Plan Review for Watermains - EH: Minnesota Department of Health

Plan Review for Watermains

What do I need to include in a submittal of watermain plans and specifications?

  • Plan view drawings that include the locations of the watermain, all sewer (sanitary and storm), water and sewer services, buildings, wells, surface water (ponds, lakes, rivers, etc), and other potential sources of contamination. It is recommended that a scale of one inch equals 50 feet be used.
  • Profile view drawings that show the proposed ground surface elevations, watermain, all sewer (sanitary and storm), depth of cover, sewer crossings, surface water, groundwater, etc.
  • Material specifications for watermain pipe (ductile iron, PVC, HDPE), joints, valves, and hydrants, and the standards that the pipe materials meet (ASTM, AWWA, etc.)
  • Installation procedures for the watermain, valves, and hydrants.
  • Specifications for horizontal separation between watermain and sewer main and vertical separation at sewer crossings.
  • Blocking or restraint requirements of all tees, bends, and hydrants.
  • Provisions for tracing the watermain.
  • Disinfection and pressure testing procedures.
  • A statement of estimated watermain quantities or a bid schedule that includes the proposed lineal feet and size of each watermain and pipe material.

What do I do if the watermain will be installed using the City Engineer’s Association of Minnesota (CEAM) specifications?

A statement must be provided, preferably on the plans, indicating that the watermain will be installed in strict accordance with the most current edition of the CEAM specifications.  It is not necessary to submit a copy of the CEAM specifications with the plans.  However, the plan submittal must include the quantities for each size of proposed watermain.

What do I do if the watermain will be installed using specifications developed by the system owner?

A copy of a system’s own watermain specifications must be submitted to the MDH to be reviewed.  A copy may also be submitted to be kept on file for reference.  The submission of project specifications is not required if the watermain is planned to be installed using materials and procedures that are in strict accordance with a system’s specifications that we have on file.  However, this must be explicitly stated on the plans or in the cover letter.  Estimated quantities for each size of proposed watermain should also be provided.

Are there places in the state that are not required to submit watermain projects for plan review?

Yes.   Watermain projects for the following cities are exempt from the plan review requirement:

  • Minneapolis
  • St. Paul
  • Duluth

Are there cases where the submission of plans and specifications for a watermain project is not required?

Projects that only involve:

  • Replacement of a short section of watermain (typically less than 100 lineal feet)
  • Replacement of hydrants or valves
  • Installation of a service line running directly from the existing watermain to a single unit

If you have any questions about whether plan review is required based on the above conditions, please contact us at 651-201-4700.

How far away does sewer forcemain need to be located from a watermain?

A minimum of 10 feet measured horizontally between the outer surfaces of the pipes is required.  If 10 feet of separation cannot be provided, then an approved additional measure of containment must be provided for either the watermain or the sewer forcemain.

How far away does gravity sewer need to be located from a watermain?

A minimum of 10 feet measured horizontally between the outer surfaces of the pipes is required.  However, anywhere local conditions (rock excavation, buildings, etc.) prevent this separation, the watermain may be laid closer to gravity sewer if one of the following conditions is met:

  • The bottom of the watermain is laid at least 18 inches above the top of the sewer on a separate shelf
  • The sewer is constructed of materials and with joints that are equivalent to watermain standards of construction and is pressure tested to assure water tightness prior to backfilling

What is required when watermain crosses sewer?

  • A minimum vertical separation of 18 inches must be provided between the outer surfaces of the pipes.  It is preferred that the watermain cross above sewer, wherever possible.
  • One full length of water pipe shall be located so both joints will be as far from the sewer as possible.

Do the separation requirements between sewer and watermain include storm sewer?

Yes.  Storm sewer is also considered a contamination source, and must meet the sewer separation requirements.

Are there any special requirements that must be followed when installing watermain underneath creeks, streams, rivers, lakes, or other permanent surface water courses?

A minimum cover of 5 feet must be provided over the pipe for underwater crossings.  In addition, if the water course where the watermain crosses is greater than 15 feet in width the following conditions must be met:

  • Valves shall be provided at both ends of the water crossing, and the valve closest to the supply source shall be in a manhole that is not subject to flooding.
  • Permanent taps that allow the connection of a small meter shall be made on each side of the valve within the manhole.
  • The watermain shall be of special construction with flexible, restrained, or welded watertight joints.
Updated Friday, 22-Mar-2019 08:59:07 CDT