Maryland Water Permits

The mission of the Department’s W​ater and Science Administration (WSA) is to restore and maintain the quality of the State’s ground and surface waters, and to plan for and supervise the development and conservation of the State's waters.  WMA manages a broad range of activities, including regulating and financing municipal wastewater treatment systems; regulating the use and development of the State's water resources, public water supplies, and on-site residential sanitation systems; regulating well-drilling and industrial pretreatment; providing technical assistance for water and wastewater utilities; financing small creek and estuary restoration; approving erosion/sediment control and storm water management plans; storm water permitting; dam permitting and inspection; protection and management of tidal and nontidal wetlands and waters; and regulating mining activities and mitigation problems associated with abandoned mines.  These protection, financing and regulatory activities help WMA ensure that State waters are safe for drinking, recreation, and wildlife.

Programs Administered by WSA:

These Programs are designed to:

  • Create a focal point for outreach and assistance activities that can address cross-functional issues involving water regulatory programs.
  • Manage water, wastewater, and nonpoint source pollution control capital projects that are funded through grants and loans from the Department.
  • Permit and provide construction inspection for water and sewerage facilities.
  • Develop and implement the new federally mandated stormwater permitting program.
  • Review and approve erosion/sediment control and storm water management plans for state and federal construction projects.
  • Inspect dams for safety, issue new permits, and approve downstream warning plans for high hazard dams.
  • Issue water appropriation permits for use of surface and ground waters.
  • Issue permits for discharges to surface and ground water from both industrial and municipal facilities as required by the federal Clean Water Act. 
  • Oversee programs delegated by the Department to local health departments.  Activities include MDE’s regional consultants who provide technical assistance to local health departments for on-site water and wastewater systems, and assistance in developing and testing new innovative or alternative septic system designs.
  • Regulate activities conducted in nontidal wetlands and their buffers, and nontidal waterways, including the 100-year floodplain.  Also, regulates activities conducted in tidal wetlands.
  • Create, restore, and enhance nontidal wetlands and streams, provide training and technical assistance and assist in the development of watershed management plans.
  • Inspect industrial and municipal wastewater discharges and construction activities involving sediment control, stormwater management, wetlands and waterways.
  • Ensure safe drinking water in Maryland by administering the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, developing the State’s comprehensive ground water protection program, and responding to local water supply emergencies.
  • Conduct performance evaluations of surface water filtration plants to assist systems in optimizing treatment and reducing the risk of passing Cryptosporidium (a protozoan parasite that can infect humans) into the finished water. 
  • Train public water and wastewater treatment operators and provide on-site technical assistance to support the State’s operator certification program and achieve compliance and pollution prevention goals.

The Environmental Boards   are comprised of three State licensing boards, established by the General Assembly. Also located within the Water and Science Administration, the Boards were created to license and certify individuals as:

  • Superintendents and operators of waterworks, wastewater works, industrial wastewater works, wastewater collection systems and waste water distribution systems;
  • Well drillers, water conditioner and water pump installers; and
  • Marine contractors. 

The Environmental Boards screen applicants wanting to enter the professions, administer competency examinations, evaluate continuing education as a prerequisite for license renewal, and take disciplinary action against those licensees found guilty of violating the law. 

Water Permits

3.01 Surface Water Discharge Permit (Industrial)
3.02 General Discharge Permits
3.03 General Discharge Permit for Stormwater Associated with Industrial Activity
3.04 Surface Water Discharge Permit (Municipal)
3.05 Ground Water Discharge Permit (Municipal or Industrial)
3.06 Toxic Materials Permit 
3.07 Water and Sewerage Construction Permit (moved to Office of Budget and Infrastructure Financing as of July 2009)
3.08 - 3.13 Mining Permits (moved to Land Management Administration as of July 2009)
3.14 Well Construction Permit
3.15 Water Appropriation and Use Permit
3.16 Drinking Water Sampler Certification
3.17 Drinking W​ater Laboratory Certification​
3.18 Tidal Wetland Licenses and Permits
3.19 Wetlands and Waterways Program
3.20 Waterway and 100-year Floodplain
3.21 Erosion/Sediment Control and Stormwater Management Plan Approvals
3.22 Responsible Person Training & Certification Program for Erosion/Sediment Control
3.23 General Permit for Stormwater Associated with Construction Activity
3.24 Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Permit
3.25 Dam Safety Permit/Waterway Construction Permit
3.26 Environmental Sanitarian License -- transferred to DHMH as of July 2012
3.27 Waterworks and Waste Systems Operator Certification
3.28 Well Driller License 
3.29 Marine Contractor License
4.01 Relaying Oysters for Commercial Harvest Off-Bottom Aquaculture
4.02 Relaying Oysters for Commercial Harvest Private Oyster Lease Holders​​ 

 Download Water Permits Applications and Other Forms 


Related Links


Human Trafficking GET HELP

National Human Trafficking Hotline - 24/7 Confidential

1-888-373-7888 233733 More Information on human trafficking in Maryland

Customer Service Promise

The State of Maryland pledges to provide constituents, businesses, customers, and stakeholders with friendly and courteous, timely and responsive, accurate and consistent, accessible and convenient, and truthful and transparent services.

Take Our Survey

Help Stop Fraud in State Government

The Maryland General Assembly’s Office of Legislative Audits operates a toll-free fraud hotline to receive allegations of fraud and/or abuse of State government resources. Information reported to the hotline in the past has helped to eliminate certain fraudulent activities and protect State resources.

More Information