Drinking Water Design Criteria

drinking water treatment plant in morning sun

The Design Criteria for Potable Water Systems, also known as Safe Drinking Water Program Implementation Policy #5, is a key policy used as a basis for reviewing and making determinations of design applications for drinking water treatment works in Colorado. The division routinely updates the document to maintain industry standards with input from stakeholders. The policy was last updated in 2022.


The primary driver for this policy update and stakeholder process involves design criteria updates related to the treatment processes utilized by drinking water systems to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s newly finalized per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) rule. The division initiated the stakeholder engagement process on June 4, 2024, and asked for feedback on PFAS criteria and other select portions of the drinking water design criteria where updates or clarifications are needed. Two working groups were developed and intend to meet over the summer to develop proposed changes to the drinking water design criteria related to storage tanks and PFAS. 

The division expects to develop draft proposed updates to the policy and present them to stakeholders in the fall.  


How to get involved



The division held a stakeholder meeting in early June to discuss the proposed update sections and topics for the criteria, as well as the next steps to develop the updates. The division collected stakeholder input on the planned design criteria modifications and updates, and workgroups were formed to address topics with more complex updates (e.g., PFAS).  

The process will include advanced notification to stakeholders that have subscribed to email notifications, including drinking water utilities. To receive future notifications of this process, please sign up for email notifications.  


Meeting information and materials can be accessed by using this public folder

Storage tanks subgroup

This subgroup will meet to collaborate on proposed updates to the design criteria related to storage tanks. For more information, please email Kristen Harris at Kristen.Harris@state.co.us

PFAS subgroup

This subgroup will meet to collaborate on proposed updates to the design criteria to address PFAS. For more information, please email Chelsea Cotton at Chelsea.Cotton@state.co.us


For more information,For more information about this stakeholder engagement effort, please contact Chelsea Cotton at chelsea.cotton@state.co.us.