Do’s and Don’ts with Utility Easements


Do keep all hydrants, water meters and sanitary sewer manholes clear from all obstructions including mulch, shrubbery, leaves and permanent structures.

Don’t pile snow on top of or against a fire hydrant, water meter or sanitary sewer manhole.

Do understand, should we have to remove shubbery or flowers contained within our easement, we will not be responsible for them or their replacement.

Don’t obstruct the view of a fire hydrant. The Fire Department needs to easily identify the fire hydrant locations in an emergency situation.


The ACSA is responsible for the existing and future public water and sanitary sewer infrastructure and appurtences located throughout our jurisdictional area. This includes the general maintenance, upgrades and new construction as the need arises. To accomplish new construction on private property, it is necessary to acquire right of way easements to allow installation of utilities and to guarantee access for future maintenance. Our goal is to ensure that an easement is obtained in the most fair and economical means without adversely impacting the property.

An easement only grants restricted use of the property as detailed in the deed of easement and plat, and is not a transfer in real estate ownership. For this reason, easements are usually obtained though donations or negotiations. There are two types of easements commonly employed in the construction of public water and sewer utility projects. The first is a permanent easement that grants perpetual rights to access, install, operate, repair, replace, and maintain specified utility pipelines or facilities. The second is a temporary easement that conveys temporary access and construction rights that terminate upon the completion of the construction of the project.

Excerpt from our General Construction Specifications:

“Easements shall be required for all water, sewer lines, and appurtenances except where installed within a public right-of-way of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). If the utility is placed within the outer ten (10) feet of VDOT right-of-way, additional private easements shall be provided to allow ten (10) feet from the center of any utility. Such easements shall not be less than twenty (20) feet in width centered on the main. Combined sewer and water easements shall not be less than thirty (30) feet in width with both mains ten (10) feet from the edges of the easement. The ACSA reserves the right to require additional easement width if construction and maintenance activities require it. All easements shall have the right of ingress and egress fully provided for in the recorded deed. Where deemed necessary by the ACSA, easements shall extend to adjacent property for orderly extensions of service.”

“All appurtenances (blow-off, hydrants, etc.) shall be provided with an easement twenty (20) feet in width centered on the interconnecting piping and ten (10) feet from the center of the appurtenance. Easements shall be corrected to reflect the as-built conditions and shall be submitted with the final dedication package.”

“No building or permanent structure shall be constructed within the easement. No trees, shrubs, structures, fences or obstacles shall be placed within an easement which would render the easement inaccessible by equipment. Any person who constructs a structure within the utility easement shall be liable for the cost of removal and any damage to the utility.”