Why do we need CAP?
Beginning in 2009, Charlotte Water implemented the Capacity Assurance Program (CAP). This program verifies capacity in the public wastewater system for new developments and redevelopments. Charlotte Water engineers review the existing public wastewater system to verify there is adequate capacity to accommodate the flows from the new development. The existing system is evaluated from the new customer's proposed point of connection through the existing local gravity sewer, the trunk sewer, and finally the wastewater treatment facilities. The CAP program ensures that new development flows added to the wastewater system can connect safely without exceeding the capacity of the existing pipes, pump stations, or treatment facilities.
Who is required to have a CAP approval?
All new connections to Charlotte Water's wastewater collections system requesting a new water service 1-1/2 inch or larger (or equivalent sewer flow) require a CAP approval before final connection. All new service requests requiring CAP approval must submit a CAP application to the New Services Group. For development projects submitted through Charlotte Water's Land Development Services (Donated) group, the CAP application will be submitted as part of the Land Development Services review process. A CAP approval is required before the final connections to the public water and sewer systems.
What's the difference between a Preliminary CAP Review, a Willingness To Serve, and a Full CAP?
There are two levels of application to the CAP program:
Preliminary CAP Review (PCR) (previously a Willingness to Serve (WTS) – As of January 1, 2020, Willingness To Serve (WTS) was renamed to Preliminary CAP Review (PCR). The name change is the only change to the process. The PCR CAP application is intended to identify any potential sewer issues early in the development process to maximize the possibility to eliminate the capacity issue with minimal impact on development. It is not required but is strongly encouraged that a PCR application be submitted in the early stages of a development project. This application is submitted before the full CAP application and does not require a fully engineered site plan. The PCR can be submitted with a conceptual plan of the development site, a preliminary estimate of flows, and the completed CAP application form. Approval of the PCR does NOT reserve capacity within the wastewater system.
Full CAP - A full CAP application is required for all new connections 1-1/2 inch and larger, and a CAP approval must be granted before a new connection is allowed. This process requires a fully engineered site utility plan to be submitted with the completed CAP application form. Once the CAP application is submitted, an engineering analysis of the existing public wastewater system is performed to verify that there is enough capacity to accommodate the proposed development. Once capacity is confirmed, the CAP application will be approved. Approval of the full CAP application reserves capacity for the development in the public wastewater system for two years from the date of approval. **A CAP approval does not evaluate or ensure that any additional wastewater infrastructure required to convey flows to the existing public wastewater system will be built or is adequate for the proposed development. The CAP analysis does not verify capacity within low-pressure sanitary sewer systems.
The time required for a CAP Review – Typical CAP reviews are processed in 20 business days. For a small portion of CAP applications, additional investigation is required to verify capacity. The additional investigation may include a survey of the existing wastewater system, sewer flow monitoring, or both. If additional investigation is required, the applicant will be notified. The survey is typically completed with 15 business days. Flow monitoring requires measuring flows experienced during a substantial rain event, for this reason, flow monitoring may add up to 3 months to the CAP review. There is no charge to the applicant for this additional investigation.
Where do I go to apply for a CAP?
Early Application to Avoid Project Delays
Due to extensive development and redevelopment, portions of the wastewater system are nearing capacity. CAP applications and new taps cannot be approved unless capacity is available. Submitting a PCR and full CAP application as early as possible helps to identify any possible capacity issues and their solutions early. For CAP application information please contact the New Services Group at 704-432-2854 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please email additional questions about the CAP program to cltwaterCapacityAssuranceProgram@ci.charlotte.nc.us