National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) - Wastewater

NPDES logo


If you discharge pollutants from a point source to a water of the United States you need an NPDES permit. 

As authorized by the Clean Water Act, the NPDES Permit Program controls water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants into waters of the United States. Point sources are discrete conveyances such as pipes or man-made ditches. Examples of pollutants include, but are not limited to, rock, sand, dirt, and agricultural, industrial, and municipal waste discharged into waters of the United States. See section 122.2 of 40 Code of Federal Regulations for the definitions of point source, pollutant, and water of the United States.

The NPDES Program is a federal program which has been delegated to the State of California for implementation through the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) and the nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards (Regional Water Boards), collectively Water Boards. In California, NPDES permits are also referred to as waste discharge requirements (WDRs) that regulate discharges to waters of the United States.

Since its introduction in 1972, the NPDES Program has been responsible for significant improvements to our nation's and state’s water quality.


The map below shows the nine Regional Water Board boundaries which are based on watersheds. Using the map, determine where your discharge will occur and contact the appropriate Regional Water Board NPDES Program Manager for that region. The contact information for the Regional Water Board NPDES Program Managers is shown in the table below.

Map of California with regional board boundries
Regional Water Board NPDES Program Managers
RB Contact Phone Numbers
1 Heaven Moore, Senior Water Resource Control Engineer
(707) 576-2653
2 Bill Johnson, Enviromental Program Manager
(510) 622-2354
Robert Schlipf, Senior Water Resource Control Engineer
(510) 622-2478
3 Arwen Wyatt-Mair,  Water Resource Control Engineer
(805) 542-4695
4 Jeong-Hee Lim, Supervisory Water Resource Control Engineer
(213) 576-6616
Steven Webb, Senior Water Resource Control Engineer
Municipal NPDES Permitting
(213) 576-6793
Bronwyn Kelly, Senior Environmental Scientist
Industrial NPDES Permitting
(213) 576-6750
5 Anne Walters, Environmental Program Manager
(916) 464-4840
6 Trevor Miller, Senior Water Resource Control Engineer
(530) 542-5430
7 Kai Dunn, Senior Water Resource Control Engineer
(760) 776-8986
Logan Raub, Senior Water Resource Control Engineer
(760) 776-8966
8 Julio Lara, Senior Water Resource Control Engineer
(951) 782-4901
9 Laurie Walsh, Supervising Water Resource Control Engineer

(619) 521-3373

Brandi Outwin-Beals, Senior Water Resource Control Engineer
(619) 521-5896

Databases & Reports

Roles & Contact information

The Role of the State and Regional Water Quality Control Boards

It is the responsibility of the Water Boards to preserve and enhance the quality of the state's waters through the development of water quality control plans and the issuance of (WDRs. WDRs for discharges to waters of the United States also serve as NPDES permits.

The State Water Board establishes statewide plans, policies, and regulations that help protect and restore the water quality in California. The State Water Board also oversees the implementation of the NPDES Program throughout the state. As such, it coordinates with and supports Regional Water Board efforts, and reviews Regional Water Board actions. While the State Water Board has issued some NPDES permits, the Regional Water Boards issue the vast majority of NPDES permits in the state. Therefore, they ensure compliance with their permits through compliance inspections, monitoring report reviews, and enforce actions, if necessary. Each Regional Water Board makes critical water quality decisions for its region.


NPDES Permit Fees

Fee Schedule

  • For NPDES Permit Fee information please check the Fee Schedule and see the corresponding section for each type of NPDES permit.
    Please Note: The California Water Code requires the State Water Board to adjust the fees each fiscal year to conform with the revenue levels set forth in the California Budget Act. Thus, the fees could change every year.

  Subscribe to the "Fee Regulations" email list (under "General Interests" and receive periodic updates).

  State and Regional Water Board Email Subscription Information

Receive notifications, updates and other correspondence by email. Subscribe online to our electronic mailing lists:

  • Statewide Issues (under State Water Resources Control Board, Water Quality Topics)
    Electronic Mailing Lists that may be of interest to NPDES Dischargers are:
    • Discharge Monitoring Reports [(DMR) List]
    • Electronic Self Monitoring Reports [(eSMR) List]
    • Fee Regulations (Water Quality List)
    • Pesticides (Water Quality List)
    • Utility Vaults (Water Quality List)
  • Region-Specific Issues Lists (under California Regional Water Quality Control Boards)

State Water Boards Contacts

For Questions or Comments, send an email to: