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Drinking Water Permits Section

The Drinking Water Branch’s Permit Program protects the public health by reviewing, tracking, and requesting additional information; and issuing or denying for permits submitted by a public water system. The common permits that get requested are the General Construction Permit 327 IAC 8-3.5 [PDF] known also as Notice of Intent (NOI) and Individual Construction Permits. Additionally, the Permits Staff oversees the implementation of Indiana’s Cross Connection Control and Backflow Prevention Program.

Please note that 327 IAC 8-3 [PDF] states that 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 influence plant operation; a system’s hydraulic design or waste products; or the water distribution system design, operation, or capacity.

Referenced State Forms are available on the IDEM Agency Forms page.

Notice of Intent - Individual Construction Permits – Water Main Extension

A General Construction Permit or NOI are requests for approval of main extension projects in the water distribution system. NOI’s allow water lines to extend out to areas of industrial parks and subdivisions so that these remote places are able to have water. The Notice of Intent to Construct a Water Main Extension - State Form 49008. This form includes instructions on how to complete the form, and how to make electronic payment and submission. If this form is not completed or if the project does not meet the eligibility criteria, the public water system is notified in writing that the project is not approved. If IDEM does not notify the public water system within 30 days with regards to necessary corrections, then the system may begin construction of the water main extension after the end of the public notice period on or after the 30th day.

Applicants will also 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. Once we are notified that these projects are completed, an inspection is done to make sure the system followed all appropriate guidelines to provide safe and sufficient amount of water to their new customers.

New System Construction Permit

All new community and nontransient noncommunity drinking water systems in Indiana are required to complete two items prior to any construction being done at the proposed site. The first item to complete is a well site survey, which helps systems identify the best locations to construct a new well. The second, is for a proposed system to submit a Water System Management Plan (WSMP) that defines a proposed system’s technical, managerial, and financial capacity to operate sustainably. Additional information on the WSMP, is available in the “New System Requirements – Water System Management Plan” section on the Capacity Development Program page.

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 page 286 of 343 for Rule 3.5 in the PDF document)
  • 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 page 266 of 343 for Rule 3.4 in the PDF document)

Backflow Prevention and Cross Connection Control Program

IDEM’s Backflow and Cross Connection Control Program was created in accordance with 327 IAC 8-10 to protect Indiana’s public drinking water supply from contamination from backflow and back-siphonage. The program establishes reasonable guidelines and regulations to ensure that public water systems develop an effective Cross Connection Control Program for their entire water distribution system. It requires customers of public water systems to install backflow prevention devices as well as having these devices tested at a minimum of once a year as required in 327 IAC 8-10 [PDF]. These results should be reported on the Backflow Device Test Form - State Form 55788. 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. Backflow test forms should not be sent to IDEM, unless specifically requested by IDEM.

IDEM’s Cross Connection Control and Backflow Prevention Manual [PDF] 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 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 the 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.

Backflow Schools and Licensed Testers

IDEM maintains a list of licensed backflow testers that are Registered Cross Connection Control Device Inspectors for Indiana [PDF]. If you are interested in becoming a licensed backflow tester, you must pass a 40-hour course at one of the four providers approved by IDEM:

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