Colorado Clean Water Policy Provisions Glossary: Key Terms & Definitions for Developers and Consultants

Colorado Clean Water Policy Provisions Key Terms & Definitions

Antidegradation: A policy that requires the maintenance and protection of existing water quality in a water body, even if that quality is better than the established standards. (Colorado Clean Water Policy Code Chapter 17, § 17-1-102(4))

Best Management Practices (BMPs): Schedules of activities, prohibitions of practices, maintenance procedures, and other management practices to prevent or reduce the pollution of waters of the state. BMPs also include treatment requirements, operating procedures, and practices to control plant site runoff, spillage or leaks, sludge or waste disposal, or drainage from raw material storage. (Colorado Clean Water Policy Code Chapter 17, § 17-1-102(7))

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE): The state agency responsible for administering and enforcing the Colorado Clean Water Policy Code Chapter 17 and other environmental regulations in Colorado.

Colorado Water Quality Control Act: The state law that establishes the legal framework for water quality protection in Colorado, including the authority for the Colorado Clean Water Policy Code Chapter 17.

Designated Uses: The uses specified in water quality standards for each water body or segment, whether or not they are being attained. Examples of designated uses include domestic water supply, recreation, agriculture, and aquatic life. (Colorado Clean Water Policy Code Chapter 17, § 17-1-102(13))

Discharge: The introduction of any pollutant into the waters of the state from any point source. (Colorado Clean Water Policy Code Chapter 17, § 17-1-102(14))

Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR): A report submitted by a permittee to the CDPHE that provides information on the quality and quantity of effluent discharged from a point source.

Effluent Limitations: Any restriction or prohibition established under the Colorado Clean Water Policy Code Chapter 17 on quantities, rates, and concentrations of chemical, physical, biological, and other constituents which are discharged from point sources into waters of the state. (Colorado Clean Water Policy Code Chapter 17, § 17-1-102(16))

Nonpoint Source Pollution: Pollution that occurs when water runs over land or through the ground, picks up pollutants, and deposits them into rivers, lakes, and coastal waters or introduces them into groundwater. Nonpoint source pollution is not traceable to a specific point of discharge.

Numeric Nutrient Criteria: Specific, measurable limits on the concentrations of nutrients (such as nitrogen and phosphorus) that are allowed in a water body to protect its designated uses. (Colorado Clean Water Policy Code Chapter 17, § 17-1-102(28))

Point Source: Any discernible, confined, and discrete conveyance, including but not limited to any pipe, ditch, channel, tunnel, conduit, well, discrete fissure, container, rolling stock, concentrated animal feeding operation, or vessel or other floating craft, from which pollutants are or may be discharged. (Colorado Clean Water Policy Code Chapter 17, § 17-1-102(33))

Pollutant: Dredged spoil, dirt, slurry, solid waste, incinerator residue, sewage, sewage sludge, garbage, trash, chemical waste, biological nutrient, biological material, radioactive material, heat, wrecked or discarded equipment, rock, sand, or any industrial, municipal, or agricultural waste. (Colorado Clean Water Policy Code Chapter 17, § 17-1-102(35))

Stormwater: Precipitation-induced surface runoff from land, except that resulting from agricultural activities.

Stormwater Discharge Permit: A permit issued by the CDPHE under the Colorado Clean Water Policy Code Chapter 17 that authorizes the discharge of stormwater from a point source, subject to certain conditions and requirements.

Surface Water: Any waters on the surface of the earth, including all streams, lakes, ponds, impounding reservoirs, marshes, watercourses, waterways, springs, irrigation systems, drainage systems, and all other bodies or accumulations of water, natural or artificial, public or private, situated wholly or partly within or bordering upon the state. (Colorado Clean Water Policy Code Chapter 17, § 17-1-102(41))

Technology-Based Effluent Limitations: Effluent limitations based on the application of pollution control technologies or practices, without regard to the specific water quality of the receiving water body. (Colorado Clean Water Policy Code Chapter 17, § 17-1-102(43))

Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL): The sum of the individual wasteload allocations for point sources and load allocations for nonpoint sources and natural background. (Colorado Clean Water Policy Code Chapter 17, § 17-1-102(44))

Wastewater Treatment Plant: Any facility or group of units used for the purpose of treating, stabilizing, or holding wastes. (Colorado Clean Water Policy Code Chapter 17, § 17-1-102(47))

Water Quality-Based Effluent Limitations: Effluent limitations determined necessary to ensure that water quality standards are attained and maintained in the receiving water body, regardless of the treatment technology employed. (Colorado Clean Water Policy Code Chapter 17, § 17-1-102(48))

Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC): The commission within the CDPHE that is responsible for developing and maintaining state water quality standards, classifying state waters, and promulgating regulations for the prevention, control, and abatement of water pollution. (Colorado Clean Water Policy Code Chapter 17, § 17-1-102(49))

Water Quality Standards: The combination of water uses to be protected and the water quality criteria necessary to protect those uses, as established by the WQCC. (Colorado Clean Water Policy Code Chapter 17, § 17-1-102(50))

Waters of the State: Any and all surface and subsurface waters which are contained in or flow in or through this state, but does not include waters in sewage systems, waters in treatment works of disposal systems, waters in potable water distribution systems, and all water withdrawn for use until use and treatment have been completed. (Colorado Clean Water Policy Code Chapter 17, § 17-1-102(51))

Keep up with the latest

A Note to Our Readers: We hope this guide is a valuable resource in helping you better understand the . However, it's not a substitute for professional advice and doesn't cover every scenario. Always consult with regulatory bodies and professionals for the most current advice and project-specific guidance.