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SW Protection | Permitting Unit

Surface Water Protection

Permitting Unit

Revised on: Sept. 5, 2023 -  11:08 a.m.

Protecting Arizona’s surface waters is crucial to the state’s future. Clean water is essential for drinking water, irrigation, recreation and a healthy environment. Arizona’s surface waters are protected by Arizona Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (AZPDES) permits, which place strict limits on all pollutants discharged into protected Arizona surface waters.

On Dec. 05, 2002, Arizona became one of 45 states with authorization from EPA to operate the NPDES Permit Program (Section 402 of the Clean Water Act) on the state level under the AZPDES Permit Program. All facilities that discharge pollutants from any point source into waters of the United States (navigable waters) are required to obtain or seek coverage under an AZPDES permit. Pollutants can enter waters of the United States from a variety of pathways, including agricultural, domestic and industrial sources. For regulatory purposes these sources are generally categorized as either point source or nonpoint sources.

Who Needs a Permit?

If the activities at your site or facility discharges pollutants to a protected Arizona surface water, you must have an AZPDES permit prior to discharge.

Which Permit Do I Need?

The type of industry and operations at your facility determine which type of permit you need. 

AZPDES General Permits (GP)

*Note: These GP application may be submitted via ADEQ's myDEQ online portal | Learn More >

Individual AZPDES Permits

If you do not see your industry listed above, you may need an individual AZPDES permit. These permits are custom-written to a facility’s type | Learn More >

For questions about permit coverage, please email ADEQ | Email >

Protected Surface Water Resources

  • List of Protected Surface Waters | View/Download >
  • Map to Protected Surface Waters** | View eMap >
  • Notice Form for Regulated Activities Requiring Best Management Practices for Non-WOTUS Protected Surface Waters | Learn More >

**Note: The Draft Surface Water Protection Program Map is included for informational purposes only and is not to be used for regulatory decisions. It reflects the current state of the draft proposed program. The draft map will be updated as the program is amended. If you believe ADEQ has included a waterbody that should not be included on the map OR if there is an intermittent or perennial water that should be included, please contact us | Email >

Did you Know? 

We have a Surface Water Protection Program for discharge to Arizona waters | Learn More >

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