If you are a developer, builder, architect, engineer, or homeowner and are planning a new construction project or renovation involving BWSC'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.
BWSC also maintains an archive of historical and contemporary maps, connection cards, record plans, takings, easements, and other detailed information to help you successfully plan, research and complete your site plan.
When planning for connection repairs, account reactivation, or demolition, you will need to complete and submit a General Service Application (GSA) with all supporting documents to BWSC before any repair work can proceed.
If you have questions regarding this process, please contact BWSC’s Engineering Customer Service at 617-989-7600.
To review any BWSC regulations, please visit the Regulations page.
Step 1: Pre Site Plan Approval
The requirements for site plans and as-builts have been prepared to assist property owners, developers, builders, architects, engineers, and others in securing the necessary approvals from BWSC. For more information continue to the General Requirements page.
All water work must meet or exceed BWSC's standard requirements.
All sewer work must meet or exceed BWSC's standard requirements.
Storm Drain Requirements
All storm drain work must meet or exceed BWSC's standard requirements. BWSC reserves the right to determine whether drainage issues will be addressed during building renovations. Site plan review projects in the City of Boston are required to infiltrate a volume of runoff equal to 1 inch of rainfall times the total footprint of proposed impervious area on site.
Storm Drain Requirements
Demolition of a building in the City of Boston involves a number of forms, permits and supporting documents overseen by a number of agencies.
The property owner must initiate a General Services Application (GSA):
- Submit a letter to Customer Services requesting demolition
- Submit a letter from a BWSC licensed and bonded contractor
- Request BWSC to shut-off all domestic and fire pipe service
- Provide the fire pipe Shut-off Permit Number from the Boston Fire Department located at 115 Southampton Street, Boston, MA
- Return BWSC’s water meter and Meter Transmission Unit after water shut off in public way
- Pay any outstanding balances along with any unbilled accrued charges and reclassify the account
- To complete the GSA hire a bonded and licensed drain layer company for the disconnection (cutting and capping) of the water, sewer, and storm drain connections at BWSC’s main lines and the removal of all appurtenances
Upon completion of all tasks, the GSA will be closed out. This closed out GSA is the BWSC’s sign off document, to be delivered to ISD.
Step 2: Post-Approval/GSA
After the site plan is approved and signed by the Chief Engineer, or his designee, a General Service Application (GSA) must be completed by the owner of the property, or the owner's agent, prior to the initiation of the approved work. A prerequisite for filing a GSA with BWSC for new construction is the Rough Construction Sign-Off document from the City of Boston's Inspectional Services Department. A deposit based on the size of the water service or fire pipe connection and sewer and drain connections must accompany the GSA submission. Upon receipt of the appropriate deposit, BWSC will establish a water and sewer account and assign an account number to the property. An inspection fee will be charged for each water and sewer connection. 24 hours advanced notice is required for inspection scheduling. If any inspection date is scheduled on weekends, holidays or after regular work hours, an additional inspection fee will be charged. Also, if the contractor fails to notify the BWSC inspectors of a cancellation in advance, an additional inspection fee will be charged to the contractor when the job is subsequently rescheduled.
All construction work performed on BWSC systems or construction work performed on systems whose ownership may be transferred to the BWSC must be inspected by a BWSC Construction Inspector at the developer's expense. The contractor will be charged the current BWSC rate per diem based upon estimated work days through the completion of the project. The Manager of Engineering Customer Service will make this determination. These payments shall be made through Engineering Customer Service Department. Upon completion of the work, a refund or an additional bill will be issued based upon actual working days. The contractor must notify, in writing, the Director of the BWSC Construction Division, seven days prior to the beginning of construction. This will allow BWSC sufficient time to schedule field inspection.
Site plans are valid for a period of one year from the date of approval.
After a period of one year from the date of approval, site plans must be reactivated. Both a narrative letter and a new site plan are required for reactivation.
BWSC requires As-Built drawings to be submitted to Engineering Customer Service within 30 days of project completion. As-built plans must be submitted by Professional Engineer certified in Massachusetts.
Other than standard service connections, site plans which require on-site infiltration systems, particle separators or drainage overflow connection systems, and all work on BWSC's water mains, sanitary sewers or storm drains, must be detailed in Auto Cad Release 14 disk or higher. Upon completion of the work, these drawings are to be submitted to BWSC at 980 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA. These drawings must include:
- Location of any abandoned items, such as pipes, water gates and manholes
- Location of all new installations, such as gates, manholes, reducers, 3-way tees, bends and other appurtenances
- Tie-in measurements from all new items to property lines and corners
- A Separate Plan and Profile sheet of all sewer and drain lines. Invert elevation of all sewer and drain lines at the manholes and aligned with plan view.
- Depth of water pipe at all gates, bends and connections
- Size and type of all pipes, valves and hydrants installed
- Rim elevations of all manholes