Before 1795, Boston residents obtained their water from local wells, rain barrels, and a spring on the Boston Common.
If you are planning a new construction project or renovation involving the Commission’s water, sewer or storm drain systems, you will need to familiarize yourself with the site plan approval process. Basically, it is a two-step process. The first step is the submission of the Site Plan with supporting documents, drawings, permits, etc. Once BWSC approves the Site Plan, the second step involves the establishment of a new account (if applicable) in conjunction with the completion of the General Service Application (GSA). In addition to information on the Site Plan Requirements and GSA filing, this section will also provide a menu of other supporting documents, guidelines and forms as well as other helpful information that you may need to successfully complete the site plan and permitting processes. To review any BWSC regulations, please visit the Regulations page.
If you have questions regarding this process, please contact BWSC’s Engineering Customer Services at 617-989-7600.
When planning a new construction or renovation project, the first step in the process is the preparation of a Site Plan. This document outlines the requirements necessary for preparing and submitting a Site Plan to BWSC. Once approved by BWSC, Site Plans are valid for one year. In many situations, BWSC’s approved Site Plan is a prerequisite for additional city permits. You will need to review, download and submit the following forms and/or checklists:
This form provides information about the project, such as address, owner’s name, ward, parcel number and telephone number.
This critical step identifies requirements as well as various forms needed to prepare and submit a Site Plan. This checklist is an important component of the Site Plan approval process.
This document contains BWSC’s site plan ACAD standards for design and as-built drawings.
The checklist outlines all of the information necessary to complete an ACAD drawing using BWSC’s AutoCad Standards (R 2010). This form may be used when preparing and submitting either design plans and/or as-built drawings.
This form must be issued and verified by the City of Boston’s Inspectional Services Department (ISD), which officially identifies the street name, street number, and parcel where the work will take place. Forms are available at the ISD’s offices, 1010 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA. Once approved by ISD, the form will then be submitted to BWSC.
Requirements regarding water connections and meters.
Requirements regarding sewer and storm drain connections' details and mains.
Permitting requirements for one acre and larger construction sites regarding their treatment of stormwater runoff and BWSC inspecting requirements.
Regulations and the guidelines for the installation of backwater valves for homes and businesses in low-lying areas of Boston.
Guidelines and instructions for installing a backflow prevention device that protects drinking water from contamination.
This form is required when the applicant wishes to grant BWSC an easement such as a right in private land or a private way.
BWSC conducts fire flow testing for engineers, developers and sprinkler design companies. The tests provide actual pressure and flow data measured at specific fire hydrants.
When outdoor parking and paved areas greater than or equal to 7500 square feet are being drained, a grit and oil separator must be installed. The need for separators for indoor parking garages may also be required.
Prior to excavation, a Mark Out Request should be completed which will include the Dig Safe Number.
Describes the requirements necessary for submitting as-built drawings when a project involves any work on water mains, sewers or storm drains other than standard service connections or for projects requiring infiltration systems onsite with overflow connections to BWSC sewer and/or storm drain systems.
After BWSC approves the Site Plan and the supporting documents, the second step involves the establishment of a new account (if applicable) and the preparation and issuance of a GSA. The GSA must be issued prior to any construction such as the installation of water or sewer services, fire pipe service, storm drain connections, new mains or appurtenances. In addition, any water and sewer account, which the owner may have, must be current.