Division of Surface Water

Ensures compliance with the federal Clean Water Act and works to increase the number of water bodies that can safely be used for swimming and fishing

We issue permits to regulate wastewater treatment plants, factories and storm water to reduce the impact of pollutants. We develop comprehensive watershed plans aimed at improving polluted streams. We sample streams, lakes and wetlands, including fish, aquatic insects and plants, to determine the health of Ohio’s surface waters.


Documents Available For Comment


Comments Due

Early Stakeholder Outreach - Implementation of Water Quality Standards Rules OAC Chapter 3745-2  June 27, 2016 
Draft Renewal of General NPDES Permit for Petroleum-related Corrective Actions
June 21, 2016
Applications for 401 Water Quality Certifications and/or Isolated Wetland Permits Varies

 Training Events 

  • Midwest Biodiversity Institute (MBI) is offering training opportunities covering aspects of wetland, stream and river assessment this year. Please see MBI’s website for the training schedule.


  • New E. coli limits for some wastewater discharge permits. Go here for more information.

  • The Black River AOC Committee will hold a public meeting Wednesday, May 25 from 6-7 p.m. The purpose of the meeting, which will be held at the Sunset Terrace and Lakeview Park in Lorain, will be to inform the public about the removal of two beneficial use impairments. More information about the Black River AOC is available here.

  • The 2016 Cleveland Harbor Dredging 401 Water Quality Certification is available here.  The response to comments received during the public comment period is available here.

  • The 2015 Sport Fish Consumption Advisory is available.  Go here for more information.
  • River Mile Maps - Check out the new page displaying Ohio river mile map information. If you need map files, please email Melinda Harris with your name and mailing address.
  • For final individual NPDES permits, go here for more information.

Division of Surface Water Mission Statement

The division's mission is to protect, enhance and restore all waters of the state for the health, safety and welfare of present and future generations. We accomplish this mission by monitoring the aquatic environment, permitting, enforcing environmental laws, using and refining scientifically sound methods and regulations, planning, coordinating, educating, providing technical assistance and encouraging pollution prevention practices.

Who We Are

Ohio is a water-rich state with more than 25,000 miles of streams and rivers, a 451-mile border on the Ohio River, more than 5,000 lakes, ponds, and reservoirs (>1 acre), and 236 miles of Lake Erie shoreline. Ohio has 10 scenic rivers comprising more than 629 river miles, the fourth largest total of any state in the nation.

The Division of Surface Water is responsible for restoring and maintaining the quality of Ohio's rivers and streams. The goal of Ohio's surface water program -- restoration and maintenance of Ohio's water resources -- reflects the national water quality objective in the Federal Clean Water Act (CWA), which is "to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation's waters. The CWA objective is often referred to as the "fishable/swimmable goal."

The fishable/swimmable goal is different from the popular idea of clean water as being water that is chemically pure. Instead, fishable/swimmable waters are resources that support stable, balanced populations of aquatic organisms which are ecologically "healthy," and provide safe water to the people of Ohio for public and industrial water supplies and recreation.

The Division of Surface Water has a full time staff of approximately 240 located in Columbus and the five district offices. The division also employs approximately 50 interns during the summer to assist with biological and chemical water quality surveys. Funding for the division is comprised of federal and state monies as well as annual discharge fees.

The Tools We Use

The Division of Surface Water utilizes many tools in working to achieve its goals:


  • National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits are issued to municipal and industrial wastewater and stormwater dischargers. Ohio has over 4,000 regulated facilities.
  • Permits-to-Install (PTI) are issued for construction of new or expanded wastewater facilities and sewers and for the disposal of sludge from wastewater treatment facilities. Over 2,000 PTIs are issued annually.
  • Indirect Discharge Permits are issued to discharges of industrial wastewater into public sewer systems.
  • Section 401 Water Quality Certifications are issued for the discharge of dredge and fill material to waters of the state.
  • Testing is conducted and certification is awarded to operators of water and wastewater treatment facilities to ensure baseline proficiency in various aspects of drinking water treatment and distribution and wastewater collection and treatment.

Technical Assistance

  • Operator assistance is provided to small community wastewater treatment plants experiencing compliance problems.
  • Pass-through funds for nonpoint source demonstration projects are provided.


  • The pretreatment program is a partnership among USEPA, Ohio EPA and local communities for controlling the discharge of industrial wastewater into public sewer systems.
  • Lake Erie Remedial Action Plans (RAPs), which promote community based decision making for the correction of water quality concerns, are coordinated by the division.
  • Programmatic technical support is provided to the Division of Drinking and Ground Water and Division of Emergency and Remedial Response.
  • The division works together with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to implement the nonpoint source and wetlands programs.


