storm cell over TucsonPima County Department of Environmental Quality (PDEQ), committed to providing effective and efficient service, is responsible for regulating and enforcing four major programs established to protect and enhance our surface water and groundwater resources. These programs include Wastewater Systems, Drinking Water Systems, Stormwater Management (pollution prevention), and Private Well Monitoring near the TIAA Superfund Site.

PDEQ’s regulatory and enforcement authority is established pursuant to applicable provisions of the Arizona Revised Statutes, Arizona Administrative Code, Pima County Code, federal environmental statutes and by delegation of specified state functions and duties from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

Sewer Systems, Subdivision Sanitary Facilities, Septic Systems, Gray Water

The Pima County Department of Environmental Quality (PDEQ), acting in accordance with delegated authority from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), reviews and approves plans for new construction of public and private sewage collection system extensions, modifications, and relocations of gravity sewer mains, manholes, forcemains and lift stations. All public and private sewage collection systems meeting the review criteria of Arizona Administrative Code, Title 18, Chapter 9, Section E301(A) are required to obtain a Construction Authorization from PDEQ prior to beginning construction, and a Discharge Authorization (a General Aquifer Protection Permit 4.01) to operate the system.

Drinking Water - Public Water Systems

The Pima County Department of Environmental Quality (PDEQ) has delegated authority from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to enforce applicable requirements of the Arizona Administrative Code (A.A.C.) Title 18, Chapters 4 and 5 relating to Public Water Systems (PWS).   A PWS is defined as a water system that serves 15 or more connections, or 25 or more people, for more than 60 days a year. PDEQ is responsible for approximately 160 PWS located in Pima County. This authority enables PDEQ to review and approve PWS Improvement Plans, issue Approvals to Construct, Approvals of Construction, conduct inspections, and determine monitoring and reporting compliance by the PWS owner/operator.

Aquatic Facilities

PDEQ is responsible for approving new and modified public and semipublic aquatic facilities, which include pools, wading pools, special use pools, splash pads and spas. Public and semipublic aquatic facilities are typically owned and operated by municipalities, hotels, apartment complexes, homeowner's associations and schools. PDEQ is not responsible for private residential pools and spas.

Stormwater Management Program

Stormwater comes from rain flowing across the ground and pavement. The water can evaporate, seep into the ground or flow into pipelines leading to a wash. All substances flowing with the stormwater remain with the water and are never treated. The Stormwater Management Program keeps our stormwater clean by applying best management practices in homes and businesses such as construction sites and industrial facilities.

Well Monitoring at Superfund Site

PDEQ began the well monitoring program in 1994 at the request of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The request was prompted by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to have private well-water quality data for a public health assessment. Initially 14 wells were sampled. In 2019 six private wells were operational and four were sampled for trichloroethylene (TCE), chromium and 1,4-dioxane. These samples met the drinking water standards. While two wells had slightly elevated 1,4-dioxane concentrations, they are within EPA's Regional Screening Levels.
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Department of Environmental Quality

33 N. Stone Ave., Suite 700
Tucson, AZ 85701

Phone: (520) 724-7400
Fax: (520) 838-7432

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