Starting a New Construction Project (Developer)


This page is intended to provide guidance for any development work in OMWD’s service area, including new sewer or water services. Please follow the steps below.


The project process starts as an inquiry emailed to Olivenhain Municipal Water District regarding a potential project (e.g., water service installation, fire hydrant installation, fire detector check installation, etc.). OMWD will contact you to help define and understand the scope of the project. All projects must follow the provisions of OMWD’s Administrative & Ethics Code Articles 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 25, and 28.


The plan check process is necessary to determine if the project is in conformance with OMWD’s Standard Specifications and Drawings, and meets the minimum design criteria for the specific area of installation. It will be the responsibility of the Engineer of Record to ensure that all installations are done according to the approved plan. Initial submittal must be uploaded through the Sharefile Application and links will be provided for the development team after determination of the project location. Plan check is done on a first come first serve basis and is subject to current workload for turnaround.


Once all pertinent project information (project owner, project location, and project type) is received, OMWD will create the following paperwork for execution by the project owner/developer:

  1. Construction Agreement: The construction agreement will outline the particulars of the project, including the time frame for construction and the amount of project deposit. The project deposit amount is based on the type of work to be performed and will include any necessary construction inspection and administrative fees and charges, as well as an estimation of OMWD labor costs required to complete the work for the project.
  2. Insurance requirements: The contractor for the project must provide proof of general liability, auto liability, and workers’ compensation insurance coverage in the amounts required by OMWD. Please note that construction on the project cannot move forward until the project contractor’s insurance is on file. The contractor must have a Class “A” contractor license to perform work on OMWD property and facilities.
  3. Contractor’s Certificate Regarding Workers’ Compensation Coverage: The contractor must complete the Certificate of Worker’s Compensation for their employees and submit it to OMWD prior to the commencement of work on the project.


The owner/developer of the project shall submit one signed copy of the construction agreement to OMWD’s Engineering Department with the project deposit check, either delivered or mailed to 1966 Olivenhain Road, Encinitas, CA 92024. Once executed, a copy will be returned to the owner/developer for their records.

The contractor’s insurance carrier shall provide a completed ACORD certificate of insurance and endorsements for the limits requested to OMWD for review and approval prior to commencing work on the project.

The project deposit will cover administrative, inspection, and other relevant OMWD costs related to the construction of the project.


Once the construction agreement has been fully executed, the project deposit has been received, and the contractor’s insurance has been approved, an “Approved Materials List” (AML) will be created along with a cross connection form and uploaded to OMWD’s Sharefile project page, and a link will be sent to the contractor for completion. A software license is not required by the contractor to utilize Sharefile.

A Cross-Connection Control Questionnaire is needed to determine whether a backflow prevention assembly will be required for the property. The owner/developer will need to complete the applicable questionnaire in the forms section below and submit it to OMWD via email.

Per state regulations, some projects involving new meter installations or existing meter relocations require the installation of backflow devices in order to prevent contamination of OMWD’s potable water system. This is in accordance with Articles 8 and 9 of OMWD’s Administrative & Ethics Code and Ordinance No. 429


Once submittals have been uploaded to Sharefile, OMWD will review the AML and cross connection form and make corrective comments or approve the submission, typically within two weeks. All AML and cross connection form correspondence shall be made via Sharefile to ensure all parties are viewing the same submitted documents and nothing is routed to the wrong destination. Email submissions of the AML and cross connection form will be rejected without review.


Upon approval of the AML, OMWD inspectors will coordinate with the owner/developer to schedule a pre-construction meeting. A construction start date will be determined at the pre-construction meeting, and all aspects of the project will be discussed. Meeting minutes will be distributed to all attendees, typically within 48 hours of the pre-construction meeting, to ensure nothing was missed. Please note that the contractor’s project foreman or supervisor must attend the meeting, and a meeting will not be held without their attendance. This meeting is very important to ensure all parties have a clear understanding of the work and sequencing prior to beginning the construction of the project.


If the owner/developer project is a water meter service installation, OMWD will require the completion of a water meter application. The meter application will include all applicable fees due and payable to OMWD in accordance with Articles 8, 9, 13, and 25 of  OMWD’s Administrative & Ethics Code.


Following the pre-construction meeting, construction may commence on the project under the coordination of OMWD inspectors.


If OMWD determines the project requires a shutdown of the water system, OMWD inspectors will schedule an internal pre-shutdown meeting to determine the pipeline isolation required for the work to take place. Please note that shutdowns shall be scheduled in advance of the work and cannot be guaranteed due to system operational requirements. For this reason, the more advanced notice provided to OMWD, the more likely a shutdown can be scheduled for a specific date. Typically, 14 calendar days are required to schedule a shutdown.


