Water Main & Sewer Installation for New Construction NYC
July 21, 2013

Installing a water main and sewer for a new construction project differs from replacing a water line or sewer line of an existing house.  The process requires more time and attention to detail in order to obtain all of the required permits and receive DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) signoffs upon the completion of the installation.

SD_1__2showing_dril2l_in
SD 1 & 2

Harris Water Main and Sewer Contractors recently installed a new 6” combined (storm & sanitary flow in one pipe) sewer line and a new 2” combined (domestic and sprinkler feed in one pipe) water service for a house being built in Floral Park Queens.  The process started with the project engineer and the project manager sketching and plotting the plans to be approved by DOB (Department of Buildings) for the new water line and sewer installation.  The entire process from the architect being hired to work on the job, completing the drawings and having the plans approved, was completed within a 10 week period.

Harris Water could now begin working on obtaining all required permits now that they had all required approvals in hand.  The engineer was also working on the SD 1 & 2 for the sewer, the Cross Connection Letter (AKA RPZ approval) for the combined water service and had these approved within a few weeks of DOB drawings.  The project manager for Harris Water needed the SD 1 & 2, the cross connection letter, the DOB approved plans and the water meter application before he could submit any paperwork to DEP.  After all of the paperwork was submitted to DEP it took one week before everything was approved and the water/sewer permits were issued.  Harris now submitted all required paperwork to DOT (Department of Transportation) for street opening permits, which were released within three days of all paperwork being submitted.  The project was ready to begin with a target completion date of three days.

On this particular project the water main and sewer were located in two separate trenches on each end of the house which required additional excavation, labor and time to complete the installation. In many cases the sewer and water are located in a common trench where the sewer would be installed followed by the water line which is located above the sewer, this usually saves time resulting in a more cost effective price for the installation.

Core Drill for new sewer connection
Core Drill for new sewer connection

The installation crew began working on the sewer install by excavating the roadway and cementing the city sewer in preparation for a new drill-in connection.  Harris will drill into the city sewer the next morning after the concrete had thoroughly dried.  A core-drill machine was used to make the new connection, followed by excavation of the property where the new sewer line would now be installed from the house to the roadway over the next two days.

The new 2” combined water service was being installed approximately 10’ away from where the sewer line was being installed at the very same time.  The DEP field crew was scheduled to be on-site to install the new 2” tap connection later that afternoon; at this point the new copper pipe is hooked-up to the tap connection and allowing the house to have running water feeding all bathrooms and the sprinkler system.  Harris completed the water line installation with a curb valve on the sidewalk as per DEP requirements and a new OSY valve on the inside of the building.

Installing new 6" cast iron pipe
Installing new 6″ cast iron pipe

The sewer installation in the roadway was successfully completed on the third and final day of the project; the house now had a new 6” cast iron sewer line from the new connection in the street to inside the building where the internal plumber will be completing the piping on the inside of the house.  All DEP final inspections were completed on the third day of installation; all excavations were now backfilled as well as completing the compaction test required for all NYC “protected” roadways.

The roadway and sidewalk were both resurfaced the next day and the project was completed leaving this Queens developer one step closer to having the new homeowners move into their dream house.  DEP sign-offs were released within one week of the final inspection and given to the developer for his records.


The Harris family has been providing water main and sewer services for all of NYC for over 90 years.  We can be contacted at 718-495-3600 for any general questions or specifics to the details of your project.