DEQ’s Water Quality Division is responsible for assuring that the state’s surface, ground, and drinking water resources meet state water quality standards. Among the Division’s major duties are to:
Adopt water quality standards to protect public health and welfare, enhance the quality of water, and meet the requirements of the federal Clean Water Act.
Certify that projects that require federal permits or licenses, such as a license to operate a hydroelectric dam, will not cause a violation of state water quality standards.
Monitor and assess the levels of pollutants in surface waters such as rivers and streams and report on surface water quality.
Work with communities, industry, and citizen groups to develop and implement water quality improvement plans when water quality fails to meet state water quality standards and provide grants to support a variety of water quality improvement activities.
Work with public health districts to protect the quality of public drinking water by assisting public drinking water systems to comply with state requirements, conducting sampling surveys and on-site visits, reviewing water system plans and specifications, and providing training and outreach to water systems. DEQ also assesses potential contaminant threats to Idaho’s drinking water sources.
Protect ground water from pollution, clean up degraded ground water to support beneficial uses where feasible, and monitor and assess ground water quality.
Provide guidance for managing stormwater discharges generated by runoff.
Establish standards for treating and disposing of wastewater managed by on-site wastewater systems (septic systems) that are not served by public sewer systems.
Issue wastewater reuse permits to protect surface and ground water by establishing limits on the amount of wastewater that facilities and industries may use for irrigation or other purposes, provide technical assistance, conduct inspections, enforce permits when necessary.