Water Service Excavation Pilot

Beginning May 2, 2016, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) will launch a temporary pilot program to allow developers to perform all excavation and pavement restoration work for installing water service (water lines in the right-of-way). The purpose of this pilot is to help reduce the turnaround time for water service installations.

How It Works
At the time of a new water service application, the developer can choose to do the excavation and pavement work or have SPU install the entire water service. The developer is invoiced based on the decision. Once a developer pays for the water service installation, obtains an approved set of plans, and a street improvement permit from Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), they may request their water service installation. SPU will commit to installing the water service within 30-days of the requested start date.

To qualify for the pilot, the project must have a street improvement permit or the person performing the excavation work must be a registered side sewer contractor.

Developer and Contractor Responsibility

  • Submit a Water Service Application
  • Receive an issued SDOT 51J permit and traffic control plan , if needed
  • Receive an SDOT Letter of Authorization
  • Receive an approved site plan
  • Submit a signed Agreement for Contractor-Supported Water Service Installations
  • Purchase and set the vault for water services that are 4-inches and larger
  • Prepare the site for installation within the 30-day window


In the coming months, SPU will evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot and review turnaround times for water service installations. SPU will then determine if and how long the pilot should continue.

For more information, please contact SPU’s Development Services Office at spu_dso@seattle.gov or (206) 684-3333.