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You can tell if your toilet leaks by putting a few drops of food coloring in your tank. Do not flush. If color appears in your bowl within 10-15 minutes, you have a leak.

New Construction

Blue Prints

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.

Step 1

Site Plan Requirements

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:

General Site Plan Form

This form provides information about the project, such as address, owner’s name, ward, parcel number and telephone number.

Site Plan Checklist

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.

ACAD Standards

This document contains BWSC’s site plan ACAD standards for design and as-built drawings.

ACAD Checklist

The checklist outlines all of the information necessary to complete an ACAD drawing using BWSC’s AutoCad Standards (R 2016). This form may be used when preparing and submitting either design plans and/or as-built drawings.

Street Numbering Form

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.

Water Data

Requirements regarding water connections and meters.

Sewer/Stormwater Requirements

Requirements regarding sewer and storm drain connections' details and mains.

Stormwater Permit Requirements

Permitting requirements for one acre and larger construction sites regarding their treatment of stormwater runoff and BWSC inspecting requirements.

Backwater Valve Installation

Regulations and the guidelines for the installation of backwater valves for homes and businesses in low-lying areas of Boston.

Backflow Prevention Device and (Cross Connection)

Guidelines and instructions for installing a backflow prevention device that protects drinking water from contamination.

Easement Request

This form is required when the applicant wishes to grant BWSC an easement such as a right in private land or a private way.

Fire Flow Testing

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.

Grit and Oil Separators

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.

Water/Sewer Mark Out Request

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.

Step 2

General Service Application (GSA) Procedures

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.

AutoCAD Templates

The drawing templates below are in AutoCAD formats 2000, 2004, 2010 and 2016. They have been developed to include Commission standard layers, colors, symbols, and forms that must be present on all plans submitted.