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DSW Permitting

The Division of Surface Water administers three main permit programs for the protection of Ohio's water resources. 

Ohio EPA offers the Permit Wizard as a tool to assist small to medium-sized businesses determine their permit requirements. Also see Ohio EPA Guide to Environmental Permitting in Ohio for additional information.

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Program Overview 

The NPDES program requires a permit for all facilities discharging pollutants from a point source to a water of the state.  Ohio EPA administers the following NPDES programs:

  • Individual — An individual NPDES permit is unique to a specific facility 
  • General — A general NPDES permit covers facilities with similar operations and wastewater. A general permit is a potential alternative to an individual permit for facilities meeting certain eligibility criteria. 
  • Pretreatment — The pretreatment program regulates industrial facilities discharging wastewater to publicly owned treatment works. 
  • Stormwater — Stormwater discharge is generated by runoff from impervious areas such as paved streets, parking lots and building rooftops. Some stormwater discharges are considered point sources and require coverage by an NPDES permit. 
  • Biosolids — Biosolids are the nutrients-rich organic materials resulting from the treatment of sewage. Proper disposal of biosolids may require a permit. 
  • Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation — Livestock operations meeting certain criteria may require an NPDES permit. 

Permit-to-Install Program

A permit-to-install (PTI) is needed for any installation or modification of a wastewater treatment, conveyance or disposal system. Sanitary sewer extension, wastewater treatment plant construction, onsite sewage treatment systems installation, and sewage holding tank installation are examples of projects that may require a PTI.

401 Water Quality Certification & Isolated Wetland Program

The 401 WQC & Isolated Wetland Program evaluates projects that physically impact a stream, lake and/or wetland. Examples of physical impact include the dredging,  filling or relocation of a water resource.