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Plan Review Exemption

Request for Plan Review Exemption

Under PDf iconOAR 333-061-0060(4)(a), water suppliers may request plan review exemption for water main extension projects. Practically speaking, this means that water systems with plan review exemption do not need to submit plans and fees for water main extension projects.

Qualifying for Exemption

In order to qualify for exemption, water systems must:

    Have a current master plan that has been reviewed and approved by Drinking Water Services (Note: community water systems with 300 or more connections are required to maintain a current master plan. Community water systems with less than 300 connections can still qualify for the exemption if they have a current master plan.)
  • Certify that any future water main extensions will be carried out in conformance with construction standards (PDf iconOAR 333-061-0050. This means that the water system must have an Oregon Professional Engineer on staff or under contract to provide engineering services for the entire duration of the project; and
  • Certify that they have staff qualified to effectively supervise the projects.

Requesting an Exemption

In order to request an exemption, the water system must submit a letter detailing how the water system meets the required qualifications. The letter must be signed by the engineer of record for the water system.

Maintaining an Exemption

In order to maintain the exemption, an annual project summary for the previous year must be submitted to Drinking Water Services by January 31st via either mail or email. The annual project summary must include a list of water main projects signed by the engineer of record for the water system. This summary is required to contain the following information:

  • Project title (ex: "Main Street Water Main Extension");
  • Type and size of pipe installed;
  • Length of pipe installed (in linear feet); and
  • A statement that certifies that construction was carried out in conformance with construction standards (OAR 333-061-0050).

If no water main extensions were completed for the previous year, a statement to that effect must be submitted by the engineer of record.

Failure to submit the summary of projects in a timely manner may result in the water system losing plan review exemption for water main projects.

Limitations and Notes

Note that plan review exemption for water main extensions does not apply to other infrastructure projects such as sources of supply, treatment facilities, booster stations, or reservoirs. Plans and fees are still required for these projects, according to the information on the Requirements & Resources page.

Water systems may extend their exemption to developers. These projects must be included in the annual project summary and the engineer of record for the water system must certify as noted above in the “maintaining an exemption” section. If the water system does not extend the exemption to developers, then those developer projects must be submitted to DWS for review and approval along with the appropriate plan review fee.


Figure 1 of OAR 333-061-0050 notes water line – sewer line separations requirements. Water line installations that do not fall within Zone 1 of Figure 1 require an approved waiver from construction standards. This requirement also applies to water systems that maintain a plan review exemption for water main extensions. There is no fee associated with submitting a request for a waiver from construction standards.

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