Ohio EPA Updates General Permit Language to Cover Gravity Sewer Extensions

Ohio EPA plans to issue a statewide general permit to cover certain new sanitary sewer extensions and will take public comments on the draft until July 15, 2013.

The general permit covers communities and private entities that propose to install gravity sewers that connect to an existing sewage treatment works covered by a discharge permit. The permit covers sewer pipe diameters of eight to 12 inches.

Updates to the general permit would include:

  • removing the requirement that all downstream sewers of a proposed sewer extension project be reviewed by Ohio EPA, since they may have been constructed before Ohio EPA was created;
  • manhole collar extensions would be limited to no larger than 12 inches; and
  • connectors between manholes, pipes and laterals would be required to be in line with compliance instructions from the American Society for Testing and Materials standards.

The intent of the draft general permit is to reduce the average review time to obtain a permit, and standardize design criteria to improve consistency of design.

While a permit is required, applicants may elect to apply for an individualized permit.  If an applicant qualifies and chooses coverage under the general permit, they must submit a notice of intent to Ohio EPA and pay the appropriate application fees.  Most notices of intent will receive an expedited technical review while 10 percent will have detailed review.

The general permit will cover new projects, and is not intended to cover existing sanitary sewers extensions or upgrades or changes to existing sewer extensions. It will not cover several other conditions listed in the permit, including applicants with a history of noncompliance with permit conditions, those that would conflict with certain water quality management plans, or those proposed for the Big Darby Creek watershed. For a complete list, please review the permit and fact sheet online.  Copies are also available by contacting Ashley Ward, Ohio EPA Division of Surface Water, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, 43216-1049.

Comments can be submitted to this address or to no later than July15, 2013.


The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. In the past 40 years, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling. Ohio EPA….40 years and moving forward.

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