Permit Program and Waterworks Design

Permit Types

Operation Permit

12VAC5-590-190 of the Waterworks Regulations requires all waterworks in Virginia to be operated under the authorization of an Operation Permit issued by the Commissioner.

A new Operation Permit is issued for

  • New waterworks; or
  • Waterworks that have a change in ownership.

An Operation Permit may be amended for

  • Changes in source, treatment, storage, pumping or distribution facilities; or
  • Operating conditions.

The permitted capacity of the waterworks is the limiting hydraulic capability of the waterworks, taking into consideration the source water withdrawal, treatment facilities, finished water storage, delivery and distribution system.

ODW issues 2 types of Operation Permits: Standard and Temporary.

  • Standard Operation Permits have no expiration date.
  • Temporary Operation Permits have an expiration date; typically 12 – 18 months from the issuance date. A Temporary Operation Permit allows additional time for the waterworks to achieve required reliability, collect additional data, and perform tests and/or determinations to establish hydraulic capacity and treatment performance.

Permit Application is required for all new Operation Permits.

An approved Waterworks Business Operations Plan may be required for new waterworks.

Construction Permit

12VAC5-590-200 of the Waterworks Regulations requires an owner or authorized agent to submit an application for a permit from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to construct, expand, or modify a waterworks.

A waterworks owner may obtain VDH approval for General Specifications and Plan Details (Standards) for water distribution mains. These must be at least as stringent as the requirements of  the Waterworks Regulations. Construction plans may reference approved Standards in lieu of project-specific specifications and plan details.


General Permit for Construction of Water Distribution Mains

In lieu of obtaining a construction permit for each distribution main project, a waterworks owner may elect to obtain a General Permit.

  • All requests for a General Permit are directed initially to the appropriate ODW field office.
  • The waterworks must have an approved Local Review Program that includes General Specifications and Plan Details (Standards) for water distribution mains.