The Permits and Engineering Section is responsible for reviewing and approving engineering documents submitted by public water systems. Staff ensure engineering documents meet the Safe Drinking Water Regulations and Design Standards. The Section also ensures water systems have technical, managerial and financial capacity before issuing a Permit to Dispense. Implementation of the Backflow Prevention Program protects source water and prevent cross connections. Staff utilize the Area Wide Optimization Program to provide technical assistance.

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Design Standards

Construction of new public water systems and expansions, alterations, or modifications of an existing public water system must conform to the department’s Design Standards. These standards consist of proven technology, engineering principles and sound water works practices used by consulting engineers to prepare plans and specifications for submittal to the department for review and approval.

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Owner Supervised Program

An owner supervised program allows a public water system to obtain approval to construct several waterline extensions or replacements without submittal of a construction permit application. Approval is granted for a period of up to five years. Required information to obtain an owner supervised program is located in Chapter 1.8 of the Minimum Design Standards for Missouri Community Water Systems.


A water system must obtain a construction permit from the department prior to construction of a new public water system, expansions, alterations or modifications of an existing public water system. This includes waterline extensions, waterline replacements, drilling a water supply well, constructing a storage tank, adding a disinfection system, treatment changes, building a pump station or other improvements or modifications.

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Engineering Report

An Engineering Report is required for some construction permit applications such as adding a new source of water, increasing storage capacity and changes to treatment to meet Safe Drinking Water Regulations. The report provides alternative solutions to issues dealing with water quality, maintaining sufficient flow and pressure, regionalization and/or consolidation and other water system components.

Pilot Study

Pilot studies must have protocols, including proposed testing parameters and length of study period, approved by the department prior to initiating the pilot study. For more information about pilot studies, please refer to the Minimum Design Standards for Missouri Community Water Systems.

Standard Specifications

For waterline projects, a water system may request approval of standard specifications in lieu of submitting technical specifications with each construction permit application for approval by the department. After approval, staff use the information as a reference for each new construction permit application submitted.

Permit to Dispense

Systems that supply water to the public must obtain a Permit to Dispense from the department.

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Technical, Managerial and Financial Capacity

Review of the Technical, Managerial and Financial capacity of a water system is a part of the Permit to Dispense application for Community and Nontransient Noncommunity water systems starting after Oct. 1, 1999.

Minimum Technical, Managerial, and Financial Capacity Requirements for Community and Nontransient Noncommunity Public Water Systems (10 CSR 60-3.030) MO 780-2688

Emergency Operations Plan

Every community system needs an Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). However, the small systems with population less than 50,000 do not need to submit it along with the permit to dispense application, but an EOP is required as part of the Permit to Dispense application for community water systems with a population of more than 50,000.

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How to Apply

If your place of business provides drinking water or if you're planning new or improved drinking water service for your customers, you may need a construction authorization permit from the department’s Public Drinking Water Branch.

Public water suppliers are also required to obtain an operating permit before putting newly constructed equipment, facilities or mains into operation. Permit section personnel review permit applications to ensure adequate water is available, the system is properly designed, and to verify that the system or equipment complies with all applicable standards and regulations prior to the issuance of the permit.

Working with the department to obtain the correct permit will help you stay in compliance with environmental regulations.