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

Permit Records Search: Map  



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

Targeted Rulemaking Hearings Only (see Water Quality Control Commission Long-Term Calendar for more information)- Arkansas/Rio Grande Basin hearing rescheduled to 2024. 

San Juan & Dolores/Gunnison
 2024 June 2024 - Arkansas (Reg. 32)/Rio Grande (Reg. 36)
June 2024 - Upper Colorado & North Platte (Reg. 33)/Lower Colorado (Reg. 37)
San Juan & Dolores/Gunnison     Q1 & Q2
Arkansas/Rio Grande Q3 & Q4
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 Clean Water webinars.