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License to Operate (LTO)

In Ohio, most public water systems are required to obtain a license to operate (LTO) from Ohio EPA. The LTO indicates the public water system is approved by the Agency to supply drinking water to the public, and it must be prominently displayed at the facility. Public water systems with LTOs are required to apply for a license renewal by December 31 each year, unless instructed otherwise. The license renewal application must be submitted with the appropriate fee.   

Type of LTO and Enforcement

Ohio EPA issues different licenses depending on the facilities' compliance with safe drinking water rules. Each type of license is color-coded (i.e., green, yellow or red) to represent the status of the system's license. For additional information on the color-coded system, please click on the sections below. Click here to view LTO enforcement actions in the eDocument System. For better search results, select "Permit" under Document Type and "Drinking Water" under Program.

Unconditioned LTO (Green) 

A green license to operate means it was issued without any conditions. Most public water systems in Ohio receive green licenses.

Conditioned LTO (Yellow)

A yellow license means it was issued to the public water system with conditions. Conditions usually require correction of violations of safe drinking water rules and may include conducting all required water quality monitoring, hiring a certified operator or paying an administrative fine.

Denied/Suspended/Revoked (Red Sign)

A red sign is issued to a public water system that is not licensed because its LTO renewal application was denied or its license was suspended or revoked. These actions are taken due to violations of safe drinking water rules. Public water systems with red signs are not permitted to provide water for human consumption. 

 

Current LTO Certificates

Public water systems that have paid for their 2022 LTO can find the 2022 Certificate below. Public water systems can search the PDF for their individual Certificate.

2022 LTO Certificates

To locate your individual Certificate, scroll through the Certificates to locate your system, or use "Ctrl+F" to find the Certificate by name or PWS ID number.

To print your Certificate:

  • Have your Certificate in the screen
  • Right click and select print or press the print button on the bottom of the PDF page
  • In the print dialog box select “Current page” under Pages to Print.

LTO Fees

A person applying for a license or license renewal to operate a public water system under Section 6109.21 of the Ohio Revised Code shall pay the appropriate fee at the time of application to the director. Any person who fails to pay the fee at that time shall pay an additional amount that equals 10 percent of the required fee. Fees shall be calculated according to the following schedules.

Source: Ohio Revised Code 3745.11

A public water system may determine how it will pay the total amount of the fee calculated, including the assessment of additional user fees that may be assessed on a volumetric basis.

Community Water Systems (service connections* under 100)
Number of Service Connections Fee Amount
Not more than 49 $112
50-99 $176

 

Community Water Systems (100 or more service connections*)
Number of Service Connections Average Cost per Connection
100 to 2,499 $1.92
2,500 to 4,999 $1.48
5,000 to 7,499 $1.42
7,500 to 9,999 $1.34
10,000 to 14,999 $1.16
15,000 to 24,999 $1.10
25,000 to 49,999 $1.04
50,000 to 99,999 $0.92
100,000 to 149,999 $0.86
150,000 to 199,999 $0.80
200,000 or more $0.76

 

Non-Transient Non-Community (NTNC) Water Systems
Population Served Fee Amount
Fewer than 150 $112
150 to 299 $176
300 to 749 $384
750 to 1,499 $628
1,500 to 2,999 $1,286
3,000 to 7,499 $2,816
7,500 to 14,999 $5,510
15,000 to 22,499 $9,048
22,500 to 29,999 $12,430
30,000 or more $16,820

 

Transient Non-Community (TNC) Water Systems
Number of Wells** Supplying System Fee Amount
1 $112
2 $112
3 $176
4 $278
5 $568
System designated as using a surface water source $792

 

*“Service Connection” means the number of active or inactive pipes, goosenecks, pigtails, and any other fittings connecting a water main to any building outlet. “Population Served” means the total number of individuals having access to the water supply during a 24-hour period for at least 60 days during any calendar year. In the absence of a specific population count, that number shall be calculated at the rate of three individuals per service connection.

**“Number of Wells Supplying System” means those wells or sources that are physically connected to the plumbing system serving the public water system. A public water system designated as using a surface water source shall pay a fee of $792 or the amount calculated using the number of service connections or population served, whichever is higher.

