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Public Water Systems Permits

This webpage provides general information for permitting and does not replace any information in the guidance or regulations. Please see Public Water Supply Manual - Part II Community System Design Standards (383-2125-108) and Module 1 (3900-PM-BSDW0254B) for detailed information on permit application package requirements.

Under the provisions of Subchapter E, Permit Requirements, of DEP’s Rules and Regulations at 25 Pa. Code § 109.501, no person may construct or substantially modify a public water system (PWS) without first obtaining (or amending) a construction permit from DEP. Furthermore, no person may operate a PWS or a substantially modified PWS without first obtaining (or amending) an operation permit from DEP. This applies to Community Water Systems (CWS) and applicable Noncommunity Water Systems (NCWS). For further information on Noncommunity Water Systems, please visit the Noncommunity Water Systems (NCWS) webpage.

Pertaining to projects, the applicant shall submit information on all facilities for a new PWS and/or information about any addition to or modification of an existing PWS which could affect the quality and/or quantity of the supply. This information must be submitted to DEP for approval through the PWS Permit Application.

Examples of Modifications
Major Modifications Minor Modifications
Addition of new sources (including replacement and finished water sources) Deletion of sources
Addition, deletion, or modification of treatment techniques or processes Modification to treatment chemicals, except where otherwise specified
Addition or modification of pumping stations Addition of new transmission mains
Addition or modification of storage reservoirs Construction of prefabricated storage tanks and standpipes to standard specifications
Installation of mixing or aeration systems to meet a Maximum Containment Level (MCL) (e.g., TTHM/HAAS MCL)Installation of a mixing systems to minimize icing
Addition of disinfection practicesConversion from gas chlorine to sodium hypochlorite (disinfection)
Addition or modification of treatment to meet an MCL Addition of interconnections (permit required by receiving system or both systems if bi-directional flow)
Relocation of source water intakeInstallation of a bulk water loading stations
Source or plant capacity increasesAddition of water main extensions with the potential to adversely affect water quality (e.g., increase disinfection byproducts (DBPs), deplete disinfectant residuals) or quantity (e.g., cause diminution or pressure problems)
 Installation of reservoir covers
 Replacement of storage tank or reservoir linings (or similar materials) in contact with the water supply
 Application of paint to the interior of a storage tank
 Relocation of chemical application points
 Installation of chlorine contact piping

DEP Review and Permit Coordination Procedure

DEP follows the Permit Decision Guarantee Policy (PDG) for minor and major modifications. Major modifications follow fees in 25 Pa. Code § 109.1404(a) and the PDG allows 120 business days for issuing a construction permit. Minor modifications follow fees in 25 Pa. Code § 109.1404(b), and the PDG allows 60 business days for issuing a construction permit.

In administering the permit requirements of DEP’s Safe Drinking Water Regulations, the Bureau of Safe Drinking Water (BSDW) has implemented a two-part approval process: construction/modification (Part 1) and operation (Part 2).

Upon approval of the plans, modules, and other design documents, a construction permit will be issued approving the construction or modification in accordance with the approved plans. This approval will be valid for a period of two years unless substantial work is initiated, or the permit is renewed by DEP.

Upon completion of construction/modification, the system is required to submit a Certificate of Construction (3900 FM BSDW0062) to DEP stating that construction or modification was completed in accordance with the approved plans and specifications. This certificate must be signed by the professional engineer or other person responsible for the work. Upon receipt of the certificate, DEP will inspect the facility and issue an operation permit where the construction has been satisfactorily completed.

Permitting Flow Diagram (PDF)