WQ sewage systems general permits to surface water

 WQCD encourages applicants under 1 mgd to consider coverage under the two surface water domestic general permits  (COG589000 and COG588000) because general permits pose a number of advantages for planning and timing:
  • General permit certifications can be issued far more quickly than individual permits, which may allow you to skip the PEL stage and use your permit as your Water Quality Planning Target.
  • Certifications under existing general permits may offer dischargers engaged in long-term planning more certainty than individual permits.
  • In many cases, general permit certifications can be modified after the general permit has been administratively extended (as long as the general permit itself does not need to be modified). Individual permits cannot be modified after the permit has been administratively extended.
  • General permit PELs can be completed more quickly than individual permit PELs.
  • General permit PEL and permit fees are lower.
Note that the two surface water general permits also provide for dilution in accordance with established tables in the permits. In addition, antidegradation limits will not be applied to permittees qualifying for coverage under the COG588000.
Qualifications for Coverage Under the General Permits

In order to qualify for a General Permit COG589000, the facility must be a minor domestic facility, and be approved under Regulation 22 for under 1 MGD.  The facility cannot have an industrial pretreatment program (either under Section 307 of the Clean Water Act or Regulation 63) and cannot accept any hazardous waste.  The facility must discharge to an unclassified, use-protected, or reviewable surface water body. The facility cannot discharge to a water designated as “Outstanding.” The facility may discharge to waters designated as threatened and endangered species habitat. Certification requirements for COG589000 are described in Part I.A.3. of the permit document below.
In order for the facility to qualify for a General Permit COG588000, the facility must meet all the requirements above for the COG589000 permit, AND the receiving stream must provide 100:1 dilution.  The dilution ratio is the 30E3 of the receiving stream (just above the outfall) to the facility design flow. In addition, the facility cannot discharge to waters designated as threatened and endangered species habitat.  These certification requirements are described in Part I.A.3. of the permit document.

Links to Permit Documents and Applications