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Chapter 2
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Procedures, Permitting Process and Approvals for Right-of-Way Improvements
2.7 Utility Permits

Street Use issues permits that are required to construct maintain and operate railroad or streetcar tracks, pipes, ducts, utility tunnels, vaults, maintenance holes, poles, fixtures, wires or any other appurtenants on, under or over the streets, alleys or public places of the City of Seattle. These installations include in part: gas mains and services; electrical manholes and conduits; telecommunication manholes and conduits; steam mains and services; water mains and services; utility poles; and aerial CATV and telecommunications cables.

The applicant must submit an application and plan detailing the proposed utility to the Franchise and Utility Permit Section. The application and plan will be reviewed and any corrections noted before a permit will be issued.
2.7.1 Side Sewer Permitting

Side sewers, which include service drains and any other piping that is connected to public storm drains or sewers, are installed, owned, and maintained by the owner of the property being served. This ownership extends from the building structure to the tee or wye connection at the main, and therefore the property owner is responsible for excavation, installation, and restoration within the street right-of-way.
Side sewer construction shall be in accordance with the City of Seattle Standard Plans and Specifications, latest edition. There may be additional requirements for service taps, backfilling, shoring, and restoration within the street right-of-way or public easement.

Side Sewer permitting is administered by the Department of Planning and Development, which provides guidance and ensures that requirements are met by performing application review and site inspection. Construction work in the street right-of-way is inspected by SDOT.  For more information on side sewer permitting please read DPD CAM 503.  If your work on a side sewer involves any impeding any traffic on an arterial, a traffic control plan is required.  See the SDOT CAMs on Traffic Control Plan Checklist and Traffic Control Plan submittals.

2.7.2 Water Services, Hydrants, and Other Water System Appurtenances

The installation of water services, hydrants, and other water system appurtenances in the street right-of-way that are to serve a property or development requires a Street Use Permit issued by SDOT and either a standard charge or a time and materials charge payable to SPU. The installation of these facilities is done by SPU and the Street Use Permit is obtained by SPU.
To obtain a water service, there are several key steps:

  • Determine your use, and the flow range and diameter of the water service you need. Contact SPU’s Customer Service consultants for assistance – 206 684-3333.
  • Obtain a Water Availability Certificate (WAC) to determine whether water service is available to your property. A legal description and the name and address of the owner/contact person are required per the WAC. If water is available, you can apply for a water service with SPU’s Customer Service Branch.  For details, please review the SPU CAM 1202.  At the time of this application, payment for the water service must be made. In some cases, a plan by a registered professional engineer that is acceptable to SPU may be required. Otherwise SPU will use its standard details.
  • Once application and payment has been made, the Street Use Permit application and installation is completed by SPU.

If hydrants and other water system appurtenances in the street right-of-way are needed for your project and they are an individual installation (e.g., water fountain, hydrant) that is not part of a larger water system improvement, then a request and payment will need to be made to SPU.

Contact SPU for more information and a standard charge or time and materials charge payable to SPU will be required prior to the commencement of any work. In some cases, a design by a registered professional engineer will be needed. Once the fees and design are complete, the Street Use Permit and installation are performed by SPU as is the case with water service installations. Refer to the SPU website for details on how to initiate water services.


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Detailed Table of Contents
Chapter 2
Procedures, Permitting Process and Approvals for Right-of-Way Improvements
2.1 Navigating the City of Seattle Permit Process
2.2 Street Right-of-Way Permits
2.3 Street Improvement Permits Group 3 permits
2.4 Other Street Use Construction Permits Groups 1 and 2
2.5 Right-of-Way Use Permits
2.6 Shoring and Excavation Permits
2.7 Utility Permits
2.8 Non-Construction Permits
2.9 Street Trees and Landscaping Permits
2.10 Other Street Right-of-Way Improvement Activities
2.11 Deviation Request Process for Street Right-of-Way Improvements
2.12 Environmental Review and Approvals
2.13 King County Permits and Approvals
2.14 State and Federal Permits and Approvals
2.15 Contact Information
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