The main water bodies in the District, the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers and Rock Creek, have routinely fallen below water quality standards established to protect humans, fish, and wildlife. Contaminants enter the District’s rivers and streams through spills, contaminated land, stormwater runoff, combined sewer overflows (CSOs), non-point source runoff, and pollutants that originate from outside the District. DOEE is implementing a variety of programs to improve the quality of these valuable natural resources.
Water Quality Programs
- Water Quality Standards – These standards are the basis for the District’s water quality programs and goals for rivers and streams. Learn about how they’re created, the SITE study, and the criteria calculator.
- MS4 Permit Program – The District’s MS4 permit regulates stormwater and pollutant discharges from the separate storm sewer system.
- Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) – TMDLs focus on identifying and restoring polluted rivers, streams, and other surface water bodies.
- TMDL Program Documents – TMDL are like pollution diets for rivers and streams. There are also TMDLs for regional waters.
- Water Quality Permits and Certifications – NPDES permits, Well and Soil Boring Permits, Wetland Permits are all important to the protection of the District’s water quality. Learn more about DOEE’s permits and certifications.
- Clean Water Construction Program – This program distributes federal grant funding for the design and construction of voluntary projects that work to improve the quality of the District’s streams and rivers.
- Monitoring Program – Want to learn more about your local waters? You can check out the variety of parameters that DOEE monitors for at the Stream Condition Index, MS4 Permit Monitoring, algae and cyanobacteria blooms monitoring.
- The Stream Condition Index (SCI) – This index is a grade card scoring District rivers and streams. Learn about your local streams using the Stream Explorer or dive deeper into the data DOEE collects to study these streams using the Data Explorer.
- Swimming & Water Quality – Learn about the work DOEE is doing to prepare for safe swimming in the District’s rivers and stream. Get more information about the swimming ban exemption permit.
- DOEE GIS data and dashboards – Here’s where DOEE keeps its environmental GIS data.
- Looking for data about the District's rivers and streams? Check out DOEE's Water Quality Dashboard and the Rapid Stream Assessment Data Dashboard!
- Research and Studies – Learn more about DOEE research like testing soil amendment techniques, water quality monitoring, and post-restoration project monitoring. New research and data will be posted online as it becomes available.
- Regulations – Learn more about the regulations that govern our work, like the Water Pollution Control Act, Wetland Regulations, Erosion and Sediment Control Regulations.
- Publications – Interested in learning more about water quality? Visit DOEE’s publication page for documents like our Integrated Report, MS4 permit reports, Continuing Planning Process for Water Quality Management, and more.