Installation & Abandonment of Water & Sewer Services

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The purpose of this policy is to (1) define minimum requirements for abandonment of water and sewer services as part of building demolition, and (2) specify minimum requirements for installation of utility services for new or replacement construction.

I. Requirements for Abandonment of Water and Sewer Services


  1. A licensed plumber shall complete disconnection and abandonment of water and sewer services. A Plumbing Permit shall be required prior to issuance of a Demolition Permit for buildings with connections to City utilities. All permits shall be in-place prior to any demolition activities.

  2. All existing water and sewer services extended to the property shall be abandoned according to the procedures below. In the event that conditions will not allow abandonment according to specified procedures, an alternate method of abandonment may be allowed on a case-by-case basis. All alternate methods for water and/or sewer service abandonment shall be approved in advance by the Building & Inspection office.

  3. The person obtaining the demolition permit shall have at least $500,000 personal injury and property damage insurance.


  1. The private sewer service lateral shall be exposed and properly sealed at a point outside the limits of demolition, within ten feet of the property line. Demolition contractor shall provide at least three-dimensional ties to the end of the sealed lateral.


  1. Prior to abandonment of the water service the Water Utility will remove the water meter and shut-off the service at the curb box valve.
  2. Prior to any demolition work, the private water service lateral shall be exposed on private property at a point near the property line, cut-off and sealed. Abandonment shall include all required compacted backfill and restoration of grounds, sidewalk, pavement, or other features to match surrounding conditions.

II. Requirements for installation for new or replacement utility services


  1. Installation of water and sewer services shall require issuance of a Plumbing Permit prior to the start of any construction.


  1. Properties may re-use previously sealed and abandoned private sewer laterals. Property owner is solely responsible to assure the condition of the remaining pipe to be re-used.


  1. 1. Properties may re-use previously abandoned water service laterals, provided:
    1. A. The public side of the service (main to curb box) is copper material for service sizes up to and including 2". All services of galvanized pipe or other materials shall be abandoned and relayed.
    2. B. There are no known problems with the existing public service.
  2. 2. The public side of the water service shall be within one nominal pipe size of the designed private service size required to serve the proposed building.
    1. When required, installation of the public portion of the new service shall be installed per the requirements of City of La Crosse Standard Specifications; material shall be Type K copper for service sizes up to and including 2”. Services larger than 2” shall be ductile iron pipe with polyethylene wrap, per the current City standard specifications.
    2. Installing plumber shall provide the Water Utility with information describing (1) as-built measurements locating the new tap and/or water service, and curb stop; and (2) piping materials, within one week of the completion date and prior to the service being placed in-use.

III. Authority

  1. The Board of Public Works shall decide all disputes regarding this policy.

Approved by Board of Public Works November 22, 2002

Revision 1: Approved by the Board of Public Works August 29, 2003

Water and Sewer Lateral Disconnection Diagram