Water Quality Programs

Image of water taken under the water with a close-up of air bubbles rasing to the surface

Learn More About the Water Quality Division

The Water Quality Division (WQD) protects and enhances public health and the environment by ensuring healthy drinking water is provided by public water systems and by controlling current and future sources of surface and ground water pollution. Our core responsibilities include:

  • Regulating the treatment and discharge of wastewater. 
  • Monitoring and assessing the quality of surface and groundwater throughout the state.
  • Identifying water pollution problems and developing on-the-ground solutions and facilitating their implementation. 
  • Issuing permits to protect Arizona waters from point sources of pollution. 
  • Investigating complaints and violations of Arizona’s water quality laws.

Safe Drinking Water Act

Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, protection of drinking water quality starts with an assessment of the quality of all public water sources and continues through regulations that govern water system design and construction. Drinking water quality is further assured through scheduled tests for a wide variety of potential contaminants. The results of these tests are reported to the WQD and a summary is delivered to customers once a year. As a result of these regulations and continued testing, drinking water supplies in the United States are among the cleanest and safest in the world. Arizona is no exception.

Groundwater Protection 

ADEQ issues Aquifer Protection Permits (APP) to safeguard Arizona’s groundwater. This program controls the discharge of pollutants from sewage treatment facilities, septic tanks, mining operations and other industrial facilities. It also regulates the direct reuse of reclaimed water.  APPs establish specific discharge limits and monitoring and reporting requirements. They may also require facilities to undertake special measures to protect human health and the environment from harmful pollutants. ADEQ’s Pesticide Contamination Prevention Program prevents groundwater contamination from routine agricultural pesticide use. The program regulates agricultural use of pesticides and includes the creation of the Groundwater Protection List, publishing an annual report of the use of pesticides with the potential to reach and impact groundwater.  Learn more about Groundwater Protection Program >