.
If I sell the property and have not prepaid, do I have to pay the assessments?
Typically, if you participate in the Amortized Payment Option, you do not have to pay off the assessment if you sell the property. The assessment continues to be assessed against the property regardless of the owner. However, there are some exceptions. You will be required to pay all remaining assessment balances in full if (1) the Tax Parcel is acquired by a public entity (other than the City) through condemnation, negotiated sale, or otherwise, or (2) a tax certificate has been issued and remains outstanding in respect of the Tax Parcel and the City, at its sole option, elects to accelerate the assessment. The assessment is imposed annually on the tax bill for the property. However, please note that some banks and other lending institutions may require payment in full.
Do I have to choose the same payment option for each assessment?
No. You can select a different payment option for each assessment. For example, if your property is receiving three utility services (potable water, wastewater, and irrigation), you could elect the Initial Prepayment for potable water, the Interim Prepayment for wastewater, and the Amortized Payment Option for irrigation.
What is the City’s methodology for assessing property owners for the extension of water, sewer, and irrigation mains?
The Line Extension assessment methodology is based on an equivalent parcel (EP) unit of 10,000 sf. City Council has considered alternative methodologies and has determined the EP methodology is the most equitable approach for this project.
If I participate in the Amortized Payment Option, can the annual installment be escrowed with my home mortgage payment?
Yes. If you make monthly payments that include an escrow for property taxes, then the non-ad Valorem assessments will be added to the payment amount. You will probably be contacted by your escrow agent regarding the increase in the escrow amount. As soon as the assessment is approved, it is advisable that you contact your mortgage company or escrow agent as soon as possible after that to begin escrowing the annual installment that will be due.
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Is there a discount for disabled veterans or senior citizens?
No. However, disabled veterans and senior citizens may qualify for the City's hardship program that assists individuals and families based on income qualifications. Please call (239) 242-3852 and ask to talk to a City staff member regarding the hardship program.
Do we have to connect to the new water, sewer and irrigation lines after they are installed?
Developed properties adjacent to the newly installed water and sewer utilities must connect within 180 days of the date stated in the Notice of Availability (NOA) letter per City ordinance. Connection to the irrigation system is optional at this time. Undeveloped parcels are required to connect to water and sewer prior to Certificate of Occupancy (CO).
What if I cannot afford to pay the plumber’s connection?
The City has provided grant funding to Cape Coral Housing Development Corporation to assist homeowners with the cost of connecting to City water and sewer in the Utility Extension Areas. Income-eligible homeowners may be eligible to receive a grant of up to $2,000, which may be used to run the lines from the street to the home, the septic abandonment, and meter fees.
For questions related to a new UEP account, please email Customer Billing Services at email@example.com
For questions related to any Utilities Extension Project, please call 1-833-227-3837 (833-CAPE-UEP)
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Where will the work take place?
Work will take place in the City's Public right-of-way (ROW). When discussing exactly where construction will take place, it is helpful to understand the term ROW. This term refers to property rights owned by a public entity and reserved for infrastructure. In Cape Coral, the ROW varies from street to street, but generally the City has ROW rights to approximately the first 20 feet from the edge of pavement. In addition to the ROW there is an additional 6 feet beyond that which is called Public Utility Easement (PUE) and utilized for LCEC, Comcast, Century Link, etc. Survey crews will identify the ROW which typically coincide with the property line.
Why are there construction supplies stored on vacant property?
Upon satisfaction of certain stipulations, contractors are permitted to utilize vacant City-owned and privately-owned property to store construction supplies, equipment, and vehicles. The availability of these staging and storage areas allows the contractors to work more efficiently and reduces the overall cost of the project. Stored supplies may include piles of stone, dirt, pipes, steel, heavy equipment, vehicles, and other construction materials. Rock crushing and other intensive processing activities are limited to specific sites where the potential impacts to neighboring properties can be minimized.
How will construction work be accomplished?
Several types of underground utility lines will be installed within the roadway or public right-of-way including potable (drinking) water, sewer, and irrigation mains in addition to force mains and transmission mains in some areas. The new sewer mains are being installed along the centerline of the street. Water and irrigation mains are placed along opposite sides of the street, typically about 5 feet from the edge of the pavement.
What is the construction process?
Constructing the new City utility system involves numerous steps. The steps are listed on this website under UEP Home, construction process tab.
How will I be notified of construction activities?
Tenants, residents, and business operators will be notified of construction via door hangers and in-person and printed notices. Construction representatives will coordinate with those affected by driveway closures, mailbox relocation, and landscaping removal, if necessary.
When will construction start in my neighborhood?
The schedule for each contract varies. Residents and businesses will be notified by a flyer or by a construction representative prior to work starting. The generalized construction schedules will also be posted on the website.
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Will there be road closures and detours?
Road closures will be necessary to construct this project. Detours will be clearly marked with signs prior to any road closures. Major road detours and closures will be posted on the Traffic Advisory page.
Will I be able to get in and out of my driveway during construction?
We understand that construction is an inconvenience. Maintaining access to homes and businesses is a priority. During active trench excavation and some other activities, such as street paving or driveway construction, driveway access may be restricted. Construction representatives will attempt to contact residents prior to driveway disruptions.
Will construction affect garbage pickup and mail delivery?
At times, your garbage pickup and mail delivery may be affected. Construction representatives will advise Waste Pro and the U.S. Postal Service of construction and make them aware of upcoming activities and road closures, to minimize service disruptions. In some cases, mail will be available for pick-up at the post office. Construction representatives will work with Waste Pro and the U.S. Postal Service to minimize service disruption.
Will school bus stop locations change?
