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Requirements for Engineering Plans and Specifications and Long-term Planning

Wastewater Engineering Plans and Specifications

Is DEQ approval required for wastewater engineering plans and specifications?

Cities, counties, sewer authorities, and industries must submit engineering plans and specifications to DEQ for proposed construction, installation, or modification of wastewater disposal systems, treatment works, sewerage systems or common sewers. DEQ review and approval of plans is needed before construction begins, except when there are exemptions. DEQ review and approval is required by Oregon Revised Statute 468B.055 and Oregon Administrative Rule 340-052-0015, which details plan requirements. OAR 340-052 Appendix A and Appendix B contain requirements for gravity sewer systems and sewer pumping stations.

Is an exemption from DEQ review possible?

DEQ may exempt minor modifications to existing facilities when the change will not significantly affect the operation of the treatment or disposal system. A complete description of proposed minor modifications must be submitted for DEQ's consideration. Exemptions will be approved in writing on a case-by-case basis. DEQ does not require engineering plan submittal for in-kind equipment replacement. Replacement in-kind means replacing equipment or accessories with like equipment or accessories that has the same capacity, including pumps, screens, aeration diffusers, blowers, valves, actuators, filter media, lamp bulbs, ballasts, switches, fittings, elements, electrical panels, control panels, and motors. This allows operators to make repairs without delay. Please contact DEQ if you have any questions about your proposed project. 

What kind of sewer systems are regulated by DEQ?

DEQ regulations apply to all common sewer system owners and operators, regardless of the need for a DEQ water quality permit. DEQ does not regulate privately-owned sewage lines on private property. 

Guidance for developing and submitting plans

Long-term Wastewater Planning Documents

Wastewater Plan Fact Sheet

Wastewater planning documents commonly known as a facility plan or facilities plans only need to be developed if a community needs funding to construct needed projects. This wastewater plan fact sheet walks through when a wastewater plan is needed, what needs to be included, and what DEQ does with these plans. 

Submitting Wastewater Reports, Plans, and Specifications

What does DEQ need to complete the review of wastewater reports and plans and specifications?

DEQ needs the following before the review is started:

  1. Plans, specifications, and reports.
    •  Note: electronic versions are acceptable.
    • Can be emailed, sent through drop box or other file transfer protocol. Please include project name and community name in the subject line of the email.
  2. Land Use Compatibility Statement, or LUCS, signed by the local land use authority. 
    • Note: A LUCS which is part of a submittal for approval of plans and specifications should check the box for “Wastewater/Sewer Construction Plan/Specifications" in subsection 1D, and check “Other" in subsection 1E. Electronic versions are acceptable.  
  3. For sewer collection and treatment systems, payment of DEQ Technical Activities Fee in OAR 340-045 Table 70 F (please be sure you are using the correct fee table because these fees increase annually). 
    • DEQ can invoice the system owner if that is the owner's preference.
    • Include the name of the project on the check.
  4. Plans for a common sewer expansion must be accompanied by a statement from the treatment works owner that they agree to provide sewer service and have sewer system and treatment capacity to do so. Include the following in this statement:
    • The monthly and daily design flows and loads. Include a copy of the design data sheet.
    • The current flows and loads. At a minimum, include the maximum month and maximum day flows and loads from the prior year.
    • A calculation of the treatment plant capacity (design minus current).

Where do I send documents and fees?

For documents, please email or send files via FTP to the DEQ contact who is assigned to the region where the project is located. A list of contacts is at the bottom of the page. 

For fees, please mail payments to the Department of Environmental Quality Eastern, Northwest or Western regions, depending on where your project is located. Addresses for the regional offices are listed at the bottom of this page. Include the DEQ assigned contact in the attention line.

  • Include the name of the project on the check.

Plan Review Guidelines

​​​​​​DEQ wastewater engineers use the following guidelines to evaluate plans. DEQ advises that the appropriate DEQ wastewater engineer be consulted prior to plan submittal if a deviation is desired to avoid additional redesign expenses. 

Note: This updated list (as of 12/8/2021) contains a revised guideline (#3), which includes discussion of grinder pump systems.

  1. Alternative Guidelines for Estimating Leakage from Smaller (less than 2 acres) Existing Sewage Lagoons

  2. Design Notes for Non-Discharging Sewage Lagoons

  3. Alternative Wastewater Collection Systems Guideline, updated December 2021

  4. Guidelines for Estimating Leakage from Existing Sewage Lagoons

  5. Guidelines for Making Sewage Pump Station Plan-Review Submittals

  6. Guidelines for Making Wet-Weather and Peak Flow Projections for Sewage Treatment in Western Oregon

  7. Guidelines for Writing Wastewater Engineering Design and Pre-Design Reports

  8. Preparation of Operations and Maintenance Manuals for Domestic Wastewater Treatment Facilities

  9. Review of Plans and Specifications. Sewer Pipelines 
    Division 52 Appendix A: Sewer Pipelines

  10. Review of Plans and Specifications. Sewer Pipelines 
    Division 52 Appendix B: Raw Sewage Lift Stations

  11. Sanitary Sewer Design Notes

  12. Pump Station Design Standards 


DEQ wastewater plan review contacts

Eastern Region
Baker, Crook, Deschutes, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Hood River, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wasco, and Wheeler counties

Blair Edwards, Environmental Engineer 3
700 NE Multnomah Ave. Suite 600,
Portland, OR 97232
503-229-5185 Office
503-875-5187 Mobile

Northwest Region

Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Multnomah, Tillamook, and Washington counties

Michael Pinney, PE
700 NE Multnomah Ave. Suite 600
Portland OR 97232
503-229-5310

Western Region
Benton, Coos, Curry, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties
Julie Ulibarri
165 E. 7th Ave., Suite 100
Eugene, OR 97401
503-467-9441