Every year OCWA assigns construction crews to work throughout its five-county service territory making improvements to our water system in order to ensure that our customers continue to have access to safe, reliable and affordable water.  This is the first in a series of five articles to help explain the water main construction process.  This article explains the various terms that we use before, during and after construction.   

Contractor is the company that is awarded OCWA’s annual water main construction contract. This year the contractor is D.E. Tarolli.

Curb Stop (Curb Box) is the service shut off to a customer’s house typically located at the edge of the road right of way in the customer’s front yard. From the curb stop into the house is the customer’s responsibility. From the water main to the curb box is OCWA’s responsibility.

Cut & Cap is the process in which an old main is abandoned.

Distribution Mains (aka water mains) are the typically smaller diameter water pipes (4”-12”) located in the ROW that provide water to homes and businesses.  The larger diameter mains (16″-54″) which transport water from our lake sources of supply to various storage facilities throughout our system are known as transmission mains (see below).

Inspector is OCWA’s field representative who is responsible to protect OCWA’s interests during the construction process.  There is an inspector on site for every construction project, and they are more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

Potable Water is water that meets the standards for drinking purposes.  It has passed bacteriological sampling and been approved by the Health Dept. (aka drinking water).

Pressure Test & Chlorination is the process in which new water mains are tested for leaks and disinfected before use.

Right of Way (ROW) is the area within which public roads run.  A typical ROW encompasses 60′ to either side of a road centerline. Lands within the road right-of-way are reserved for use of the travelling public, and maintenance of the utilities and roads of a municipality. The edge of the ROW is where the curb stop is placed.

Service is the material and equipment used to supply water from the water main to the residence.

Tie-in is the point where the new main connects to the old main.

Transmission Mains are the typically larger diameter mains (16”-54”) that serve tanks, reservoirs, pump stations, etc. Services are not normally allowed to transmission mains.