Updated Deemed Permitted Rule for Sewers Shared by Two Residential Structures

Session Law 2020-61 (SL 2020-61) was passed on June 30, 2020. Sections 4.(a-e) are applicable to sewers which are shared between two residential structures, and which also meet certain requirements. For specific details on the application of this new law to the “Deemed Permitted Rule” found in 15A NCAC 02T.0303, please refer to the presentation linked below. Supplementary information, examples, and other information is included in this document, and annotated comments are available for each slide on the PDF.

Link to Guidance PowerPoint

This new law means that sewers that previously met the requirements of General Permit WQG10000 are now deemed permitted and no longer require coverage under the General Permit. The Division has now shut down the general permitting program, however, if your shared sewer was eligible for coverage under the General Permit, it is now deemed permitted with no further action required.


General Information:

A Primary Residence is a residential building governed by the North Carolina Residential Building Code and may be a single-family residence or a duplex, multi-family residence. Triplex and larger multi-family residential structures, including townhome structures with three or more single-family residences, are excluded from the expansion of the Deemed Permitted Rule.

An Accessory Building (Accessory Dwelling Unit or an Accessory Residential Building) is a single-family or duplex-multi family residence constructed on the same parcel as a primary residence OR may be an accessory building such as a garage or workshop, which may be served by a sewer lateral due to the presence of a sink, shower, toilet, or other fixture.

Figure: Potential sewer line configurations for Primary Residences with an Accessory Building


What situations qualify?

SL 2020-61 applies to either existing residential structures which will be newly connected by a shared sewer line, or for new construction where either a new accessory building is joined with an existing primary residence, or where two such residential structures are built concurrently.

In order to retain coverage under SL 2020-61, both residential structures must remain on the same parcel in perpetuity. Should the two structures be split onto two different parcels in the future, the shared sewer line is no longer considered to be deemed permitted and must obtain a sewer extension permit at that time.

To this effect, the Division recommends that property owners obtain deed restrictions recorded in their local county register of deeds office. The deed restrictions should prohibit in perpetuity the subdivision of the parcel in any manner that separates the primary residence rom the accessory building.


Projects Excluded from Coverage

SL 2020-61 cannot be applied to projects which require a state discharge or any other type of non-discharge permit, nor projects which involve any non-residential structures. The expansion of the Deemed Permitted Rule is for the extension of sewer lines to serve a Primary Residence and an Accessory Building only.

The following configurations of shared sewer lines are not covered by SL 2020-61 nor the existing Deemed Permitted Rule:

  • Sewer lines shared by more than two residential structures.
  • Shared sewer lines that are pressurized, where two force mains connect together prior to discharging into the sewer main.
  • Configurations where the shared sewer line must cross other property or traverse along the Right-of-Way and the total flow from all residential structures exceeds 600 gallons per day as calculated on a basis of 120 GPD per bedroom (15A NCAC 02T.0114) or a Division-approved flow reduction.
  • Pressurized lines which tie into an existing force main.
  • Projects where the two residential structures are currently or are anticipated to be located on separate parcels.


If your project does not qualify for coverage under SL 2020-61 or the existing Deemed Permitted Rule, you must apply for an individual sewer line extension permit.



Legal Authority/Statute Reference: North Carolina General Statute §143-215.1; 15A NCAC 02T.0114; 15A NCAC 02T.0303; Session Law 2020-61.


Statewide Contact Information:

NC Division of Water Resources

Municipal Permitting Unit

1617 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC  27699-1617

Telephone: (919) 707-3601