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Thread: Running water line

  1. #1

    Default Running water line

    I am planning on purchasing some property that I wish to someday build on. The problem is that the nearest city water tap is roughly 5400' away-crossing 3 landowners along a road. I would like to tap into the city line, but I do not where to begin. First of all, that much line-I want it to last. So, what type of pipe, how big, and many cutoffs, how many pressure regulators. From the top of the tap to the the potential building site is a net elevation gain of about -270 ft (mostly down hill). If I need a regulator, do I need to put it about mid-slope of the main hill or just at house? Any info on this matter would be greatly appreciated. It appears as though the city is not going to extend its line down the road unfortunately even though the entire road length is about 2 miles and it lies between two roads that have city water. The location is in TN if that helps any.

  2. #2
    In the Trades Master Plumber 101's Avatar
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    The city most likely will dictate if you can tap into there main, especially running such a long distance as you need. Check with your local township. Also, can you get easement from the other property owners?
    Last edited by Master Plumber 101; 08-15-2008 at 06:43 PM.

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    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    Yep, you got's to call the city water department for this one.

  4. #4
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    You will be much better off drilling your own well and if needed treating your water.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
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  5. #5

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    Someone has already tried to dig a well there. They went 115 feet down and hit a five foot limestone cave and then backed out. I would rather pay for a reliable source of water than to dig any more wells. The property is below the shale layer, so hitting water is very questionable. I have taked to the city manager about the process. He is all for it as long as I pay for it. I am also going to try to get an easement from each of the landowners. One of the landowners actually owns the property for sale so I am fairly confident that he would allow it maybe as a condition of sale.

  6. #6
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Your city will usually dictate what and how you do it. Here, you would have to have an engineer drawn up a system, usually to city specifications meaning a 6" or 8" line big enough to serve any future homeowners who wished to connect to it. Then you would need easements from all the other property owners. Once it is in and inspected you deed the installation over to the city. Sometimes you can create a "district" that the other owners help pay for it in return for using the water. The city then prorates the cost to each property owner depending on his frontage payable monthly in the water bill. Future property owners MUST connect to the water line since it is available and they then pay their share of the installation also. If you do not create a district, anyone who needs water may be allowed to connect to your water line at no cost other than the city's normal fees and you would get nothing other than a "thank you for the pipe".

  7. #7

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    I was thinking more along the lines of it just being a long tap for my personal use utilizing a 2" pipe. Yes, I would have to pay for a tap into the main line, but the water would just be for my personal use. This is pretty rough ground in terms of terrain. The city manager mentioned something about an engineer plan but only if I wanted to do the whole 2 mile length with a 4" pipe. There is only about 8 landowners along the road. Perk sites are limited to a few areas. The road is not paved. If I was going to do it for myself. How would I go along doing in a way that limit maintenance or worry? Would I only need one pressure regulator for a decrease of 270 ft for a 2" pipe? Thanks for all the input guys.

  8. #8
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Dittos of what HJ said.

    I'll repeat "You will be much better off drilling your own well and if needed treating your water.". Whatever driller can't drill a well through a 5' cave or other type void... well, he ain't much of a driller. And 115' is not deep when it comes to wells.

    Why do you think a well is not a reliable water source?

    Your water company may be using wells, many do and multiple millions of homeowners and businesses do too. If they don't use wells, they use surface water.

    The water company water may require the same type of individual treatment.

    You will spend a lot less money drilling a well and installing a pump and pressure tank than running the correct size water line 5400' and paying their connection fee etc. etc.. That doesn't count their ever increasing monthly water bill, even if it were their minimum.

    As to your idea of 2" or whatever size pipe for 5400'... Depending on the type of pipe, and any elevation, you may need 3-4" minimum and, you may not have adequate pressure at your house. The pressure (friction) loss of the pipe and fittings every 10' to 20' will rob serious psi from what the city water line has. And I seriously doubt they will increase pressure just for you.

    So you want to add pressure regulators. They are used to reduce pressure not increase it. Just the addition of one will reduce pressure and.... when you get the price for a 3-4" PRV...

    You may very well need a booster pump or 2 and they require you to run power cable to each, and control the pressure of each and then pay the electric to run one or more. Plus the cost of the pump(s) and all maintenance are at your expense.

