Water and Wastewater Capacity Studies

The City’s new water and wastewater capacity study requirements and guidelines are aimed to support the new streamlined entitlement and Building Permit Plan Check process by 1) determining if a water and/or wastewater capacity study is required before the planning application is deemed complete by the City and 2) if a capacity study is required, the capacity study and design of off-site improvements necessary shall be completed before building plans are submitted for Building Permit Plan Check.  This process will provide up front determination, at the planning stage, for the new development if a water and/or wastewater capacity study is required. 

The City’s Water Resources Division provides potable and recycled water through the City for single- and multi-family residential, commercial, and industrial uses, as well as landscape irrigation and fire protection.  The Water Resources Division is also responsible for all facilities that support the safe collection and conveyance of wastewater for final treatment at the City of Los Angele’s Hyperion Treatment Plant.  The City’s water and wastewater infrastructure is largely built-out, therefore, the domestic water supply and wastewater collection infrastructure is already in place and generally fixed in nature.  The City, to the extent practical, will provide water and wastewater service when: 1) sufficient water supply and distribution capacity and/or wastewater collection capacity is available to accommodate the new development’s water and wastewater demand and 2) the proposed development can be served water and wastewater safely collected in a fashion that meets the City’s criteria.   

Water and wastewater capacity studies are required for new developments in the City to analyze the development’s impact on the City’s water and wastewater infrastructure and verify if it could accommodate the proposed development. Development projects have the potential to overtax the City’s wastewater and water systems, which could lead to sanitary sewer overflows and loss of pressure, or even loss of supply, in the water distribution system. Water and wastewater capacity studies are vital to safeguard public health and maintain reliable service.  The water and wastewater capacity studies also determine if the new development is required to implement off-site improvements (e.g., increasing the wastewater collection pipe) in order to accommodate the increased water and/or wastewater service from the new development.   

Relevant Links

City Council Capacity Study Guidelines Presentation