Water Quality

Welcome to the Water Quality Program of the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).

Protecting water quality is a priority for everyone at CDOT, from headquarters to the five regional offices. The mission of CDOT's Water Quality Program is to:

  • Ensure the quality of stormwater runoff is protected while Colorado's roadways are constructed, operated, and maintained;
  • Promote innovative control measures (best management practices);
  • Provide effective water quality education to CDOT staff; and 
  • Facilitate cooperation between CDOT, watershed groups, other Water Quality Program managers, businesses, and the public.

Additionally, CDOT is required to comply with the requirement of the CDOT Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit. CDOT's MS4 permit authorizes discharges from the municipal storm sewer system within the permit area. The permit requires CDOT to use control measures to prevent or reduce the discharge of pollutants to state waters. The permit does this by requiring CDOT to comply with seven MS4 programs.

Updates:  Water Quality Training Curriculum

About the Water Quality Program

The Headquarters Water Quality Program is administered by the Hydrologic and Ecological Design Resources Section (HRED) in the Environmental Protection Branch (EPB) at the Division of Transportation Development (DTD).

Each of the five regions also has water quality and environmental staff members (responsible for implementing the MS4 Program).

PDD's available upon request.

Requesting Additional Information or Submitting a Complaint

If you have questions, would like additional information, or have a complaint associated with CDOT’s actions to meet the requirements of this permit please send call Tripp Minges. He may also be contacted regarding failures to implement or inadequate control measures.

Please make sure email subject lines state "PEO MS4 Permit Question" or "PEO MS4 Permit Complaint." Make sure phone messages have detailed information regarding the question or complaint.

The 7 MS4 Programs

Construction Sites Program

The MS4 permit requires CDOT to implement a program to reduce or prevent the discharge of pollutants to the MS4 from covered construction activities. The requirements include assuring adequate design, implementation, and maintenance of Control Measures at CDOTs construction sites.

CDOT must require control measures be selected, designed, installed and implemented, and maintained to provide control for all potential pollutant sources associated with the covered construction site to prevent pollution or degradation of state waters. Additionally CDOT must require Stormwater Management Plans (SWMPs), provide inspections of its construction sites, and have enforcement procedures to enforce the requirements of the permit.

Program Manager: The nature of the Construction Program is varied. Therefore, there are managers for specific elements plus region mentors.

ESCAN Manager: Tripp Minges

TECS Training: Tripp Minges

SWMP & BMP Training: Mike Banovich

Specifications: Mike Banovich

Construction Site Implementation: Region Water Pollution Control Mangers or Landscape Architect/Specialist

Permanent Water Quality (PWQ) Program

The NDRD Program requires CDOT to implement a program to reduce the discharge of pollutants to the MS4. To achieve this CDOT must require control measures to be installed on Priority Development and Cherry Creek Development projects. CDOT must contribute $6,500,000 annually to a pool each fiscal year to be used on to plan, design, and construct PWQ control measures that treat CDOT MS4 area.

For more information about the PWQ Program please view the PWQ website (includes information on CDOT only Call for PWQ Projects) and for Local Agency specific information on Call for Projects please see the more information the PWQ Local Agency Call for Projects website.

  • Program Manager: Vacant
  • Region PWQ Program Implementation: Region Water Quality Specialist or Water Pollution Control Manger or Landscape Architect/Specialist

Illicit Discharges Program

The Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination (IDDE) Program requires CDOT implement a program to detect and remove (or advise the discharger to the MS4 to obtain a separate CDPS permit for) illicit discharges and improperly disposed materials into the MS4.

Information on tracing, removing, and enforcement of Illicit Discharges can be found in the 2009 Illicit Discharge Program Manual.

  • Program Manager: Tripp Minges and Bob McDade
  • Region Contact: Water Pollution Control Manger or Water Quality Specialist or Landscape Architects

Industrial Facilities Program

The Industrial Facilities Program requires CDOT to promote the proper management of stormwater quality from industrial sites. See this informational brochure for details about CDOT's Utilities and Access Permitting programs.

CDOT also provides an Environmental Clearances Information Summary for permittees.

  • Program Manager: Vacant

Public Education and Outreach Program

CDOT must implement a public education program to promote behavior change by the public to reduce pollutants in discharges from the MS4.

  • Program Manager: Vacant

Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping Program (PPGH)

CDOT must prevent or reduce water quality impacts from pollutants being discharged to the MS4 from facilities and operations that CDOT owns, operates or performs within the permit area.

  • Program Manager: Bob McDade

Wet Weather Monitoring Program (WWM)

CDOT must implement a program to assess wet weather impacts from highways and facilities and the performance of control measures used to control discharges.

  • Program Manager: Bob McDade

Updated 2017-06-27

Report an Illegal Discharge
  • Hotline: 303-512-4H2O

  • Illegal discharges (aka, illicit discharges) emit into CDOT's storm drain system pollutants (e.g., oil, grease, fertilizers, pesticides, grass clippings, leaves, or odd smelling/colored substances).

    Learn more.
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