Policy 98-1: Sediment Guidance

Stream winding through open space with small bushes on either side

In 1979, Colorado introduced rules for the presence of sediment in state surface waters, also known as narrative standards. As required by the Clean Water Act, these rules aim to protect the beneficial uses of Colorado's surface waters, including public drinking water, agricultural, industrial, and recreational services, and wildlife. Policy 98-1 explains how to apply the narrative standards for sediment deposits that may harm beneficial uses in Colorado's surface waters.

In 2013, the Water Quality Control Division worked with stakeholders to improve Policy 98-1, and the Water Quality Control Commission adopted the proposal in Nov. 2014.


The updated proposal included:

  • Removing unnecessary content.
  • Outlining a plan for putting the sediment standard into action.
  • Providing clear ways to assess if the standard is met.
  • Using Colorado-specific data to set measurable goals and limits.

The division invites water quality professionals and the general public to join the division's continued efforts to improve Policy 98-1. Stakeholders will review past updates and analyze the division's technical work to establish a new sediment region in the policy. This new region will differ from the existing sediment regions, with relatively lower slopes and elevations. The decision not to pursue this region in 2014 was due to a lack of data on reference sites.

How to get involved



Starting in Nov. 2023, the division will meet with stakeholders through large-group stakeholder meetings and a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). At the end of these meetings, the Water Quality Control Commission will consider the proposed revisions to Policy 98-1 in an administrative action hearing scheduled for Nov. 2024.

Sign up to receive notifications about this effort and scroll down to select "Policy 98-1 (Sediment Guidance)."



The division will launch this stakeholder effort and host a kickoff meeting on November 7, 2023, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Once the meeting concludes, a copy of the meeting recording, chat, agenda, presentation, and other meeting materials will be stored in this public folder.

After the kickoff meeting, the division will hold Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meetings. The division invites scientific and water quality professionals who are experienced in benthic macroinvertebrates and/or know sedimentation issues that may impact this biological assemblage to join the TAC meetings.

Large-group stakeholder meetings

Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meetings

  • Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023 | 9 to 11 a.m.
  • Thursday, March 14, 2024 | 10 a.m. to Noon
  • Thursday, April 11, 2024 | 10 a.m. to Noon

Sign up to receive email notifications on upcoming stakeholder and TAC meetings.



For more information, please contact: