Water Quality - Permits





    Welcome to the Permits Section web page. We issue permits for discharges of pollution to waters of the state, including groundwater.

    Our job is to ensure that the permits we write and issue are protective of the uses of those waters, like drinking water, aquatic life, agriculture, and recreation.


    Here is a quick overview of how permits work in Colorado.  


    Clean water permitting sectors

    Commerce and industry, construction, municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4), domestic sewage systems, biosolids, pesticides, reclaimed water, pretreatment, and contacts.

    List of all active clean water permits

    Links to Permitting Resources and References


    Stakeholder participation


    Basin Schedule for Individual Permits

    Individual process water permits to surface water are renewed under a basin schedule, meaning the Permits Section starts renewing these permits the year after the Water Quality Control Commission basin hearing.


    Year Water Quality Control Commission Basin Hearing (June, effective December) Permitting Basin
    June 2022 - San Juan & Dolores (Reg. 34)/Gunnison (Reg. 35)

    South Platte, Laramie, Republican, Smoky Hill
    June 2023 - Arkansas (Reg. 32)/Rio Grande (Reg. 36)

    San Juan & Dolores/Gunnison
    June 2024 - Upper Colorado & North Platte (Reg. 33)/Lower Colorado (Reg. 37)

    Arkansas/Rio Grande
    June 2025 - South Platte, Laramie, Republican, Smoky Hill (Reg. 38)

    Upper Colorado & North Platte /Lower Colorado
    June 2026 - Basic Standards (Reg. 31)

    South Platte, Laramie, Republican, Smoky Hill



    The division does not currently have the resources to renew all permits every time it works in a basin. The division uses this criteria to prioritize individual permit renewals. 

    When the division is working in a basin, it regularly shares its progress during the quarterly permit webinars.