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  • Public Water Systems - Drinking Water - Draft

    The Pima County Department of Environmental Quality (PDEQ) has delegated authority from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to enforce applicable requirements of the Arizona Administrative Code (A.A.C.) Title 18, Chapters 4 and 5 relating to Public Water Systems (PWS). A PWS is defined as a water system that serves 15 or more connections, or 25 or more people, for more than 60 days a year. PDEQ is responsible for approximately 160 PWS located in Pima County.

    Plan Review Program

    Water TankPDEQ reviews and approves plans for water line extensions, modifications, or relocations; new water sources; tanks; or other infrastructure for a PWS in accordance with rules set forth in A.A.C. R18-5-502 through -509, and standards and guidelines published by ADEQ in Engineering Bulletin Numbers 8 and 10. For plan review submittal requirements, please refer to the Administrative Submittal Requirements and Checklists tab. For information on Exemption Requests, please refer to the Exemption Request tab.

    Special Notice: Starting June 20, 2016, PDEQ will begin a new procedure for invoicing plans received by the department for review. The updated plan review procedure affects submittals for sewer projects, water projects, and the approval of sanitary facilities for subdivision projects.

    Special Notice: Starting July 25, 2016, PDEQ will only accept electronic submittals for water, sewer and Approval of Sanitary Facility projects. Applications must be submitted electronically in PDF format by either emailing all forms and plans to, providing an FTP download link in the application email, or by having a USB flash drive or CD delivered to PDEQ’s office. Please note that the PDEQER inbox will only accept files less than 20 MB in size, so anything larger must be submitted using one of the alternate methods. See the “Fees and Payment Instructions” tab for updated payment instructions.

    Operations, Maintenance, Monitoring, and Reporting Compliance

    PDEQ conducts inspections of regulated PWS to ensure that the construction and operation are in accordance with ADEQ's Safe Drinking Water rules. These PWS inspections determine whether minimum design criteria are being met and maintained. PDEQ follows A.A.C. R18-5-502 and ADEQ's Engineering Bulletin 10 to make these determinations. In addition, the requirements for adequate water supply disinfection, described in ADEQ's Engineering Bulletin 8, are also evaluated through inspection and, if necessary, testing and reporting by the system operator. PDEQ makes monitoring and reporting compliance determinations and takes applicable enforcement actions for PWS that are under PDEQ’s authority.

    Administrative Submittal Requirements

    Prior to beginning construction, an Application for Approval To Construct must be submitted to PDEQ, together with documents outlined in the Public Water System Submittal Checklist.

    1. PDEQ will review the electronic submittals, in accordance with the Public Water System Engineer's Plan Review Checklist. If additional documentation or information is required, PDEQ will contact the applicant requesting this information.
    2. When the Application for Approval to Construct is approved, PDEQ will issue an Approval to Construct (ATC).
    3. After construction, but prior to use, the applicant must submit verification documents to the appropriate agency.
      1. The applicant must submit "As-built" plans, an Engineer’s Certificate of Completion, and a form (Water Line Test Documentation Sheet) with the results of pressure, chlorination, and microbiological testing to PDEQ.
    4. Upon review, and after approval, PDEQ will issue an Approval Of Construction (AOC), which allows the constructed project to be operated.
    • Public Water System Submittal Checklist
    • Public Water System Engineer's Plan Review Checklist
    • ADEQ Engineering Bulletin Number 8, Disinfection of Water Systems
    • ADEQ Engineering Bulletin Number 10, Guidelines for the Construction of Water Systems
    • Arizona Administrative Code, Title 18, Chapter 5

    Exemption Requests

    An existing PWS shall be exempt from the plan review requirements of this Article if the PWS is in compliance or is making satisfactory progress towards compliance under a schedule approved by the Department if the applicable structural revision, addition, extension, or modification:

            a. Has a project cost of $12,500 or less; or

            b. Is made to a water line that:
                i. Is not for a subdivision requiring plat approval by a city, town, or county;
                ii. Has a project cost of more than $12,500 but less than $50,000; and
                iii. Has a design that is sealed and signed by a professional engineer registered in Arizona and the construction of which is reviewed for conformance with the design by a professional engineer registered in Arizona.

    Projects that meet the exemption request criteria must be submitted to PDEQ for review.  PDEQ will issue and exemption letter that indicates the project is exempt from the plan review.  Please pay the $50.00 fee and provide the following documents to PDEQ for the exemption request review:

            a. A letter that indicates the submittal of the project under the exemption request;

            b. A brief narrative of the project scope;

            c. A PDF of the plans; and

            d. The cost estimate for the project. If the cost estimate is from a contractor, the estimate must be provided in the original format with the contractor’s business logo/information on the document. If the cost estimate is provided by an engineer, the estimate must be sealed by a registered P.E.

            e. For purposes of determining project costs, project cost is determined by the sum of the following cost categories:
                i. Preparation of submittal quality design documents and related application documents for the project proposed for installation;
                ii. All equipment/components/material delivered to the construction site;
                iii. All excavation and backfill;
                iv. All installation of equipment/components/materials; and 
                v. All tasks associated with pre-operational testing and startup.

    Forms for Approval To Construct

        • Application for Approval To Construct

    Forms for Approval Of Construction

        • Engineer’s Certificate of Completion     
        • Water Line Test Documentation Sheet

    Fees and Payment Instructions

    • Download a PDF of the fees table to view a complete list of review fees, or view the Review Fees tab of the main Water webpage.
    • Fees are established by PDEQ and the original source can be found in its fee schedule in the Pima County Code, Title 7 –Environmental Quality, section 7.03.125.

    Payment Instructions

          • Fees are payable online (instructions are below), by providing credit card information over the phone at PDEQ’s main number (520-724-7400), or by hand-delivering or mailing a check to the PDEQ offices located at 33 N. Stone Avenue, Suite 700, Tucson, AZ 85701.     
        • To pay online: 
            1. Click the Project, Permits, Payments link of DSD’s website 
            2. Input the project’s record/permit number into the search bar in the upper right corner of the page (where it reads "Search by Address, Record #, etc") and search for it
            3. Scroll down to the Fees tab, click on any unpaid fees, and pay them by inputting your credit card information

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    Department of Environmental Quality

    33 N. Stone Ave., Suite 700
    Tucson, AZ 85701

    Phone: (520) 724-7400
    Fax: (520) 838-7432

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