Major Construction Projects

Major projects and facilities include commercial marinas, community docks, barge terminals and mooring cells, utility crossings, bridges, culverts, roads, wastewater discharges, water intakes and sewage outfalls, dredging, placement of fill and others.

This page tells you what information TVA needs to process your application for a major construction permit and provides sample drawings of some of the most common projects.

Project Plan or Drawing

Adequate plans or drawings must accompany each application. They should:

  • Be prepared on paper suitable for reproduction (no larger than 11 by 17 inches)
  • Contain the date; applicant’s name; name of stream, river or reservoir river mile; locator landmarks; and direction of water flow, if known
  • Identify the kind of structure and its purpose or intended use
  • Provide a plan and profile view of the structure
  • Show the principal dimensions, size and location in relation to the shoreline
  • Show elevations (in the context of the normal summer pool if on a reservoir, or normal high-water elevation above mean sea level if off reservoir)
  • Show the north arrow
  • See downloadable drawings.

Other Information

The information below also should be included, if applicable:

  • The location of any material laydown or assembly areas, staging areas, equipment storage areas, new access roads and road access or closure required by the project or needed for construction
  • The location of borrow or spoil areas on or off TVA land
  • The extent of soil and vegetative disturbance
  • Information on any special reservoir operations needed for the project, such as drawdown or water discharge restrictions.

Water Intakes

In addition to the general information required for all 26a permit applications, water intake applications require additional specific information (see below). This is necessary to evaluate the environmental and economic impacts on TVA’s integrated river system, downstream water and wastewater facilities, water quality and preservation of aquatic species. Before initiating a final design or land acquisition activities, the applicant should request a meeting with TVA’s Water Supply group.

For more information, contact Gary Springston, TVA Water Supply Program Manager, at (423) 751-7336 or glspringston@tva.gov.

Public Water, Industrial and Thermal Water Intake Requests

  • Provide a plan and profile view of the structure.
  • Provide a water-supply needs analysis documenting current demand and projected water demand. Demand projection methodologies should be consistent with those outlined in the American Water Works Association manual or American Society of Civil Engineers manual. Sources of information and methodologies used in projecting future water demand must be documented.
  • Provide a description of the water intake.
  • Provide a recent channel survey showing underwater topography and the location of the proposed intake. 
  • Provide location and dimensions of the intake, top elevations above mean sea level for the intake, and elevations of all intake ports. (Under most circumstances, proposed water intake elevations should not be based on minimum reservoir winter pool elevations. Call TVA at the above number for the maximum drawdown elevation.)
  • Provide a recent channel survey showing underwater topography and the location of any discharge pipes.
  • Provide locations, dimensions, and top elevations above mean sea level for any proposed water treatment plant discharge pipes. (Specific criteria exist for discharges into a reservoir. Call TVA at the above number for information).
  • Provide a description of the existing water treatment facilities, including current treatment processes.
  • Provide a contingency plan for acquiring water should reservoir or stream levels drop below raw water intake.
  • Provide information on any current or proposed interbasin transfer of water that will ultimately leave the Tennessee River basin (New interbasin transfers will require a “Letter of No Objection” from the state where the transfer originates. (Call TVA at the number above for more information).
  • Specify the current and proposed annual average intake capacities along with the maximum intake capacities.
  • Specify the level of consumptive use and how it was calculated. Consumptive use is defined as withdrawals from a water system, less returns to the original water system. It is the part of the water withdrawn that is evaporated, transpired, incorporated into products or crops, or consumed by humans and animals.
  • Provide information on the method of treatment and disposal of wastewater from the water service area.
  • Provide information on any moratoriums associated with wastewater disposal in the water service area.
  • Provide specific information on any proposed dredge, including information concerning the potential for sediment contamination, if known.
  • Plans should provide details of any proposed fill and identify the amount of power storage and flood storage lost due to the fill. (Elevation ranges are different for power and flood storage calculations and vary by location. Call TVA at the above number for this information).
  • Provide a blasting plan consistent with federal and state regulations if the installation of the water intake and associated piping involves blasting.

Irrigation Water Intakes Requests

  • Provide a description of the water intake.
  • Provide location and dimensions of the intake, top elevations above mean sea level, and elevations of all intake ports.
  • Specify the proposed annual average intake capacity along with the maximum intake capacity.
  • Provide specific information on any proposed dredge, including information concerning the potential for sediment contamination, if known.
  • Plans should provide details of any proposed fill and identify the amount of power storage and flood storage lost due to the fill. (Elevation ranges are different for power and flood storage calculations and vary by location. Call TVA at the above number for this information)
  • Provide a blasting plan consistent with federal and state regulations if the installation of the water intake and associated piping involves blasting
  • Back flow prevention is required if chemical injection is part of the irrigation system.

Site Plans

Some projects, particularly larger ones, may require a separate site plan that details existing and proposed changes to surface topography and elevations (cut and fill, clearing, etc.), the location of all proposed facilities, and erosion control plans.

Environmental Clearances or Permits

Applicants should provide TVA with copies of letters from the State Historic Preservation Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or other environmental reviews if available. In addition, they should provide TVA with copies of permits from other agencies, such as U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Section 404 permits or state water quality certifications (see links, top right). This information will reduce the time and need for further TVA review.

Discharges into Navigable Waters

If the construction, maintenance or operation of the proposed structure or the conduct of the activity in connection with which approval is sought might result in any discharge into navigable waters, the applicant must also submit with the application a certification from the state in which the discharge would originate, from the interstate water pollution control agency having jurisdiction over the navigable waters at the point where the discharge would originate, or from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The certification must state that the agency has determined that there is reasonable assurance that the proposed activity will not violate applicable water quality standards.

If construction or operation of the proposed structure will affect water quality but is not subject to any applicable water quality standards, the applicant must submit a written statement to that effect by the state, interstate agency or the EPA. The applicant must also submit supplemental and additional information that TVA deems necessary for the review of the application, including information concerning the amounts, chemical makeup, temperature differentials, type and quantity of suspended solids and proposed treatment plans for any proposed discharges.

NOTE: Site specific conditions may impact the review and approval of your application. Applying does not guarantee approval. Contact your local TVA Regional Watershed office for more information and clarification.