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Project Approvals

Approval must be obtained from the Maricopa County Environmental Services Department (MCESD) Water and Wastewater Treatment Program for a water or wastewater treatment facility, reclaimed water system or reuse facility when:

  • A new facility or system is to be constructed.
  • An existing facility or system is to be modified and the modification affects the capacity, quality, flow, location or operational performance of the facility or system.
  • A new or revised plan for a facility or system is being proposed.
  • An existing facility's or system's ownership is to be transferred.
  • An existing facility or system is to be decommissioned.

Projects Requiring Approvals

Projects to construct and/or modify the following types of facilities and systems are reviewed and approved by the Water and Wastewater Treatment Program:

  • Water Treatment Facilities - Plants treating surface water or ground water and point-of-use treatment systems.
  • Wastewater Treatment Facilities - Plants treating sanitary sewage, industrial wastewater (non-pretreatment program) and non-hazardous liquid waste.
  • Reclaimed Water Facilities and Systems - Recharge basins, injection/recovery wells, storage reservoirs, booster pump stations and new reclaimed water distribution systems.
  • Reuse Facilities - Irrigation and disposal systems, lakes and impoundments, water features, booster pump stations, pressure reducing valve stations and flow control or monitoring stations.
  • Treatment/Disposal Wetlands - Facilities and systems that dispose of reclaimed water or wastewater effluent.
  • Sanitary Sewer System Odor Control Treatment Facilities - Chemical odor control stations and odor scrubber systems.

The Water and Wastewater Treatment Program does not review or approve the following types of projects unless they are an integral part of a treatment facility or system:

  • Water distribution system pipelines located in the public right-of-way, pressure reducing valve stations, ground water wells, storage tanks, booster pump stations and facilities that include only disinfection treatment.
  • Wastewater collection and force main pipelines located in the public right-of-way, sewage pump and lift stations, air/vacuum relief stations and sewer flow control or diversion structures.
  • Reclaimed water distribution system pipelines and booster pump stations located in the public right-of-way.

These projects are reviewed and approved by the MCESD’s Subdivision Infrastructure and Planning Program.

Types of Approvals

Six types of approvals in four primary classes are issued for water or wastewater treatment facilities, reclaimed water systems or reuse facilities as follows:

  • Approval To Construct and Approval Of Construction
  • Approval Of Proposed Plan
  • Approval To Transfer Ownership
  • Approval To Decommission and Approval Of Decommissioning

The review and approval process for typical water, wastewater, reclaimed water or reuse projects is detailed in the Review and Approval Process Flow Diagrams. Each activity or event related to the review and approval process is shown on the flow diagram as a series of logical steps occurring in a specific chronological sequence.

The application and instruction forms for submission of projects requiring the above approvals can be found on the Forms/Applications page. Answers to common questions about the review and approval process may be found on the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page. Additional information about the review and approval process for each type of approval is presented in the sections below.

Approval To Construct/Approval Of Construction

A project that requires the construction of or physical modification to a facility or system must be submitted approval. The review and approval of a typical project usually occurs in three distinct phases:

  1. Submission of an Engineering Design Report, design drawings, specifications and other documentation for review. When the review is complete, an Approval To Construct certificate is issued to allow construction of the facility or system to commence.
  2. Construction of the facility or system. Submission of construction test reports, operational test results and validation reports, a Certificate of Completion, an Operations and Maintenance Manual and as-built design documentation for review. An inspection of the constructed works is performed by Water and Wastewater Treatment Program staff. When the review and inspection are complete, an Approval Of Construction certificate is issued.

The Approval To Construct and Approval Of Construction application and instruction forms and the Engineer's Certificate of Completion form and instructions can be found on the Forms/Applications.

Approval Of Proposed Plan

A project that only requires the implementation of a new or revised plan and does not involve the construction of or physical modification to a facility or system must be submitted for an Approval Of Proposed Plan. Typical plans requiring review and approval are:

  • Blending Plan
  • Consent Agreement Plan
  • Disinfection Plan
  • Experimental Project Plan
  • MAG 208 Amendment / Certification Plan
  • Master Plan
  • Noise Abatement Plan
  • Odor Control Plan
  • Operations & Maintenance Plan
  • Other Plan
  • Pilot Testing Plan
  • Remediation Plan
  • Rerating Plan

For most projects, a Plan Report and other relevant documentation supporting the proposed plan are submitted for review. When the review is complete, an Approval To Proceed certificate is usually issued to allow implementation of the plan to proceed. For some plans an authorization letter may be issued in lieu of an Approval To Proceed certificate.

The Approval Of Proposed Plan application and instruction forms can be found on the Forms/Applications.

Approval To Transfer Ownership

The transfer of ownership of a reclaimed water or wastewater system requires prior approval by the Department. A transfer of ownership typically occurs when a utility is being sold to another utility. A transfer of ownership is required if the Arizona tax identification of the permit owner is being changed. The specific requirements and review and approval process depend on the type and characteristics of the facility or system. Please contact a the Water and Wastewater Treatment Program for additional information.

The Approval To Transfer Ownership application and instruction forms can be found on the Forms/Applications.

Approval To Decommission/Approval Of Decommissioning

A project for the decommissioning of an existing wastewater facility or system must be submitted for approval. The review and approval of a typical project usually occurs in three distinct phases:

  1. Submission of an Engineering Design Report, design drawings, specifications and other documentation for review. When the review is complete, an Approval To Decommission certificate is issued to allow demolition of the facility or system to commence.
  2. Demolition of the facility or system.
  3. Submission of demolition test reports, water quality analysis and remediation reports and a Certificate of Completion for review. An inspection of the demolished works is performed by Water and Wastewater Treatment Program staff. When the review and inspection are complete, an Approval Of Decommissioning certificate is issued.

The Approval To Decommission and Approval Of Decommissioning application and instruction forms and the Certificate of Completion form and instructions can be found on the Forms/Applications.