The division updates regulations, guidance, and policies regularly. We want to hear from you on these proposals. Whether you are a member of the public who is interested in what the state is doing or a regulated entity that is impacted by these measures, we want your feedback. The information on this webpage reflects current efforts you should be aware of and possible engagement opportunities.
Water quality public notices
Public notices inform the public of an activity that the division is looking for feedback on, such as:
- Permit actions and proposals
- Construction projects impacting water
- Enforcement actions
Water quality information bulletin
The water quality bulletin is a monthly publication that summarizes public notices of recent division activities related to protecting lakes, streams, and groundwater.
Current or upcoming engagement opportunities
Below are different efforts and proposals the division is looking for feedback on. We welcome anyone to attend the upcoming meetings associated with each topic, learn about the proposal, and provide feedback.
10 - year water quality roadmap
Excess nutrients can degrade the quality of our drinking water, impair recreational boating and fishing experiences, and harm fish and aquatic species. Colorado has been directed by the EPA and the commission to adopt nutrient criteria to protect our streams and lakes. In October 2017, we established a water quality roadmap that outlines our strategy for developing nutrient criteria and other water quality priorities over 10 years from 2017 to 2027.
303(d) Listing Methodology
Section 303(d) of the Federal Clean Water Act requires states to identify waters where effluent limitations are not stringent enough to attain water quality standards. To support this requirement, Colorado develops the 303(d) List of Impaired Waters that identifies water bodies that do not attain water quality standards or designated uses.
Direct potable reuse
The state of Colorado expects to double its population by the year 2050, adding to demands on the state's most precious resource (water). The state of Colorado Water Plan lays out strategies to address projected gaps in water supply and demand, and direct potable reuse (DPR) is one of those strategies. DPR involves an extensive public outreach process and the installation of advanced water purification steps to ensure that wastewater can be safely reused for drinking water. While DPR is not prohibited in the state, there are no federal or state regulations for DPR. Regulated entities have requested that the division begin developing a DPR-specific rule through an engagement process. Stakeholders have been active in helping to develop the appropriate background for a Colorado DPR rule. They have supported the development of a key guidelines document authored by the National Water Research Institute and an independent panel of national experts (December 2019).
Dredge and fill potential permit program
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published a revised Waters of the United States rule that came into effect on June 22, 2020. The final rule substantially rolls back federal protections that were established in 2008, and even the protections established prior to that time. Colorado has relied on the federal government to protect these waters since Colorado does not have existing laws or regulations that allow state streams, lakes, and wetlands to be filled. The Navigable Waters Protection Rule took effect in Colorado on April 26, 2021, after a court decision. The department is working with stakeholders on a solution that protects the beneficial uses of state waters no longer under federal jurisdiction.
Industrial stormwater general permit for non-extractive industries
The Water Quality Control Division is renewing the general permit to discharge stormwater associated with non-extractive industrial activity and would like input from the public and regulated entities. In order to protect Colorado waters from pollutants in stormwater runoff, the division requires operators of certain industrial facilities to obtain permit coverage for actual or potential discharges of stormwater. This permit requires facilities to implement a stormwater management plan, implement specific stormwater control measures, also known as best management practices, perform inspections, and monitor pollutants in their discharge.
Suncor permit renewal
Suncor has two permits that allow for discharge of pollutants into Sand Creek which are up for renewal in 2021, CO0001147 and COS000009. CO0001147 allows Suncor to discharge refinery process wastewater and remediated groundwater into Sand Creek. COS000009 allows Suncor to discharge stormwater off its site into Sand Creek. Prior to renewing these permits, it is the responsibility of the division to include requirements and identify pollutant limits that will protect Sand Creek and downstream waters in order to maintain their beneficial uses (such as recreation, fishing, agriculture, and drinking water). The division seeks input from the community related to the requirements and pollutant limits needed to protect Sand Creek and downstream waters.
Quarterly webinar for discharge permitees
The Water Quality Control Division has quarterly webinars for Colorado Discharge Permit System permittees. The purpose of these webinars is to provide permittees with up-to-date information on division permitting activities that could affect permittees and their future permits. Sometimes there are opportunities to provide feedback. The webinars are open to the public and anyone is welcome to attend.
Wastewater design criteria
The Design Criteria for Domestic Wastewater Treatment Works also known as Policy WPC-DR-1, is a key policy used as a basis for reviewing and making determinations of design applications for domestic wastewater treatment works in Colorado. The division routinely updates the document is initiating a stakeholder process in 2021.
Reg. 11 - Policy updates for storage tank, backflow prevention, and cross-connection control
In August of 2020, the Water Quality Control Commission updated the Colorado Primary Drinking Water Regulations (Regulation 11). While there were a few minor changes to several rules, there were also more significant changes to the Storage Tank Rule (Section 11.28) and to the Backflow Prevention and Cross-Connection Control Rule (Section 11.39). Subsequently, in early 2021, the division updated several policies related to Backflow Prevention and Storage Tanks. These policies include Policy 7 (Backflow Prevention and Cross-Connection Control Policy); Policy 10 (Sanitary Defect Policy - section regarding storage tanks only); Policy 12 (Storage Tank Rule Alternative Inspection Schedule Policy); and, Policy 15 (Storage Tank Rule Inspection Methods Qualified Personnel Policy).
Reg. 64 - Biosolids and PFAS
In early 2022, the division plans to evaluate if any interim changes are needed to Regulation 64 and/or its implementing authorizations, policies, and practices to address potential risks associated with PFAS in biosolids.
Reg. 84 - Reclaimed water control regulation improvements
The Water Quality Control Division is conducting a stakeholder process to consider improvements to Regulation 84: Reclaimed Water Control. The goal of this process is to improve the regulation, make general clarifications and corrections (include policies such as Water Quality Policy 25 and application forms and guidelines), improve efficiency in the reclaimed water program, and reduce repetitiveness in the regulation. Any changes would be proposed to the Water Quality Control Commission in Spring 2022.
Reg. 86 - Graywater control
On May 7, 2018, the Water Quality Control Commission held an informational hearing to gather feedback for a proposed rulemaking scope to update Regulation 86 - Graywater Control Regulation. The division initiated the stakeholder engagement process and placed the effort on hold due to competing obligations, limited resources, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The division presented an update on the stakeholder engagement schedule with the Commission in May 2021 as part of the triennial review process. As a result of the meeting, the stakeholder engagement schedule for Regulation 86 was postponed until 2022.