Arizona Wastewater Variances regulations & environmental compliance analysis

Arizona Wastewater Variances: What you need to know

Governing Law and Regulations

Arizona temporary emergency waivers: Arizona Revised Statutes (AZ Rev. Stat.) 49-251

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Water quality variance: Arizona Administrative Code Rules (AZ Admin. Code R) 18-11-122

Individual permits: AZ Admin. Code R 18-9-B907

Regulatory Agencies

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Water Quality Division

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 9

See ADDRESSES & CONTACTS for addresses and telephone numbers.

See national section for basic information and federal regulations.

Comparison: State vs. Federal

Rules. Although Arizona does not have any specific wastewater variance rules comparable to federal requirements, the state may grant temporary emergency waivers for certain wastewater discharges. A temporary waiver may not exceed 90 days. For more information about the federal rules, see the national section WASTEWATER VARIANCES.

Administration and enforcement. ADEQ's Water Quality Division administers and enforces water quality standards in Arizona, including requirements for temporary waivers.

State Requirements


AZ Rev. Stat. 49-251

Arizona's water quality standards apply to the state's navigable waters and their tributaries. The water quality standards require that navigable waters be free from pollutants in concentrations that could cause harm to humans, animals, plants, or other organisms (AZ Admin. Code R 18-11-108). ADEQ may grant a temporary waiver under certain conditions if human health or welfare will not be endangered and if ADEQ finds one of the following:

  • That an emergency of such severity exists that water supplies for domestic uses will be inadequate to meet demand unless the facility is able to temporarily exceed one or ...

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