General Frequently Asked Questions
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 are of the City of Cape Coral. As part of the improvements, new lift stations (pump stations) are added, and existing roads and storm drainage systems are reconstructed.
Why is the UEP necessary?
Cape Coral originally was a low-density, rural community serviced by septic tanks and shallow groundwater wells. Today, with a larger population requiring fresh water, those same shallow wells are depleting the middle groundwater aquifer. Septic tanks are a proven solution for low-density rural areas, but are not acceptable long-term solution for an urbanized area such as Cape Coral. The City's public wastewater system is a reliable form of collection, transmission, treatment and disposal of wastewater for an urbanized area such as Cape Coral.
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.
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 additional, 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 either typically obtains State Revolving Fund (SRF) loans or municipal bonds, which the City will pay back over 20 to 30 years. The City may utilizes 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 date on 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 are online, homeowners will receive a “Notice of Availability” from the City and must connect to the new system within 180 days. On September 14, 2020, City Council approved a 60-day extension to the 180-day connection timeframe. Homeowners now have 240 days from date of Notice of Availability to make connection to the new North 2 utilities.
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 on the first floor of City Hall at the Billing Services Water/Sewer Department, 1015 Cultural Park Boulevard, Cape Coral. The meter installation fee is $310.00. The utility account deposit is $100.00 and Septic Abandonment Permit Fee is $75.00. 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 inspection of the water, sewer and irrigation services for the property.
Do I have to pay a deposit fee?
To eliminate the deposit fee the City of Cape Coral requires a letter of good standing. Per City Code the letter may come from any utility company. The letter must show a 24 month history with no late payments during the preceding 12 months.
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 and explain the procedure.
Do existing water wells and septic tanks need to be removed?
After connection to the City 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 utilities connections and abandonment of the old system?
*Please see Chapter 19 of the City Code of Ordinances regarding requirements to connect. These are available on the City website or Municode. Section 19-2.5 pertains to 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 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.