Construction Permitting


The Construction Permitting Section reviews plans and specifications, and if approvable, issues permits to construct public water supply facilities (water lines, booster pumping stations, wells, and treatment facilities), wastewater facilities (sewer lines, lift stations, force mains, wastewater treatment plants, and lagoons), and water reuse treatment and/or distribution system facilities.

Permit applications, which include plans and specifications, are submitted for review and compliance with state construction standards. Construction permits are issued once the plans, specifications, and supporting documents meet the minimum construction standards.

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Construction Permitting and Review Process

Step 1) Submit an Engineering Report for Approval (if Required)

  1. An engineering report may be required by DEQ for major modifications or construction of a treatment plant to increase plant capacity, required by DEQ to address an open Consent Order, or required by a funding agency. An engineering report should be approved prior to the submission of plans and specifications.
  2. If an engineering report is not required, a technical memorandum to include relevant calculations, and/or an engineering report form (Form 626-WER, 656-SER, or 627-WRER) should be submitted with the plans and specifications (see Step 2).
  3. The DEQ Plan Review Engineer will have 45 days to review the engineering report once it’s received. Following the review of the report, DEQ will either send a Notice of Deficiencies (NOD) letter requesting revisions/clarifying information or DEQ will send an engineering report approval letter. If a NOD is sent, the consulting engineer will have 180 days to provide a revised report or clarifying information. If an approval letter is sent, the applicant may continue to Step 2, submission of plans and specifications.
  4. The DEQ review and NOD cycle will continue until all deficiencies are addressed.

Step 2) Submit Plans and Specifications for Approval

  1. Submit all required documents (see “Construction Permitting Application Forms” below), review fees, and any other relevant information for DEQ’s review. Applications will not be begin technical review by a DEQ Plan Review Engineer until all required documents have been submitted.
  2. Provide a minimum of two sets of project specific plans and specifications (a third set is optional).
    • Upon approval, the first copy will be retained for DEQ records, the second copy will be mailed to the applicant, and the third copy (if provided) will be mailed to the consulting engineer of record.
    • A municipality or rural water district may request a copy of their standard specifications or ordinances be kept on file with DEQ for the review of future permit applications. If a municipality or rural water district would like to pursue this option, please contact Rocky Chen at 405-702-8100 or email him at
  3. Once an application has been received by DEQ, the Plan Review Engineer will have 30 days to review water/sewer line applications and 45 days to review any treatment or water well projects.
  4. Following DEQ review of the application, DEQ will either send a Notice of Deficiencies (NOD) letter requesting revisions/clarifying information or DEQ will approve the application (see Step 3).
  5. If an NOD is sent, the consulting engineer will have 180 days to provide revisions and/or the requested information.
  6. The resubmission should contain a letter to address the NOD, including the location of the revisions and permit application number, and provide complete sets of any revised documents (e.g. if Plan Sheet 4 is revised, two bound sets of all plan sheets should be provided).
  7. Upon resubmission, DEQ will have 30/45 days to review. The DEQ review and NOD cycle will continue until all deficiencies are addressed. Please plan for at least one review and NOD cycle prior to approval.

Step 3) DEQ Approval and Permit Issuance

  1. Once DEQ approves the application, a DEQ permit will be mailed to the applicant along with the DEQ approved plans and specifications.
  2. The applicant may begin construction only after the DEQ signed permit and DEQ approved plans/specifications are in-hand.
  3. Once the permit has been issued, the permittee must start construction within one year. If this is not achievable, the permittee may request an extension of one year by providing DEQ a written request and an acceptable reason why construction could not begin (e.g. lack of funding, issues obtaining right-of-way easements, etc.).

Variance Request Q&A

What Is a Variance?

A variance is a deviation for the construction permitting standards. The most commonly referenced construction permitting standards are listed in the Construction Permitting Standards tab below.

The policy of DEQ is to encourage better water treatment methods and equipment, including the use of new technology. DEQ may approve processes or equipment not specifically covered by the construction permitting standards, provided the permittee requests a variance.


When Can I Request a Variance?

A variance can be requested when a proposed process or equipment is not specifically covered by the construction permitting standards.

What Are the Grounds for Granting a Variance?

A variance may be granted if the data and justification of the proposal shows that the process or equipment will meet or exceed the intent of the construction standards.

Who Are the Water Quality Division (WQD) Variance Committee Members and When do They Meet?

The Variance Committee meets biweekly and consists of six members:

  • The Chief Engineer of the Water Quality Division
  • The Assistant Division Director of the Water Quality Division
  • Three Water Quality Group Managers, which include: the Wastewater Group, Public Water Supply Group, and Planning Group
  • The Manager of the Construction Permitting Section

How Do I Apply for a Variance?

To apply for a variance, contact the Construction Permitting Engineer of the project area. A link to the Plan Review Engineer District Map can be found at the bottom of this page.

Submit a variance request letter, addressed to the Construction Permitting Engineer. The letter shall be signed by the permittee and shall be on official letterhead of the facility requesting the variance.

Include all relevant information supporting the subject of the variance request. The consulting engineer shall justify the requested variance by submitting data showing the proposed processes or equipment will equal or exceed the performance of processes or equipment known to perform the same function according to the standards. Relevant information can include the following.

  • Monitoring observations including test results and engineering evaluations, and data from existing installations that demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed processes or equipment
  • A detailed description of the test methods
  • Other information as requested by DEQ. The DEQ may require that pilot studies and appropriate testing be conducted and evaluations be made under the supervision of a competent process engineer other than one employed by the manufacturer or developer

What Is the Variance Review Process?

The Variance Committee meets biweekly to discuss the submitted variance requests. The Construction Permitting Engineer will present the variance request along with the justification submitted by the consulting engineer. Once the Variance Committee reviews all the relevant information concerning the subject of the variance request, the members will then discuss the proposal and make a decision on whether the variance in question will be granted.

Once a decision has been made, the Construction Permitting Engineer will write a response letter. This letter will be mailed out to the permittee and the consulting engineer.

If additional information is required by the Variance Committee, the Construction Permitting Engineer will contact the consulting engineer to request this information.

If a variance has been approved, the final approval will be included in the construction permit.

Construction Permit Application Forms

Plan Review Fee Schedule – Effective July 1, 2019

Potable Water System Application Forms

Sanitary Sewer System Application Forms

Reclaimed Water and Land Application Forms

Preliminary Forms for Plat Approval

In accordance with O.S. 27A §2-6-403(B)(1)(a), the Preliminary Engineering Report Form below must be submitted for proposed plats outside the corporate limits of a city or town and must be approved before the Environmental Complaints and Local Services Division (ECLS) will approve the proposed plat.

Permit Exemption Forms

Applications for a permit exemption must include the permit exemption form and a map showing the existing and proposed waterline material, size, and location. Please note that permit exemptions are intended for water systems in good standing to lay new waterline to serve a small number of new customers.

Prior to applying for a permit exemption, please review the permit exemption requirements listed in OAC 252:626-3-5. Following construction of the waterline, a sufficiency form must be filled out by the appropriate official and submitted to DEQ.

Permit to Supply Potable Water Forms

Contact Construction Permitting              Construction Permitting District Map