If you live within the city limits of Columbus, Indiana, you are eligible to receive service from Columbus City Utilities (CCU).
The CCU is a municipally owned and operated utility. It has certain procedures for citizens of the City to gain services and different procedures for those who live outside the corporate limits.
If you live outside of the City of Columbus, you should first go to the Bartholomew County planning office and make an application for service with them. We have a brochure titled “Water and Sewer Service for Rural Residents” that explains the procedures that must be followed to obtain service.
If you reside within the City limits, there are probably water and sewer facilities available to your property, but sometimes there are exceptions. Recent annexations or old property subdivisions sometimes create “pockets” where extensions are required.
The CCU will work with you in extending facilities to your site if this is the case, but extensions can take time. If you suspect that facilities are not available, it would be to your benefit to contact the CCU Engineering department as soon as possible.
After it has been determined that facilities are available to your property, the next question to answer is whether or not assessments are due on the property.
Assessments are fees charged by the Utilities to assist in the payment for the pipes adjacent to your property. The rates are set by local ordinance and cannot be modified by staff. The assessment rates are multiplied by the property dimension that abuts, or lies next to, the water or sewer line. Staff has authority to apply certain adjustments to oddly shaped parcels that do not readily fit this rule. The assessment rate for water lines is $9.30 / abutting foot. The rate for sewer lines is $13.10 / abutting foot. Many newly created parcels belong to developments where the water and sewer lines have been built by private developers and not by the CCU. In these cases, there are no assessments charged the customer.
In addition to assessments you will also be expected to pay connection charges to the Columbus City Utilities. These fees reimburse CCU for the labor and materials spent in providing the service. For water services a normal residential service (5/8″ x 3/4″) will cost $1100. If a meter pit or vault has already been set then the charge will be $500. For larger services the actual costs are tabulated by the distribution crew and the customer is billed. For commercial connections requiring fire service lines or large meters, the builder provides all but the actual tap to the public main which is made by distribution crews and billed to the owner. For sewer services the fees are considerably less since they are only intended to reimburse the Utilities for the costs associated in inspecting the sewer connection to the public main. Fees for residential taps are $70. Industrial taps have fees of $70 associated with them. An important distinction is that while an application for service must be made by the eventual customer, it is the excavator who will be making the connection that must obtain the sewer tap permit.
- Come to the CCU office: You will have to sign a customer service agreement before we can give you service so it is mandatory for you to visit our offices at 1111 McClure Road and discuss your connections with our Customer Services Representative. When you plan your trip it will be helpful to have some specific information about your property to help us calculate your total charges. A little preparation can save you repeated trips.
- Bring your property description (if you have it): Assessment charges are based upon the lengths of your property lines adjacent to water or sewer lines. In addition, whether or not assessments even apply to your case can be dependent on the subdivision in which you live. Your mailing address is often not enough to determine these charges. This can be as complex as a full legal survey or as simple as a deed stating something like “Lot 5 of Any wood Addition”.
- Know the history of your property: If your property has been served before you may not need to pay assessments. Sometimes properties are served for years and then replatted. If the street address of the property has changed then we will have no record that assessments have been paid for the new address. The more you can tell us about the history of your site the less likely these errors are to happen.
- Don’t Worry: If you are unable to determine any of the above we can look them up for you, although this may add some extra time to the process.
For water services, a normal residential service (5/8” X 3/4”) will cost $1100.00. This includes the cost of the meter pit or vault, the meter, as well as labor and material costs. If your property already has a meter pit or vault available, the cost for a normal residential service is only $500.00, which covers the cost of the meter. For larger services, the actual cost for labor and materials are calculated and billed to the customer on an individual basis.
For commercial water services, the builder is responsible for providing everything but the actual tap to the public main. CCU will make the tap and bill the customer for all labor and material costs.
For a sewer tap, the cost is only $70.00, which is a reimbursement to CCU for the cost of inspecting the sewer connection to the main.
Please note, while the application for services must be made by the eventual customer, the excavator is responsible for obtaining the sewer tap permit and making the actual connection.
Signing up for services is quite simple. If you are the owner of the property, all you have to do is email, fax, or bring to our office, the name(s) that you want associated with the account, a current phone number, the address of the service location, and the date you want services turned on in your name. A deposit is not required unless your services are interrupted due to delinquent payment.
If you are renting the property, you must come to our office to sign up for services. You will be asked to provide a government-issued photo ID, a copy of your lease signed by the landlord, and a deposit of $105.00.