Source: Ohio Revised Code 3745.11

LTO Invoices

Public water systems that have not paid for their 2022 LTO can find the 2022 invoice fee below.

To locate your individual invoice, scroll through to locate your system, or use "Ctrl+F" to find the invoice by name or PWS ID number.

2022 LTO Invoices

To print your Invoice:

  • Have your invoice in the screen
  • Right click and select print or press the print button on the bottom of the PDF page
  • In the print dialog box select “Current page” under Pages to Print.

To pay by check: Invoices must be printed and signed to be mailed in with a check. Checks should be made out to “Treasurer State of Ohio”. Please follow instructions on the invoice for mailing.


For online payment: Public water systems wishing to pay online can do so at Ohio EPA’s business Center. Instructions for online payment can be found here

To pay the LTO fee by credit card or electronic check, you must have an account on the state of Ohio’s OH|ID Portal.
Listed below are 2 links you can use for instructions on how to create an OHID account and request access to Ohio EPA’s eBusiness Center. Below the links are the instructions on how to pay your invoice once you are logged into the eBusiness Center. Detailed instructions for paying a fee online.

https://ebiz.epa.ohio.gov/#

https://epa.ohio.gov/static/Portals/47/facts/OHIDStepbyStepInst.pdf


How to pay by credit card

A service fee of 1.9% is added to payments made by credit card. You will be charged for two payments, the invoice payment and a separate service fee. When you arrive at the payment screen, please enter your billing name and address exactly as it appears on your credit card statement. You must use either a Master Card, VISA, or Discover Credit Card.

  1. Click on the service labelled Pay Ohio EPA Fees Online
  2. Click on the Lookup Invoice to Pay Online button
  3. Click on the circle next to Revenue ID/Receivable ID.
  4. Enter the Revenue ID/Receivable ID in the 2 boxes provided and click continue. You should see the Revenue ID/Receivable ID on the invoice or letter you received.
  5. On the next window you will click on the Pay button.
  6. Click on the Pay with Credit Card. You will get a warning notice click continue.
  7. The Central Payment Portal will open. There you will see two amounts listed. The revenue balance due and the service fee that will be charged.
  8. You will need to fill in all the boxes that have an *. If you need a Receipt you will need to click the checkbox and provide your email address in the box across from it.
  9. Click on the Continue button at the bottom. The next screen will ask you to verify the information.
  10. If everything is correct click the Confirm button. If you need to correct any information, click the Back button at the bottom of the screen.
  11. After the payment is confirmed, a receipt is displayed.


How to pay by ACH (electronic check)

There is no service fee for ACH payments. When you provide your bank account number and routing number, you authorize us to make a one-time electronic funds transfer from your bank account to pay the invoice. If there is a debit block on your bank account, ask your bank to allow transactions with Ohio EPA before paying with ACH. When you arrive at the payment screen verify the billing name and address match the information for your bank account and make corrections if necessary.

When paying by ACH you must have a PIN. If you don’t have an eBusiness PIN, there is a link below for instructions on how to request and activate a PIN.

http://wwwapp.epa.state.oh.us/eBusinessCenter/eBizPINHelpSheet.pdf

  1. Click on the service labelled Pay Ohio EPA Fees Online
  2. Click on the Lookup Invoice to Pay Online button
  3. Click on the circle next to Revenue ID/Receivable ID.
  4. Enter the Revenue ID/Receivable ID in the 2 boxes provided and click continue. You should see the Revenue ID/Receivable ID on the invoice or letter you received.
  5. On the next window you will click on the Pay button.
  6. Click on the Pay with ACH. You will get a warning notice click continue.
  7. On the next window you will be prompted to enter your PIN and answer one of your security questions. Then you will click the Submit button.
  8. The Central Payment Portal will open. There you will see the amount due listed.
  9. You will need to fill in all the boxes that have an *. If you need a Receipt you will need to click the checkbox and provide your email address in the box across from it.
  10. Click on the Continue button at the bottom. The next screen will ask you to verify the information.
  11. If everything is correct click the Confirm button. If you need to correct any information, click the Back button at the bottom of the screen.
  12. After the payment is confirmed, a receipt is displayed.