Watershed Management Ordinance Permit Application Submittal System (WPASS)

Please submit all new permit applications through WPASS at the following link: www.mwrd.org/wpass. Resubmittals addressing review comments for permits under review are also submitted through WPASS using the unique link provided during the review process. Detailed instructions are provided at the WPASS link. For any questions or assistance with submitting the permit application please email us at wpass@mwrd.org or call (312) 751-3255.


The Watershed Management Ordinance (WMO)

The Watershed Management Ordinance (WMO) applies to all development within the boundaries of Cook County, Illinois, and qualified sewer construction within the MWRD’s corporate boundaries or service agreement areas. Components which are regulated under the WMO include qualified sewer construction, drainage and detention, volume control, floodplain management, isolated wetland protection, riparian environment protection, and soil erosion and sediment control. The WMO went into effect on May 1, 2014.

The amended version of the WMO and the redline changes are accessible through the WMO Information Link Below.

WMO Information

WMO Permit Application Forms and Fees

How to Submit

Electronic Payment


Request to be added to our contact list to keep current with the latest WMO updates via email WMOupdates@mwrd.org.

If you have any questions about the WMO, contact Ms. Maureen Durkin at (312) 751-3250 or DurkinM@mwrd.org or Mr. Dan Feltes at (312) 751-3247 or FeltesD@mwrd.org.

If you have any questions regarding an inspection, contact the Field Office at (708) 588-4055.

If you need to dewater a construction site in the District’s combined sewer area, please refer to these guidelines.

Job Start Notification

The MWRD Local Sewer Systems Section’s Field Office must be notified at least two (2) days prior to beginning work under a permit or permit revision. Send an email with the project name, location and permit number to WMOjobstart@mwrd.org, or call (708) 588-4055. Request for Final Inspections (RFI) and related documents can also be sent to WMOjobstart@mwrd.org.

The MWRD conducted information sessions about compliance with permit requirements and the role of municipalities during construction.  Slides from these information sessions are available here.

Permit Inquiries

To request a copy of an issued permit from our permit archives, please email our Permit Inquiry Inbox at mwrdpi@mwrd.org. The email, including a location map of the area in question along with the contact person and phone number, will initiate a search for sewer permits in that area. Please be aware that the MWRD does not issue sewer permits within the City of Chicago unless a direct connection is made to an MWRD intercepting sewer or other facility. Contact the City’s Department of Water Management for such requests.

We have a web form to submit Permit Inquiries as well, here.

Permit Determination

If you are unsure whether or not a permit is required, please contact Constance Mihalache at MihalacheC@mwrd.org or 312.751.3248 with questions regarding permit applicability, permit application procedure and submittal requirements, related ordinance requirements, etc. You may be asked to submit a sketch, site plan, and/or letter to describe details of the project in order to enable us to properly answer your questions. If permit applicability is not certain, it is recommended that a permit determination letter be obtained prior to starting any construction and risking enforcement action.

To request a Permit Determination, please submit a formal request letter to Constance Mihalache.  The request should include a narrative describing the scope of the project, a site plan, and any other supporting documentation and exhibits that may help explain the scope of work proposed.  A pdf version of the letter and supporting documents should be submitted by email to MihalacheC@mwrd.org.  Hard copies of Permit Determination request letters are accepted, but are not processed as quickly as emailed letters due to limited on-site staffing.  Responses to requests for permit determinations are typically issued within 3 weeks.

Request letters can be addressed to:

Constance Mihalache
Engineering Department - Local Sewer Systems Section
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago 
111 East Erie Street, 6th Floor 
Chicago, IL 60611-2893

Permit Pre-Application Meetings

If you are working on submitting a permit that involves more complicated components such as complex stormwater systems, hazard area encroachments, or volume control trading, you can contact Dan Feltes by email at FeltesD@mwrd.org to schedule a pre-application meeting.

Request for Revisions to Issued Permits

Requests for sewer design-related revisions to existing permits prior to completion of sewer work under the permit, or to make minor changes to stormwater detention facilities, must include:

  • A letter from the design engineer of the permit describing the design changes and the reason for the changes.
  • A letter from the municipal/system engineer of the permit granting approval of the changes.
  • A copy of revised design drawings, with each sheet signed and sealed by the permit design engineer of record (only those plan sheets that are changed).
  • A copy of all revised permit documents signed and sealed by the permit design engineer of record (if applicable).
  • Permit revision fee payment $500.00 plus $5.00 per linear foot of additional sewer length. Fees are waived for governmental sewer projects (public sewer mains, laterals for fire/police stations, libraries, etc.)

Letters requesting a revision to an issued permit can be addressed to:

Adam Witek 
Engineering Department - Local Sewer Systems Section
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago 
111 East Erie Street 
Chicago, IL 60611-2893

Please submit PDF files of the required letters, revised drawings, and any additional documentation by email to WMOInbox@mwrd.org

Infiltration and Inflow Control Program (IICP)

Forms and information are available for Satellite Entities submitting their required yearly IICP documentation.

Infiltration and Inflow Control Program (IICP) Information

Geographic Information System Assistance

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) is pleased to offer EOS Arrow 200 global positioning units (GPS) to provide sewer system owners resources to begin mapping their sewer systems in GIS or improve their existing sewer system map. In return, sewer system owners will provide MWRD with their sanitary, storm, and combined sewer data. To obtain GPS equipment and related software at no cost, sewer system owners must enter into an Intergovernmental Agreement with MWRD.

To participate in the program, please email a letter of intent with all supporting documentation to graya@mwrd.org.

The template Intergovernmental Agreement and modifiable letter of intent are below. Any proposed alterations to the Intergovernmental Agreement will require additional District approval.

Letter of Intent

Intergovernmental Agreement

Watershed Management Ordinance Petitions for Variance

Article 11 of the District’s Watershed Management Ordinance allows for Petitions for Variance. Petitions for Variance received to date are:

Petition for Variance Petitioner/Location Filing Date: Comments Due By: Next Hearing Date Status
WMO-VP-21-02 Village of Schaumburg, Schaumburg, IL 3/1/2021 6/11/2021 N/A Withdrawn
WMO-VP-21-01 Hotel Mannheim Group, Rosemont, IL 1/21/2021 N/A N/A Withdrawn
WMO-VP-17-01 Fresenius Kabi, Melrose  Park 11/30/2017 12/18/2017 N/A Withdrawn

Any person may mail written comments regarding a Petition for Variance to the Clerk of the District within twenty-one (21) calendar days after publication of the petition. All written comments should be sent to the following address:

Clerk of the District
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago
100 East Erie Street
Chicago, Illinois 60611