Keeping Water Clean
DEC uses an integrated approach to keep New York's lakes, rivers, and streams clean. The programs outlined below work together to manage sources of water pollution, reduce the amount of specific pollutants, and improve and protect the water quality in targeted waterbodies and watersheds.
Managing Sources of Pollution
- Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) - general information about combined sewer systems, CSOs, CSO abatement, BMPs and long-term control plans, and CSO wet weather advisory.
- Compliance & Enforcement - information about how compliance and enforcement activities are related to State Pollutant Elimination Systems (SPDES) permit programs and links to Annual SPDES Compliance and Enforcement reports
- Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) - program that issues permits for concentrated animal feeding operations
- Green Infrastructure - general information about green infrastructure for wet weather.New York State Stormwater Management Design Manual - provides overview on how to size, design, select and locate stormwater management practices at a development site to comply with state standards.
- Municipal/Industrial Wastewater - wastewater discharges are regulated by the State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) Permit Program.
- Nonpoint Sources - Onsite Wastewater Treatment (Septic) Systems, Riparian Buffers, Guidance and Technical Assistance, Funding, Dishwater Detergent and Nutrient Fertilizer Law
- Stormwater - information about the permit programs that manage stormwater include: Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Program, the Construction Stormwater Program, and the Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP).
- Wastewater Treatment Plant Operation - information and resources for wastewater operators and municipalities.
- Blue-green Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) - information about freshwater blue-green algal blooms, photo gallery of toxic and nontoxic algae, list of lakes and map of lakes with blue-green algae blooms, and information about what DEC is doing about blue-green algae blooms.
- Drugs (Pharmaceuticals) in New York Waters - information about the impact of improper disposal of drugs and personal care products lakes, rivers and streams and guidance on how to safely dispose of drugs.
- Mercury - information about what DEC is doing to manage and regulate mercury in the environment and general information about mercury, the Northeast Mercury TMDL and the Pollutant Minimization Program Guide.
- Nutrients - information about how nutrients impact waterbodies, nutrient water quality standards, nutrient reduction efforts, and DEC's plan to develop nutrient criteria
Protecting Waters & Watersheds
- New York State Watersheds - information about each of NY's 17 watersheds, including watershed facts, water quality overview, and links to monitoring and assessment reports.
- Vessel (Boat) Waste No Discharge Zones (NDZs) - information about vessel (boat) wastewater No Discharge Zones in NYS
- Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Plans - information about watershed-based pollutant reduction plans and links to TMDLs for specific waterbodies and pollutants.
- Water Quality Standards and Classifications - information about the water quality standards and guidance values for surface and groundwater and water classifications.
- Watershed Management Programs - DEC has several watershed management programs. The programs were implemented to address the specific water quality issues within the watershed.
- Chesapeake Bay Watershed Program
- Great Lakes Watershed Program
- Hudson River Estuary River Program
- Lake Champlain Basin Program (off-site link can be found in the right column of this page.)
- Long Island Sound (LIS)
- Long Island South Shore Estuary
- Mohawk River Watershed Program
- New York City Watershed Program
- New York/New Jersey Harbor
- Onondaga Lake Watershed Program
- Peconic Estuary
The following funding programs help to keep water clean:
- New York State DEC/EFC Wastewater Infrastructure Engineering Planning Grant
- Water Quality Improvement Projects (WQIP)
- Hudson River Estuary Grants Program
- Water Quality Management Planning Projects (604(b))
For information about all of DEC's grant programs, visit the Grants Applications web page.
More about Keeping Water Clean:
- Water Quality Standards and Classifications - How New York State ensures its water quality standards protect the best uses of its waters
- Nonpoint Source (NPS) Program - Overview of NPS Management Program, program objectives, success stories, and partnerships.
- Nine Element Watershed Plans - Comprehensive plans to improve water quality within a watershed.
- Lawn Fertilizer (NYS Nutrient Runoff Law) - Highlights from the law that affects household products containing phosphorus
- Watershed Plans - Links and information about waterbodies with watershed plans.