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Preliminary Engineering Reports

Preliminary Engineering Reports

As of April 2013, HUD, USDA, and USEPA have adopted a jointly accepted Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) format. This format needs to be used on all WID funded Preliminary Engineering Reports, aka Facilities Plans. The PER outline and guidance are available in PDF or in MSWord. Use of this format will keep projects eligible for funding from CWSRF and if applicable, USDA RD and ACCD.

Life Cycle Cost Analyses

The PER format requires a life cycle cost analysis for each alternative. This calculation requires the use of a discount rate. A link to the discount rate is included in the PER directions. NOTE: EPA no longer uses a separate discount rate as of 2016.

Additionally, Vermont Environmental Protection Rule Chapter 2, allows for the use of long term life cycle cost analysis, which encourages the borrower to examine the alternative selection through more than one loan term.

Cost and Effectiveness Analysis

For CWSRF Projects, WRRDA requires that each project have a "Cost and Effectiveness" Analysis performed. For Vermont SRF staff have elected to use a certification form for this requirement.

Fiscal Sustainability Plans

For CWSRF Projects,WRRDA requires that each project have a Fiscal Sustainability Plan. In Vermont we ask that this plan is developed as part of the the PER document for the preferred project. Templates are available on the FSP page.


The CWSRF loan agreement requires the municipality hold project coordination meetings at the 30% complete, 60% complete, and 90% complete stages in order to qualify for reimbursement up to those levels.  The municipal representatives, system operators, consultants, regulatory staff, funding representatives attend these meetings to discuss the project.  Funding representatives include Division staff as well as other interested co-funders, which may include USDA RD and/or Efficiency Vermont.  DWSRF is now adopting similar practices on a project by project basis.

For larger projects, more meetings may be included in the scope of services.


It is the expectation of the CWSRF Program that all work substantially conform to accepted engineering design standards. Any deviations from the Standards need to be called out to the Pollution Control Design Section Engineer or Drinking Water Engineer. Those known in advance of the Step 2 agreement, need to be called out as deviations in the PER.



  1. Meeting Agenda, Submittals & Minutes & draft PER as per below:
    • 30% - PER Sections 1-3
    • 60% - PER Sections 4-5
    • 90% - Remaining PER Sections 6-7
  2. Final PER - Signed Stamped Copy
  3. Supporting Materials, Calculations, and HydroCAD files

Reimbursement Holds

Reimbursement levels are held based on the meeting benchmarks, to assure that the consutlant work is not progressing out of pace with the administrative project requirements.

Example: If reimbursement requests are made at 35% of project and the 30% project meeting has not been held, then the accounting staff will only reimburse up to the 30% level.

PER Acceptance Letter

The PER Acceptance SOP outlines the procedure for DCE to provide PER acceptance prior to finalizing all Step I requirements to allow the project to move forward in a timely manner while the elements outside of the PER are finalized.  

DCE PER Acceptance SOP