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Engineered Wastewater Disposal Systems

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News and Updates

Effective July 1, 2016, Engineering Checklists are no longer required for Engineering Submittals. The new plan intake form now replaces all checklists and is required. All of the existing engineering checklists are still available as guidance.

Effective July 1, 2016, Waiver Fees are not required for engineered systems for wastewater plan reviews. Please contact your local DEC office for any questions.

In 2016, the Department established a stakeholder working group regarding potential revisions to Title 18 of the Alaka Administrative Code, Chapter 72. The working group met from 2016-17. Afterwards a report of those Stakeholder Engagement Sessions (PDF 223K) was created to document those meetings.

Electronic Submittal Guidance

The Department is currently migrating its e-mail servers and once this is resolved, electronic submittals will be available. Until then, please submit hard copies to the local area office.

Plan Review Process for Domestic and Non-Domestic Wastewater Systems

Non-conventional systems are systems that do not meet the definition of a conventional onsite system as defined in 18 AAC 72.035. Some examples are mound absorption systems, holding tanks, treatment units and commercial systems. These systems must have engineered plans submitted to the DEC by a professional engineer (P.E.) licensed in Alaska and must be approved before construction, modification or installation. Any system that receives non-domestic waste must also complete plan review process. Written approval is not required for an emergency repair or routine maintenance; however, contact with the DEC must be made prior to emergency repair. Upon completion of construction, modification, installation or emergency repair, record drawings must be submitted to DEC by a licensed engineer.

The review, construction and approval process are as follows:

  • Step One - Obtain Approval to Construct

    Engineer is hired by property owner to design and prepare plan submittal. Plans are then submitted for review by DEC engineer for compliance with 18 AAC 72 wastewater regulations. Guidance checklists for engineered systems are available to aid in the submittal process. Approval to Construct is granted once plan is found to meet regulation requirements. The Approval to Construct may include conditions for approval and typically grants a two year time period to complete construction.

    Required Submittal Documents

    1. Plan Intake Form
    2. A Plan Review Invoice with payment (see invoice for instructions)
    3. A completed Owner's Statement form
    4. Engineering plans sealed in accordance with 12 AAC 36.185-36.245
  • Step Two - System is Constructed

    The system is constructed according to the plans reviewed and approved by DEC. During the construction, the design engineer will inspect and document the installation. The use of a certified installer is not required but is recommended.

  • Step Three - Obtain Approval to Operate

    Upon completion of construction, the designing engineer will submit the signed Certification of Construction form, record drawings if required, any condition verifications and, if required, a copy of the maintenance agreement between property owner and a qualified service company. The submittal is then reviewed for compliance with DEC wastewater regulations and Approval to Operate is issued by DEC for the new or modified system.


The minimum requirements in 18 AAC 72 must be met unless a waiver is acquired from DEC. A waiver request must be prepared by an Alaska licensed engineer and submitted to DEC for review. If a waiver is granted it is applicable until the system is modified or the use of the system is modified unless otherwise noted. A waiver is not automatic and will only be approved if public health can be maintained by design and property specific conditions.

Effective July 1, 2016, Waiver fees are not required for engineered systems submitted for wastewater plan reviews.