Topic: Clean Water

Water runs through our lives and sustains us in many ways, from the most basic physical functions of our bodies to our mental and psychological well-being. We depend on water. We need it to be clean and plentiful.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) deals with water as a central factor in our coastal life. We must manage water as stormwater. Healthy wetlands protect us and sustain our wildlife. And much of our outdoor recreation in based on water.

DNREC works to keep our waters clean and plentiful. It studies and finds ways to manage water as a functional part of the landscape, looking at individual watersheds and drainage areas. The agency works with homeowners, local governments and industry to avoid polluting surface water and ground water. It works to ensure clean and plentiful drinking water. And it provides grants and loans to support clean water planning and infrastructure projects.

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A Watershed Perspective

Drainage Basins

Every bit of land is part of a watershed. A watershed is that area of land from which all waters drain to the same place (a stream, river, pond, estuary, ocean or other water body. There are 45 distinct watersheds in Delaware, in four larger drainage basins — the Piedmont, Delaware Bay, Chesapeake Bay, and Inland Bays basins. The Division of Watershed Stewardship oversees watershed assessment monitoring and management programs and develops integrated plans to ensure healthy watersheds and clean waters.

The Watershed Assessment Program

Surface Water Quality Standards

Delaware Watershed Assessment Reports

Watershed Plans and Strategies

Pollution Control Strategies and Tributary Action Teams

The Delaware Water Quality Data Portal

Keeping Water Clean

The Division of Water monitors, manages and protects both surface water and ground water in Delaware. The Division includes an EPA- and FDA-certified environmental laboratory and oversees permitting and regulatory programs to manage the treatment and disposal of wastewater, both on the land and into surface waters.

The Residential Services Section

The Commercial and Government Services Section

The Wetlands and Waterways Section

The Resource Protection Section

The Environmental Laboratory

Other parts of the Department offer resources and information to help clean our waters clean.

Surface Water Matching Planning Grants

Recreational Water Quality Testing

Septic System Rehabilitation Loans

Ideas for things that homeowners and the rest of us can do to keep the waters clean

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Important Phone Numbers

For information about the over-all management of water resources in Delaware, contact the Division of Water: 302-739-9949

For information about watersheds and watershed management, contact the Watershed Assessment Section: 302-739-9939

For information about surface water pollution, contact the Surface Water Discharges Section: 302-739-9946

For information about septic systems and other ground water discharges, contact the Groundwater Discharges Section: 302-739-9948

For information about water supply and water allocation, contact the Water Supply Section: 302-739-9945

For information about funding for clean water projects, contact the Office of Environmental Finance: 302-739-9941

Public Meetings

Meetings of the Division of Water

Meetings of the Division of Watershed Stewardship


Watershed Assessment Section (7 DE Admin. Code 7400)

Groundwater Discharges Section (7 DE Admin. Code 7100)

Surface Water Discharges Section (7 DE Admin. Code 7200)

Water Supply Section (7 DE Admin. Code 7300)

Wetlands and Subaqueous Lands (7 DE Admin. Code 7500)

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