A DEQ water quality permit is required whenever there is a discharge of pollutants to waters of the state or to the ground. Waters of the state include surface waters (wetlands, pond, lakes, streams, rivers, etc.) and groundwater. Permits are required for discharges of wastewater (sewage, processing water, etc.), wash water, and even for wastewater that may be relatively clean, such as non-contact cooling water. These discharges may occur through a variety of disposal systems including land irrigation, seepage ponds, onsite sewage systems, dry wells, etc., or may discharge to surface water directly through a pipe or ditch or indirectly through a storm sewer system. Certain industries and activities may also be required to obtain permits for stormwater runoff from their properties.
A permit should be obtained prior to beginning the operation that will result in a discharge. If you have already begun to discharge, you must apply for a permit as soon as possible. There will be a permit application fee and yearly fee to maintain the permit. Please be aware that discharges to waters of the state or the ground are only allowed if they meet strict standards. In some cases, a discharge may need to be "pre-treated" in order to meet these standards. You will also be required to monitor the discharge to assure that it is in compliance with the DEQ permit. Pre-treatment and monitoring requirements may be quite costly so we recommend that you consider alternatives to discharging to waters of the state or to the ground so a DEQ permit would not be required.