Water Quality Division: Engineering Review Program

The Engineering Review (ER) Program is comprised of two units: the Drinking Water Facilities Review Unit (DWFRU) in the Safe Drinking Water Section and the Wastewater and Subdivision Review Unit (WSRU) in the Groundwater Section. The ER Program conducts the technical and engineering reviews of various infrastructure facilities under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and Aquifer Protection Permit (APP) Program. This infrastructure includes sewage collection systems, on-site wastewater (septic) systems, new wells, water distribution systems, public/semi-public swimming pools, point of use (POU) water systems, and alternative on-site wastewater treatment products. The ER Program also conducts reviews of subdivision applications, and issues a Certificate of Approval of Sanitary Facilities for Subdivision (formerly called a Health Certificate) once a subdivision applicant has demonstrated that the subdivision has adequate water facilities, sewage disposal systems, and garbage collection and disposal services.

The Water Quality Division has delegated the technical review of some of the above applications to the respective counties and cities, and each applicant for a permit or certificate must review that list first to determine where to submit an application. ADEQ Form 222 provides a simple checklist for determining the submittal requirement for each type of application. Some applications require fees for processing. Once an application has been submitted to ADEQ you may track your application status over the internet. The maximum amount of time allowed for the review of each application is detailed in the processing fees section. Contact our offices for further information regarding the program:

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
ATTN: Engineering Review Desk
1110 West Washington Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
(602) 771-4677
Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
Southern Regional Office
ATTN: Engineering Review Desk
400 West Congress Street, Suite 433
Tucson, Arizona 85701
(520) 770-3361

Back to the top of the page


Drinking Water Systems Review

To ensure public drinking water systems in Arizona are designed and built to standards that provide safe, potable water to customers, the ER Program conducts a detailed technical review of water system design prior to and after its construction. Prior to developing a new drinking water system or modifying an existing system (including the addition of new water sources), an applicant is required to apply for and receive an "Approval to Construct" authorization from ADEQ. After applicants have received that approval and have completed construction of the project, they are required to apply for an "Approval of Construction" before they can begin operating the facility. Prior to receiving this Approval of Construction, the applicant must submit for review an Engineer's Certificate of Completion, as-built plans, specifications, and testing results that demonstrate conformance with the applicable rules.

Back to the top of the page


Notice of Transfer Program For On-site Treatment Facilities (AAC R18-9-A316)

Arizona rule requires new property owners to file a Notice of Transfer application when purchasing any property that has a septic tank system or an alternative on-site wastewater treatment system. New owners are responsible for filing the Notice of Transfer application, although others acting on their behalf may file for them. Each home with an on-site system is required to have a valid Aquifer Protection Permit. The ER program, along with specific delegated Counties, administers this program.

Back to the top of the page


On-site Wastewater (Septic) Facilities Review

Under the Aquifer Protection Permit (APP) Program, the ER Program issues Construction Authorizations and Discharge Authorizations for 22 categories of on-site wastewater treatment systems under the APP Type 4 General Permit. An on-site wastewater treatment facility means a conventional septic tank system or alternative system installed at a site to treat and dispose of wastewater, predominantly of human origin, generated at that site. The various categories of on-site wastewater treatment infrastructure can often be combined to provide tailored sewage disposal solutions for a particular site or property. The APP Type 4 General Permit is limited to such facilities with a design flow of less than 24,000 gallons per day. Wastewater treatment facilities that discharge more than that amount must apply for an Individual Aquifer Protection Permit.

Back to the top of the page


Point-Of-Use (POU) Drinking Water Review

ADEQ safe drinking water rules allow public water systems to employ point-of-use (POU) treatment devices as a means for compliance with drinking water maximum contaminant levels (MCL). The ER Program conducts the technical review for proposed POU compliance programs. A POU compliance program is different than employing a centralized water treatment system to treat water to potable standards. Under a POU program, a public water system can install a POU device that will treat only the water intended for direct consumption, typically installed at a single tap such as the kitchen sink. Centralized treatment treats all of the water produced by the public water system. Since only a small percentage of the total water use in a dwelling ends up as direct consumption (typically 1-3 percent), a POU compliance program can in certain situations result in significant cost savings. POU can therefore be an attractive compliance option for many small water systems.

Back to the top of the page


Product Listing of Proprietary Treatment Products

The ER Program is required by rule to maintain a list of proprietary and other reviewed products that may be used for on-site wastewater treatment facilities to comply with the requirements of the Type 4 APP General Permit. The list includes manufactured systems, subsystems, or components within the treatment works and disposal works that significantly contribute to the treatment performance of the system or that provide the means to overcome site limitations. ADEQ does not list septic tanks, effluent filters or components that do not significantly affect treatment performance or provide the means to overcome site limitations. The ER Program conducts the technical review of the applicant's requests to add a product to the list of proprietary technologies.

Back to the top of the page


Public and Semi-Public Pools and Spas Review

To help ensure the safety and welfare of the public, the ER Program reviews new plans and modifications to existing public/semi-public swimming pool and spa projects for conformance to health and safety rules. Similar to the review of drinking water systems, a two-phase approval process is conducted; an Approval to Construct phase and an Approval of Construction. All public sand semi-public swimming pools and spas are inspected by the local counties prior to given an approval to operate.

Back to the top of the page


Sewage Collection Systems Review

The ER Program will issue an approval to construct a sewer line (i.e., a Construction Authorization) or an approval to operate a sewer line (i.e., a Discharge Authorization) if an applicant has satisfied all the regulatory requirements for these approvals. In the Aquifer Protection Permit (APP) Program under which these approvals are given, a sewage collection system is defined as a system of pipelines, conduits, manholes, pumping stations, force mains, and all other structures, devices, and appurtenances that collect, contain, and convey sewage from its sources to the entry of a sewage treatment facility or on-site wastewater treatment facility serving sources other than a single-family dwelling. The rules require that a permit be obtained whenever the sewer system: has a flow greater than 3,000 gallons per day; has one or more manholes; or has one or more lift stations or force mains.

Back to the top of the page


Subdivision Sanitary Facilities Review

The ER Program will issue a Certificate of Approval of Sanitary Facilities for Subdivision when an applicant for such an approval has demonstrated that there are the necessary sanitary facilities available to owners or tenants of the lots within the subdivision seeking such approval. Such services comprise:

  • Drinking Water Services (usually by receipt of an Approval to Construct for water services)
  • Sewage Collection Services or Onsite Wastewater Disposal (usually by receipt of a Construction Authorization)
  • Garbage Collection and Disposal Services (through signed agreements with the appropriate entities)

The Arizona Department of Real Estate (ADRE) normally requires that ADEQ issue a Certificate of Approval of Sanitary Facilities for Subdivisions prior to issuing what is known as a Public Report for the subdivision. This Public Report is required prior to the sale of any lots within the subdivision.

Back to the top of the page


On-site Water Advisory Committee, Meeting Notes Archive

The notes listed below are from the On-site Wastewater Advisory Committee meetings and are not necessarily the views of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. These notes are for informational purposes only and are not guidance or policy.

August 16, 2013
September 20, 2013
October 18, 2013
November 15, 2013
December 13, 2013
January 17, 2014
February 21, 2014
March 20, 2014
April 17, 2014
May 16, 2014
July 18, 2014
August 15, 2014
September 19, 2014
October 17, 2014