Once construction is substantially complete, OMWD inspectors will walk the project site with the contractor and prepare a punch list of any remaining work to be completed or deficient work to be corrected.

Meters will not be released until all punch list items have been addressed. 


Once the contractor has completed all punch list items to the satisfaction of OMWD inspectors, project acceptance paperwork can be prepared. Each project must be submitted to OMWD’s Board of Directors for consideration of acceptance. Upon acceptance of the project by the board, the NOC is filed at the San Diego County Recorder’s office. A one-year warranty period begins with the date of the board’s project acceptance.


Approximately one month prior to the end of the one-year warranty period, OMWD inspectors will visit the project site to make sure the facilities installed continue to function in the manner in which they were intended. If any deficiencies are found, OMWD will contact the owner/developer regarding any necessary repairs. If the project does not require any repairs, or once any repairs have been completed, on the date of the one-year anniversary of acceptance, paperwork will be submitted to close the project account and return any remaining project deposit funds to the owner/developer. Following the passing of the warranty inspection, the project is now complete and becomes the responsibility of OMWD.

Frequently Asked Questions

This depends on the project. However, minimum insurance coverage amounts are $1 million general liability, $2 million aggregate, and $1 million auto. Additional bonds may also be required from the contractor and/or owner/developer, but you will be notified of the specific project requirements throughout the application process. In addition, workers’ compensation insurance is required per the statutory limits for California.

Project deposits for plan check, construction inspection, administrative, and any other required OMWD services are project-specific and vary depending on the complexity and duration of the project. You will be provided an estimate based upon your specific project. Please see the example for a typical new water service installation that is provided in the forms section above.

If the project requires a water, sewer, or recycled water availability letter, please email OMWD for further assistance. Availability letters are provided in accordance with Article 13 of OMWD’s Administrative & Ethics Code. Also, if your project is considered a major subdivision (five or more lots), you will be required to pay capacity fees as outlined in Section 9 and 13 of  OMWD’s Administrative & Ethics Code.

Please email OMWD to request copies of pipeline drawings, and your request will be routed to the appropriate personnel.

OMWD backflow specialists handle all backflow inquires. Please email OMWD, and a backflow specialist will contact you. Pursuant to OMWD’s Administrative & Ethics Code, meter service may be terminated if required backflow devices have not been installed and certified. Please refer to Articles 8 and 9 of OMWD’s Administrative & Ethics Code and Ordinance 429 for further information regarding backflow devices.

Typically, the local fire protection department/district determines hydrant location and spacing; however, OMWD can provide input for proper system design and operation. Please contact the appropriate fire protection department/district first.

Residential property meter sizes are determined by several factors including, but not limited to, the acreage of the property, whether fire sprinklers are required, and whether there is a separate irrigation meter. Commercial property meter sizes are based on demands and fixture units.

To determine if recycled water service is available at your property, please email your inquiry to OMWD, and your request will be routed to the appropriate personnel.

If OMWD facilities are not being affected or are being protected in place, OMWD will typically review and sign the plans with no plan check fee. Email your inquiry to OMWD, and your request will be routed to the appropriate personnel.

If your property contains known OMWD facilities, OMWD must be notified in advance of performing any work. If you are unsure of OMWD facilities on your property or if you have any questions related to your proposed work, please email OMWD.

Additionally, anyone excavating within California is required to call 811 (DigAlert) a minimum of 48 hours prior to commencing excavation.

No. Meters installed for automatic fire sprinkler service are intended solely for fire protection purposes. Additionally, no services are to be installed off of a fire lateral.

California Waterworks Standards, California Code of Regulations, Title 22, Division 4, Chapter 16, Section 64572 establishes a minimum of a 10-foot horizontal and a 1-foot vertical separation between public potable and non-potable water pipelines. Please email improvement plans to OMWD for review.

All OMWD charges will be outlined in the estimate provided for the project deposit. You will be notified if your project conditions have changed during the course of construction, resulting in any potential changes to fees owed. In addition to any OMWD charges related to the work, there may be local permitting fees that need to be paid directly to the city or county jurisdictions. We encourage you to discuss with the local city and/or county planning department(s) where the project is located to determine any additional costs.

Currently, OMWD only provides sewer service to the 4S Ranch and Rancho Cielo communities. If you reside within these communities, please email OMWD. Sewer service is provided to these communities in accordance with Article 13 and 28 of OMWD’s Administrative & Ethics Code.

For processing these types of forms, please email PDF copies of the form along with associated plans to OMWD. Typical turnaround time is 3-5 days.

Water pressure at your property is determined by the elevation of the nearest reservoir in relation to your property. All inquiries should be submitted to OMWD’s Systems Operations team via email, and your request will be routed to the appropriate personnel. Water pressure will be within the parameters set forth in Articles 9.12 and 9.13 of OMWD’s Administrative & Ethics Code.