Drinking Water Permits Section

The Drinking Water Branch’s Permit Section has an overall mission of protecting the quality of drinking water supplies and distribution systems through review of designs for public water system construction projects, issuance of construction permits and implementation of Indiana’s Cross Connection Control and Backflow Prevention program.

Construction Permits

General Construction Permit (327 IAC 8-3.5 [PDF], see the bookmark for Rule 3.5 in the PDF document): also known as a Notice of Intent (NOI) approval, is for watermain extension projects only. By properly completing and submitting the NOI form (available on the IDEM Forms page), the public water system has elected to comply with the terms of the general construction permit rule instead of applying for an individual construction permit. No project drawings or specifications are submitted with the form. Permit staff review the submitted form for completeness and to make sure the project is eligible for the NOI approval. Eligibility criteria can be found in the above PDF document at 327 IAC 8-3.5-3.

IDEM has updated the General Construction Permit for Water Mains (NOI) application (available on the IDEM Forms page, Form 49008). In an effort to increase awareness and compliance with Indiana’s Cross Connection Control rules, the form now includes two questions in regard to cross connection control and backflow. For proposed water main extensions with commercial or industrial customers, applicants will now need to verify whether the customer is designated a cross connection hazard in accordance with 327 IAC 8-10-4(c), and if so, confirm that the appropriate backflow protection will be installed at the service connection. The new form also includes instructions for electronic payment and submission.

If the form is not complete, or if the project does meet the eligibility criteria, the public water system is notified in writing that the project is not approved. This notification will occur within 30 days of IDEM receipt of the completed form. If the public water system is not notified in writing within 30 days, they may begin construction of the watermain extension immediately after the 30th day.

Individual Construction Permit (327 IAC 8-3 [PDF], see the bookmark for Rule 3.0 in the PDF document): no person shall cause or allow the construction, installation, or modification of any facility, equipment, or device for any public water system without having a valid construction permit issued by the commissioner, except for replacement of equipment of similar design and capacity, none of which will change adversely:

  1. the plant operation;
  2. its hydraulic design or waste products; or
  3. the water distribution system design, operation, or capacity

In order to obtain an individual construction permit, the construction permit application (available on the IDEM Forms page) must be properly completed and submitted along with project drawings and specifications. The Construction Permit application has also been updated with current standard references and instructions for electronic submission and payments. For emergency situations, an emergency drinking water construction permit form (also available on the IDEM Forms page) must be completed and submitted. All plans, specifications, and applications must be prepared by or under the direct supervision of a professional engineer (P.E.) registered in Indiana and shall bear the seal and certification of the professional engineer certifying that construction of the proposed project following the application, plans, and specifications will produce drinking water of satisfactory quality and normal operating pressure at the peak operating flow rate. Exceptions to the P.E. requirement can be found in 327 IAC 8-3-2.1. Permit staff will review the project design, drawings and specifications to ensure they follow our construction standards in 327 IAC 8-3 thru 327 IAC 8-4 as well as the Recommended Standards for Waterworks, 2012 Edition, Great Lakes-Upper Mississippi River Board of State and Provincial Public Health and Environmental Managers [PDF].

Cross Connection Control and Backflow Prevention

Pursuant to 327 IAC 8-10-9(b), IDEM has created a state form for reporting backflow assembly test results (available on the IDEM Forms page, Form 55788). The purpose of the form is to standardize the type and amount of information needed to ensure the backflow assembly has been properly tested. Testers may continue to use other forms as long as it contains, at a minimum, the information on the state form. As before, the completed form must be submitted in the method required by the public water system to both customer and the public water system within 30 days of the test being completed. This form, nor any backflow test form, should not be sent to IDEM, unless specifically requested by IDEM.

Indiana’s Cross Connection Control and Backflow Prevention program is based on regulations found at 327 IAC 8-10 [PDF] (see the bookmark for Rule 10 in the PDF document). The program’s main functions are:

  • Establishing reasonable guidelines and regulations to ensure the public water supplies that people use are safe and provide an adequate drinking water supply. The commissioner uses agency staff to enforce the rules, regulations and policies to be followed in carrying out an effective cross connection control program;
  • Assisting Indiana’s public water system with developing an effective Cross Connection Control program;
  • Reviewing and approving organizations as training providers of cross connection control device inspectors in accordance with 327 IAC 8-10-12;
  • Maintaining a list of Active in State [PDF], Active Out of State [PDF] and All Indiana Registered Cross Connection Control Device Inspectors.
  • Assisting water public water systems in bringing customers into compliance with cross connection regulations; and,
  • Providing a State Backflow Device Test form (available on the IDEM Forms page).

IDEM’s Cross-connection Control & Backflow Prevention Manual is an excellent resource for public water systems, backflow testers and homeowners on what a cross connection program entails as well as why such a program is necessary. The manual was revised in July 2016 in order to provide regulated communities (public water systems), plumbers, irrigation contractors, industrial facilities, etc. with the the most up to date information regarding general guidelines for developing cross-connection control and backflow prevention in the State of Indiana. Also incorporated in the 2016 Edition are the revised rules that went into effect on December 13, 2012, a sample cross connection control ordinance, the state Backflow Device Test Form, clarification on the cross connection rules in the Indiana Plumbing Code, and clarification on the exemptions within the IDEM rule. In addition to IDEM rule, we have included in this manual sections of the Indiana Administrative Codes, as administered by other state agencies such as Indiana State Department of Health and Department of Fire and Building Services (Uniform Plumbing Code), which address cross connection hazards that may exist within their regulated communities.

Permit Rules

  • General Permit Rules [PDF]
    • Adds 327 IAC 8-3.5, Permit by Rule. New rules concerning water main extensions, effective April 30, 1999. (See the bookmark for Rule 3.5 in the PDF document)
  • Amendments to 327 IAC 8 [PDF]
    • Technical standards for issuances of permits or approvals for construction of public water mains, effective April 30, 1999.
  • Well Construction Permit Rule [PDF]
    • Adds 327 IAC 8-3.4 to establish technical standards for the design and construction of public water system wells, effective July 17, 1999. (See the bookmark for Rule 3.4 in the PDF document)