    When you get the price of maybe 2500' of maybe 00 power cable, and add up all the other costs, you very probably will change your mind and call a few well drillers.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  9. #9

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    I know that pressure regulators decrease pressure and not increase it. As I mentioned in the previous post, the line would be travelling down hill with a net elevation loss of 270 feet. Would that not increase the pressure over 100 psi (every 2.3 feet=gain or lose 1 psi)? Are you saying that by using a 2" pipe, I would need a booster to increase the pressure as opposed to a 4" pipe? In terms of well water, every other landowner on the road has advised me to get city water if I could afford it. These people have been there for all their lives. Every summer their wells almost dry up. A landowner right next door dug 308 feet and did not get any water. He is getting it pumped from his inlaws house. As I mentioned before, the property is below the shale layer-not above it. Trying to dig a well in limestone at 15$/ft with no guarantee is not worth the money or poor water quality. The only reason the city wants to utilize a 4" pipe is so they can connect to a fire hydrant. If I can put in a 2" pipe and still get good pressure at the bottom-I'll do it. In terms of pressure ratings, what is a 2" pipe rated at in terms of psi? A 3"? A 4"? Thanks for all the help.

  10. #10

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    Some of these things are a little out of the range of my expertise, but I'll chime in.

    I think it would not be a good idea to drill a well, particularly considering that many wells in the area go dry. Maintaining a well, particularly a deep well, can be expensive, especially when there's city water available.

    Pressure is going to be a problem. I see no reason to use a 2" PRV - you can bush down the pipe from 2" to 1" when it enters the residence.

    As to pipe, that is a conundrum. I can't see using 200 PSI poly water service pipe when the pressure at the bottom of the hill may be extreme. Certainly galvanized pipe isn't that great anymore. Perhaps PVC, as long as you bed the trench properly and bury it deep enough. I don't know about your climate but if you have freezing weather, frost can be driven down deep into the ground if under someone's driveway or a road.

    PVC should be good for about 600 PSI.
    Steve's Plumbing Service

  11. #11
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forester View Post
    I know that pressure regulators decrease pressure and not increase it. As I mentioned in the previous post, the line would be travelling down hill with a net elevation loss of 270 feet.
    Here's what I replied to: "From the top of the tap to the the potential building site is a net elevation gain of about -270 ft (mostly down hill).". Maybe I should have asked for clarification.... but now you're saying 270' downhill.

    Quote Originally Posted by Forester View Post
    Would that not increase the pressure over 100 psi (every 2.3 feet=gain or lose 1 psi)?
    Yes it will add psi to the psi of the line you tap into.

    Quote Originally Posted by Forester View Post
    In terms of well water, every other landowner on the road has advised me to get city water if I could afford it. These people have been there for all their lives. Every summer their wells almost dry up. A landowner right next door dug 308 feet and did not get any water. He is getting it pumped from his inlaws house. As I mentioned before, the property is below the shale layer-not above it. Trying to dig a well in limestone at 15$/ft with no guarantee is not worth the money or poor water quality.
    In regards to drilling a well... what does being below the shale layer have to do with it? I say that's good because shale means H2S gas odor in most cases, so you probably wouldn't have that concern.

    So "almost dry up" says they don't dry up.

    And 115' and 308' wells are not deep wells. Math says 308 * 15 =$4620, probably only slightly more than the water co tap fee will be plus the cost for 5000' to two miles worth of digging and the pipe and fittings. And then a monthly water bill for XX years that will never go down but is guaranteed to go up. Also, add in any water line maintenance.

    Because I'm so familiar with wells, and because I know of the problems with city water and the expense, I would go with a well any day, and yes it may have to be 400-600'+ deep.

    Quote Originally Posted by Forester View Post
    The only reason the city wants to utilize a 4" pipe is so they can connect to a fire hydrant.
    They want 4" because that will feed a number of houses in the future 30-50 years and they want you to pay for it now, so they don't have to now or in the future. I'd go with my own well just on principal.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  12. #12
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    When you run your line in an easement across the neighbor's property, you may lose your exclusive right to connect to the pipe and may have to make it large enough to support other users. The only measurement that counts is the actual difference, + or -, between the source and your connection. Mostly uphill or mostly downhill is immaterial.

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