If it becomes necessary to relocate a bus stop temporarily due to construction activities, Lee County School Transportation will change the bus stops as necessary and inform the parents.
When will the contractor work?
Construction crews typically work from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and some Saturdays, if necessary and approved by the City.
Will the work be noisy?
The installation of City utilities requires the use of heavy equipment, which means that noise is inevitable. Heavy equipment is used to dig trenches, remove asphalt, grade dirt and perform many other construction activities. The process of installing new underground utilities will require the use of multiple pumps to remove the water from the pipe trench. The pumps will need to run 24 hours a day and can be noisy. The contractor will make every effort to place pumps in areas that are the least intrusive to residential properties; however, the location of these pumps will be determined by construction activities and may not be adjustable. The pumps will move as pipe installation progresses.
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What will happen to the landscaping and specialty mailboxes in front of the homes?
Irrigation in the City's public ROW may be cut and capped during construction but will be repaired during restoration. Other personal items in the ROW affecting construction, such as trees, bushes, and decorative items may be removed by the contractor and will not be reinstalled. Large decorative/monument style mailboxes affecting construction may be removed by the contractor as work progresses; however, the contractor will not be responsible for damage to or for reinstalling these types of mailboxes. If you would like to preserve your large decorative/monument style mailbox, you should do so prior to construction moving to your area. Standard mailboxes will be removed and reinstalled as work progresses. The contractor may remove and dispose of any items left in the ROW.
How much of my driveway and lawn will be disturbed?
To prepare for the potable (drinking) water and irrigation pipe installation, sod and driveway aprons within the ROW will be removed. Driveway aprons and sod will be restored by contractors during the restoration phase. Sod in the ROW will be restored to match the existing sod on the private property.
When the contractor removes a portion of the driveway, how do they replace it to match?
Driveway replacement varies in accordance with the type and thickness of the existing driveway. In general, the replacement is as follows:
Concrete - The contractor will typically saw-cut the existing driveway from the edge of the pavement to provide adequate room to install utility mains. The new driveway concrete will be replaced to match the new roadway edge of the pavement. This will normally be in the same location as the existing roadway pavement unless widening is proposed.
Painted/Stamped/Pavers (Decorative) – For pipe mains 8” or less, the contractor will bore under the driveway, and for pipe mains 10” or greater the contractor will remove and replace the section of the driveway.
What safety precautions should we take?
Safety is always the City of Cape Coral’s number one priority. Each construction site adheres to strict safety standards. Please discourage children from playing in and near the construction site. Also, please pay strict attention to road closures and utilize the detours.
How do I know if my street is closed?
Street closures are a necessary part of the project. A construction representative will attempt to notify tenants, residents, and business operators of pending street closures. All long-term street closures are posted on this website under traffic advisory.
What is the process and timeline for street paving after utilities are installed?
Streets will be paved in two lifts or stages. The first lift will immediately follow the installation of underground utilities. Typically, the timeframe between the removal of the existing road (pulverize) and installation of the first lift of pavement will be approximately 5-6 months. The second lift of pavement will be installed a minimum of six months after the first pavement lift to provide time for the plumber’s connection to occur.
Will my property be restored once construction is complete?
Yes, streets will be repaired or replaced, and sod, sprinkler systems, and portions of driveways within the right-of-way will be restored to like conditions.
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I am building a new house in the next Utilities Extension Area. Do I have to install a well and septic tank system if City utilities are coming?
No. Property owners building a new home in the next UEP are required to complete a Hold Harmless - Utility Connection Agreement as part of the permit process. Owners can elect to proceed with construction without a well and septic, the Certificate of Occupancy will not be issued until the City has completed the installation of the utilities and the building is connected to the City utility systems.
*Please note - Construction schedules are subject to change and delays can significantly impact the availability of service needed to obtain the required Certificate of Occupancy (CO). If you elect to install a well and septic tank system, you will be required to connect to City utilities and pay all associated fees upon receipt of the Notice of Availability.
What is the process for abandonment of the septic tank?
The Health Department requires pump-out of the septic tank prior to demolition. Costs of the pump-out and septic tank demolition are typically included in the contract for the plumber's connection. The septic abandonment brochure can be found by clicking here.
Does the person who demolishes the septic tank need to be a licensed plumber?
Yes, unless the property owner self-performs the work.
Do I retain my well equipment like the holding tank?
Well, and septic systems are on private property and are not impacted by the UEP construction, which is conducted in the right-of-way. The property owner is responsible for the plumber's connection and for the disposal of any remaining equipment. The property owner can still use their well for irrigation only. If they choose to connect to the City irrigation, the property owner is responsible for the disposal of any remaining equipment.
Who is responsible for damage to vehicles, such as rocks, etc., incurred from construction equipment used by contractors?
The construction contractors will be responsible for repairing construction-related damage (not including removal of items within the City's Public ROW). You may report any damage by calling the project number 1-833-227-3837 (833-CAPE-UEP). A representative will contact you to assist in resolution of your claim.
Will construction affect trash pickup and mail delivery?
At times, your trash, recycling or yard waste pickup, or mail delivery may be affected. Construction representatives are working with your trash hauler (Waste Pro) and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to minimize service disruptions. If your trash is not picked up on the regularly scheduled day, please leave your container(s) out for one to two additional days to give the trash hauler extra time needed for pick up. USPS is aware of street closures, and mail service is expected to continue as scheduled; however, some service disruption may occur.
If you are experiencing disruption of trash pickup or mail delivery, please contact the UEP Hotline at (833) CAPE UEP (227-3837). It will be reported to the appropriate agency.
Who do I call if I have questions or concerns during construction?
For questions related to the Utilities Extension Project: Please call 1-833-227-3837 (833-CAPE-UEP).
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