  • Biological and chemical water quality monitoring is conducted to assess quality of Ohio's lakes and streams.
  • Sampling of wastewater discharges is performed to monitor compliance with permit limits.
  • Inspections at regulated facilities are performed to ensure compliance with environmental regulations.


  • Water quality standards for Ohio are developed.
  • The Division has begun the process of shifting away from a traditional programmatic way of thinking (enforcement, permits, nonpoint planning, etc.) toward an ecosystem based approach. This approach, focusing on watersheds, will facilitate the creation of partnerships with local government and the general public resulting in community-based environmental management.
  • The Lake Erie Lakewide Area Management Plan (LaMP), which incorporates an ecosystem approach to the protection of Lake Erie and considerable public involvement, is coordinated by the division.


Central Office


Phone: (614) 644-2001
Fax: (614) 644-2745 
Email Webmaster

Physical address:
Ohio EPA - DSW
Lazarus Government Center
50 W. Town St., Suite 700
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Mailing address:
Ohio EPA - DSW
Lazarus Government Center
50 W. Town St., Suite 700
P.O. Box 1049
Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049 

Division Management & Support



Kavalec, Tiffani

Division Chief

(614) 644-2041

Hall, Brian

Assistant Chief

(614) 644-2033

Fowler, Kevin

Administrative Officer

(614) 644-2139

Harris, Melinda

Division Rules Coordinator

(614) 728-1357

Lee, Kim

Administrative Professional

(614) 644-2001

Dennis, Bonita

Permits Processing

(614) 644-2049

Gilbert, Shelby

Permits Processing

(614) 644-2883

Peterson, Katrina

Permits Processing

(614) 644-2046

Stiteler, Debbie

Permits Processing

(614) 644-2157





Permits Processing
(614) 644-2883
(614) 644-2883
(614) 644-2046
(614) 644-2046
(614) 644-2046
(614) 644-2046
Permits Processing

Ecological Assessment Section

DeShon, Jeff Manager (614) 836-8780
Dripps, Angela
Supervisor (614) 836-8798
Macy, Sarah
Ecological Assessment, Macroinvertebrate Community Assessment, TSD Coordination  (614) 836-8813
Alsdorf, Brian Ecological Assessment, Fish Community Assessment, TSD Coordination (614) 836-8770
Bolton, Michael Ecological Assessment, Macroinvertebrate Community Assessment, TSD Coordination (614) 836-8781
Boucher, Chuck Ecological Assessment, Fish Community Assessment, TSD Coordination (614) 836-8776
vacant Ecological Assessment, Macroinvertebrate Community Assessment, TSD Coordination (614) 836-8798
Hughes, Laura
Ecological Assessment, Macroinvertebrate Community Assessment, TSD Coordination  (614) 836-8783
Jenkins, Jordan
Ecological Assessment, Fish Community Assessment, TSD Coordination
(614) 836-8786
McKnight, Chuck Ecological Assessment, Macroinvertebrate Community Assessment, TSD Coordination (614) 836-8784
Miltner, Bob Ecological Assessment, Fish Community Assessment, TSD Coordination (614) 836-8796
Moore, Ed Ecological Assessment, Macroinvertebrate Community Assessment, TSD Coordination (614) 836-8785
Phillips, Andrew
Ecological Assessment, Fish Community Assessment, TSD Coordination (614) 836-8773
Rich, Ben Ecological Assessment, Fish Community Assessment, TSD Coordination (614) 836-8772

 Wetland Ecology Unit

 Gara, Brian Wetland Ecology, ORAM (614) 836-8787 

Compliance and Enforcement Section


Mann, Mark Manager (614) 644-2023
Reeder, Larry Supervisor (614) 728-2043
DeMuth, Rachel Enforcement (614) 644-2010
Schuch, Brittany Enforcement (614) 644-3468
Sheerin, Scott
Enforcement (614) 728-2397

Fiscal Section

Martin, Jennifer Manager (614) 644-2867
Conley, Delores Fiscal Processing (614) 644-2017
Pinckney, Lavaun
Fiscal Processing
(614) 644-2047

