Permanent Water Quality Program

Program Description

To prevent pollution and degradation of State Waters from roadway pollutants, CDOT’s MS4 Permit requires the installation of Permanent Water Quality (PWQ) Control Measures (CMs) that are selected, designed, installed, implemented, and maintained using good engineering, hydrologic and pollution control practices. CDOT’s Permanent Water Quality Program guides design standards, long-term operation and maintenance plans, and supports watershed-wide water quality protection through the Mitigation Pool Fund. The PWQ Program meets MS4 Permit requirements through a variety of program documents, forms, training, templates, guidance documents, specifications, and regulatory mechanisms. 

PWQ Program Documents

PWQ Form (previously PET form)
PWQ Program Description Document
PWQ Program Standard Operating Procedures
PWQ Program Manual
Drainage Design Manual – PWQ Chapter 16
PWQ Checklist
PWQ Checklist Guidance
Specification 208.10(b) – PWQ Survey
Construction Bulletin – 208.10(b) Final Walkthrough
CDOT Project Engineer Certification – PWQ
Hydraulic Engineer Pond Information Certification – PWQ

PWQ Program Trainings, Templates, & Guidance Documents

Clean Water GIS Map – Water Quality Control Division
PWQ Fund Tracking for MPF and Other Budgets - Category 1300 Training
Example: PWQ Operations & Maintenance Plan
Example: PWQ Operations & Maintenance Plan Notes
Operations & Maintenance Plan Development Guidance
Pond Information Certification Training
Pond Information Certification Slide Deck
Water Quality Report Outline
PWQ Control Measures Life Cycle Costs
Colorado Revised Statute 43-2-135 – Division of Authority Over Streets

The PWQ Mitigation Pool Fund

Innovative & Collaborative Water Quality for Colorado

In 2014 CDOT became the first state department of transportation to implement a cost-effective and adaptable program to treat highway runoff – the Permanent Water Quality Mitigation Pool Fund (Pool).  Just two years earlier, a multi-disciplinary team from CDOT joined partners from the Federal Highway Administration and the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment to establish strategies to achieve these common goals:

  • Efficiently and economically comply with CDOT MS4 Permit and meet the intent of the Clean Water Act and associated State regulations
  • Improve water quality on a watershed basis
  • Increase Program flexibility to ensure the most effective and efficient tools are implemented
  • Provide procedural clarity and consistency across CDOT Regions and with regulatory agencies
  • Incorporate adaptability for future regulatory changes

Less than a decade from its inception, the Permanent Water Quality Mitigation Pool Fund is successfully promoting improved water quality throughout Colorado by following these requirements:

  1. Provide $6.5M every fiscal year to the Pool
  2. Fund design, right-of-way purchase, environmental clearances, and construction of PWQ Control Measures (CMs)
  3. Use 3 design standards:
    • Water Quality Capture Volume
    • Runoff Reduction
    • Pollutant Removal
  4. Install PWQ CMs on “Priority Projects” or those that meet all three of these requirements:
    • Inside CDOT’s MS4 area
    • Disturb one or more acres (or are part of a larger common plan of development)
    • Increase impervious surface by 20% or more

      meet one of these requirements:

    • Drains to a stream 303(d) listed stream for a CDOT pollutant of concern
    • Drains to the Cherry Creek Drainage Basin
    • Is part of an Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement
  1. Expend $15.6 million (or 80% of annual contribution of $6.5 million) every 3 years on eligible expenses

Since 2015, about 31 CDOT and 10 Local Agency project have been funded for a total of nearly $57 million!

Currently, funds are available for CDOT projects only. To learn more about the Permanent Water Quality Mitigation Pool Fund, please contact CDOT HQ Program Manager Rachel Hansgen at [email protected].