New Residential Building Water Service

New Single Family

Before you start designing your new home you must be aware of the water conservation requirements to receive water service in The Soquel Creek Water District area.

  1. Determine if your property is within the Soquel Creek Water District Service Area. Use this map to determine if your property is in the District Boundaries.
  2. Fill out New Water Service Application Request.
  3. Contact conservation staff to schedule an appointment to discuss your project. District staff will review and identify applicable project requirements and provide an estimate of project charges.
  4. Meet with District staff to:
  5. Get on the waiting list to purchase Water Demand Offset credits from the Enhanced Toilet Rebate program.
  6. Purchase Water Demand Offset credits from the Enhanced Toilet Rebate program when available. Purchase long-term offset credits at any time between getting on the waiting list and getting Will Serve approval. 
  7. Get Board of Director's Will Serve approval for your project.
  8. Obtain a building permit (or tentative map) from the respective land use planning agency (Santa Cruz County or City of Capitola) and provide a copy to the District.
  9. Fill out the Water Use Efficiency Requirements checklists and the fire protection requirements form and submit to District.
  10. Get staff "Conservation Approval"
  11. The Applicant is required to hire a contractor to install the new service and pay the District the remaining fees including an inspection deposit and water capacity fees (if required).  This process is described in the Applicant Installed Service Brochure.
  12. Once service is installed, District staff may inspect to ensure all Water Use Efficiency Requirements and Go Green building measures (if applicable) are met.
  13. Get staff "Engineering Approval." Drop meters and begin service.

Complete Process Flow Diagram

Please refer to the process flow diagram for Tier I and Tier II Single Family Residences. Click on Image to open up a larger .pdf.




Cost Overview

Check out our New Water Service "Cheat Sheet" to get an idea of the cost of obtaining water for some common residential developments. Costs shown on the cheat sheet are subject to change and are for reference only.

Water Demand Offset Fees

Applicants for new service must comply with the Water Demand Offset (WDO) Program and offset two times the amount of water demand expected from the development.  This requires new development to pay a WDO fee equivalent to $55,000/acre-foot of offset.  WDO fees are used by the District to fund water conservation or supply projects in the service area that provide an equivalent amount of water.  Applicants must first contact the District and present the proposed building plans (no permit required for this step).  The District will calculate expected water demand based on the parcel size and use of the new development and determine the offset requirement.  See Water Demand Offset Program page for more info.

IMPORTANT: Water Demand Offset Fees must be paid before Board approval is granted and plans can be submitted to the City of Capitola or the County of Santa Cruz. There is currently a waiting list to purchase offsets.

To view the current wait list (updated 9/28/18), click the link below.


Service Connection and Meter Charges

Applicant is responsible for locating and hiring a licensed contractor to install the required service.  Applicant is required to pay any remaining District fees including, the applicable meter drop for their service size and a deposit for inspection (determined on a project to project basis).

Most single family residential developments use a 5/8 inch Domestic and a 2 inch Fire Combination service.

  Meter Drop Size Cost
Combination Service
5/8" Domestic and 2" Fire Service 5/8" & 5/8" $598
Single Service
5/8" Domestic or Irrigation Service 5/8" $299
1" Domestic Service 1" $380
2" Fire Service 5/8" $299

Water Capacity Charges

In addition to the Connection and Meter Charges, there is an established Water Capacity Charge based on the size of the meter. Water Capacity fees are payable anytime after a building permit or tentative map is granted and before the District will drop a meter and activate service.  Effective January 17, 2018, standard size meter charges are:

5/8 inch restricted meter


5/8 inch meter


3/4 inch meter


1" $41,607