What permits do I need for dewatering in South Florida?

Dewatering regulations can vary somewhat by county and municipality in South Florida, but generally if you are proposing construction dewatering, there are a few common permits and approvals you’ll need:

  1. Stormwater Construction Dewatering Permit – Obtained from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection or South Florida Water Management District. This regulates discharge of groundwater from active construction sites into surface waters.
  2. Dewatering Permit from Local County or City – For example, permits issued by Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department for discharges to their facilities. May include connection permits and inspections.
  3. Drainage/Dewatering Plans Reviewed by Local Authorities – As part of the construction plans, detailed dewatering system designs often must be reviewed and approved before getting a stormwater dewatering permit from the state agencies.
  4. Well Construction Permits – If the dewatering system uses active extraction wells, permits must be obtained from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, relevant water management districts, and the county health department. This includes proper well sealing and closure too.
  5. NPDES Permit – If contaminated groundwater is being treated and discharged under the Clean Water Act, you may need a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for discharge to surface waters.

It’s important to engage the applicable agencies and permitting authorities early when planning major dewatering projects in South Florida, as the combination of agencies involved can get complex, with strict regulations on contamination, well design, aquifer protection, and surface water quality.

Nicholas Moran

Nicholas Moran

Nicholas Moran grew up in sunny south Florida and lives in Boca Raton. He studied geologist and is a licensed professional geologist. He helps environmental and engineering companies implement software solutions to improve their efficiency and effectiveness and is Senior Geologist at MORAN ROCKS LLC, a boutique environmental consulting firm that uses the latest technology and workflow solutions to deliver personalized service at competitive prices.