Information Resources Management Section

Bob Ward Manager (614) 721-8800
Roberts, Jamie eDMR Administrator (614) 644-2054

Modeling, Assessment and TMDL Section


Alexander, Cathy
(614) 644-2021
Asasi, Mohammad
Water Quality Modeling
(614) 644-2882
Babb, Rahel  TMDL Coordination, Integrated Report (614) 644-2384 
Becker, Sarah
Water Quality Modeling
(614) 728-2385
Chipps, Curt
Water Quality Modeling, Stream Flows, NPDES Limits
(614) 644-2892
Connon, James
Water Quality Modeling
(614) 644-4825
Gledhill, Paul
Water Quality Modeling
(614) 644-2881
Griffin, Josh
Water Quality Modeling
(614) 644-2874
Harris, Melinda
Supervisor, TMDL
(614) 728-1357
Orr, Keith Supervisor, Water Quality Modeling (614) 644-2885
Sablak, Gregg  TMDL Coordination  (614) 644-4132
Selbe, Chris Water Quality Modeling, Stream Flows, NPDES Limits (614) 644-2889
Westervelt, Claire
Water Quality Modeling
(614) 721-8644
White, Dale Water Quality Modeling (614) 644-2159

Nonpoint Source, Section 319 & SWIF Grants, Lake Erie and Inland Lakes Section

Gibson, Russ Manager (614) 644-2020
Hodanbosi, Jo Grants Management (614) 644-2864
Merchant-Masonbrink, Linda
Grants Processing, Harmful Algal Blooms, Inland Lakes
(614) 644-2135
Spurbeck, Martha Grants Administration (614) 644-2869
Wilson, Rick Agriculture Nonpoint Source (614) 644-2032

Permits Programs (401/Isolated Wetlands, NPDES, PTI, Storm Water)





401 Water Quality Certification, Isolated Wetland and Storm Water Section


Kallipolitis, Harry Manager  (614) 644-2146 
Boyles, Jeffrey
Supervisor, 401 and Isolated Wetlands (614) 644-2494
Kilbourne, Andrea
Mitigation Compliance (614) 466-6308
Vacant Mitigation Compliance
Lung, Joni Rules and Special Projects (614) 644-2152
See, Michael Southwest & Central District Projects (614) 644-2327
Rostofer, Donald
ODOT Projects
(614) 644-2143
Fyffe, Jason  Supervisor, Storm Water  (614) 728-1793 
Joseph, Michael  Construction/Industrial Permits, NOIs  (614) 752-0782 
Robinson, Anthony  MS4/Industrial Permits  (614) 728-3392 


National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) & Pretreatment Programs


Sherer, Erin Manager, NPDES & Pretreatment (614) 644-2018
Ward, Ashley 
NPDES Supervisor
(614) 644-4852 
Bachman, Andrew Municipal and Industrial NPDES (614) 644-3075
vacant Municipal and Industrial NPDES  (614) 644-2138 
Hise, Sara Industrial and Municipal NPDES, Coal Surface Mining General Permits (614) 644-4824
Kosto, Chris Wet Weather (614) 644-2027
Nygaard, Eric NPDES Technical Lead (614) 644-2024
Stuhlfauth, Gary Municipal NPDES, Mercury Variances, Water Quality Trading (614) 644-2026
Municipal and Industrial NPDES 


Permit-to-Install Program & Biosolids Program


Stump, Mark Supervisor, Antidegradation, HSTSs, HB 110 Program (614) 644-2028
Low, Phoebe Pretreatment, Indirect Discharge (614) 644-2134
Yakhnitskiy, Aleksandr
PTI, Operator Certification, Tax Certification and HSTSs (614) 644-1987
VanWormer, Betsy Biosolids
(614) 644-2150




Standards & Technical Support Section

Dudley, Dan

Manager, Section 208 Areawide Planning,Nutrients Strategy, WQS

(614) 644-2876
Estenik, John Toxics, Pesticides, Aquatic Life Criteria Standards (614) 644-2866
Klase, Gary
Human Health and Wildlife Criteria Standards, Fish Consumption Advisory, Fish Tissue Contamination, Sediment  (614) 644-2865
Reynolds, Jeff  Credible Data, Quality Assurance
(614) 705-1011 
Schumacher, Bill GIS, Wetland Ecology, Wetland Soils (614) 644-2137
Skalski, Chris Aquatic Life Criteria Standards, Bacteria, PHWH, Use Designations, Water Quality Standards (614) 644-2144

Dredged Material - Make It Your Business!
Each year, 1.5 million cubic yards of material is dredged from the federal navigation channels along Ohio’s Lake Erie shoreline. Historically, most of the material dredged from Lake Erie has been placed back into the open waters of the lake. Thanks to the enactment of Senate Bill 1, open-lake disposal will no longer be an option as of July 1, 2020. It’s time to stop wasting dredged material and start using it to help Ohio. For more information, visit the webpage.

How to Report NPDES Non-compliance

Wastewater facilities must report non-compliance due to any unanticipated bypass or upset resulting in an exceedance of any effluent limit. Please refer to the non-compliance notification fact sheet and associated forms for more information.