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.


DEQ's Review Process for Construction Permit Applications

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.).

Electronic Submissions to Apply for a Construction Permit

The electronic submittal, or E-submittal, program has recently been unveiled as a green and paperless way to apply for a DEQ construction permit. The E-submittal Program is intended to eliminate or reduce waste from paper correspondence to and from DEQ; for instance, all submittals, NODs, and permits will be transferred to and from the applicant/consulting engineer by email or through a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server.  

Please note: All resubmissions should be submitted in the same way they were originally submitted. For example, projects that were originally submitted on paper must remain as paper submissions and projects that were originally submitted electronically must remain as electronic submissions.  

How to Enroll in the E-submittal Program

  1. Email and request an FTP user account to submit projects electronically.  
  2. The FTP program DEQ is using for the E-submittals is FileZilla. Download “FileZilla Client” at
  3. Watch FileZilla tutorial video and/or read the usage instructions at
  4. If necessary view the “Common Errors/Issues” tab below.

Note: Usernames and passwords for the FTP server are generated and maintained by DEQ. If you forget your password or you would like to request a different password, please email DEQ at 

Note: One FTP server account (username and password) will be created for each engineering firm, not for each individual engineer. DEQ does not recommend sharing this information with anyone outside the engineering firm.  

How to Submit Projects Electronically

  1. Upload all necessary documents to the FTP server under one folder.  
  2. Send an email to Email notification is vital as it is the only way DEQ is notified when a project is submitted for review. Your email to Construction Permitting must contain the following information, which also contained in the E-Submittal Checklist:  
    • Applicant (Facility/Municipality/Entity) 
    • Facility ID (S-# or PWSID #) 
    • Email Contact for Applicant 
    • Engineer of Record 
    • Engineer’s Email 
    • List of Documents Submitted 
    • FTP Server Folder Name (Location of Submitted Documents) 
  3. Unlike paper submissions, the plan review fee for E-submittals cannot be paid upon submission of the application. Once the application has been reviewed by DEQ, an invoice will be created and emailed to the applicant and consulting engineer. Permits cannot be issued until the review fee has been paid in full.  

Note: DEQ will not review a project unless all required documents are provided and accounted for on the FTP server. 

Note: The FTP server is intended for file transfer only, not for file storage.After a permit is issued and the consulting engineer is notified, all project files such as DEQ approved plans, specifications, or permits, will be removed from the FTP server after two weeks and will only be accessible by a records request through DEQ Central Records. Upon notification, DEQ recommends removing the project files from the FTP server and stored within the engineering firm’s records.  

E-submittal Fees and Invoices

At this time, E-submittals cannot accept any fees at the time of the original submission. Instead, an invoice will be created as early as possible for the project and emailed to the applicant and the consulting engineer. The current fee schedule applies to all electronic submittals can be found under the Construction Permit Application Forms Tab.  

Once you have received the invoice for your project, payments can be made by:

  1. mailing a check with the invoice stub to DEQ
  2. calling 405-702-1130 to make credit card or direct transfer payments. Please have your invoice or application number on hand during the call.

Common Errors/Issues

Below is a list of common errors or issues that we have run into as we have started up the E-submittal program. As you work through the E-submittal process, please let us know by email at, if you identify an error or issue not listed on this page.  

  1. Error Message: “Failed to retrieve directory listing” 

Open FileZilla FTP Server  Select File → Site Manager → Double Click “My Sites”  Select “New Site”  Under the “General” Tab → Change Encryption Setting to “Only use plain FTP (insecure)”

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 Assistant Division Director of the Water Quality Division
  • The Chief Engineer of the Water Quality Division
  • Three Water Quality Group Engineering Managers, which include:
    • Municipal Wastewater Group
    • Industrial Wastewater Group
    • Public Water Supply Group
  • The Engineering 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

Construction Permit Application Fee Schedule for the Below Listed Applications

Application Fee Schedule – Effective July 1, 2022

As a reminder construction permits will not be issued until the application review fee is paid in full.

Potable Water System Application Forms

Sanitary Sewer System Application Forms

Reclaimed Water and Land Application Forms

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