More About Water

The Division of Water's mission is to improve and protect water quality. In keeping with this mission, the division:
  • Establishes standards for water cleanliness
  • Regulates discharges to waters and wetlands
  • Provides financial assistance for water and wastewater facility construction and waterbody assessment and remediation
  • Trains, certifies, and assists water and wastewater system operators
  • Monitors and reports on water quality

Facilities Programs

Village Safe Water (Go to Home Page)

  • Allocation and Distribution of funding for sanitation facilities.
    Funding grants to small communities for water and sewer studies and construction projects.
  • Grant Administration
    Ensure appropriate and effective use of grant funds.
  • Project Oversight, Monitoring and Control
    One of two agencies responsible for project oversight (along with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium)

Municipal Grants and Loans (Go to Home Page)

  • Municipal Grants Program (Go to Home Page)
    Assigning a project engineer to assist with plans, designs, construction, and regulations.
    Providing grants for facility planning and construction.
  • Municipal Loan Program (Go to Home Page)
    Providing low-interest loans up to 20 years in duration for projects or eligible portions of projects.
    Providing refinancing of eligible projects.
    Assigning a project engineer to assist with plans, designs, construction, and regulations.
    Assuring timely reimbursement for construction expenditures.
    Ensuring appropriate and effective use of loan funds.

Operations Assistance (Go to Home Page)

  • Operator Training and Certification Program (Go to Home Page)
    Develop training curricula, correspondence courses, certification standards, and examination materials for over 2,500 certified drinking water and wastewater system operators.
    Coordinate and notify operators of training opportunities.
    Work with the Alaska Water and Wastewater Advisory Board to establish standards for certifying operators and to adjudicate certification actions.
    Maintain a lending library of reference and training materials.
    Administer Semi-Annual Statewide Certification Exams.
  • Remote Maintenance Worker Program (Go to Home Page)
    Provide over-the-shoulder training and technical assistance to local water and sewer operators in over 180 rural communities through a circuit rider program.
    Provide immediate response to emergency situations that threaten or impact community water and sewerage facilities.
    Provide regional classroom training for area utility operators.
    Maintain an inventory of emergency repair equipment for loan to communities.

Water Quality Programs

Compliance (Go to Home Page)

  • Monitor and evaluate compliance with the state's Alaska Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (APDES) Program and water quality requirements.
  • Inspect permitted facilities to verify compliance with permit limits, conditions, and other requirements.
  • Help operators comply with their permits by providing compliance assistance including presentations, trainings, and publications.
  • Issue and implement enforcement actions for incidents of noncompliance.
  • Track, investigate and respond to complaints about water and wastewater issues.

Cruise Ship (Go to Home Page)

  • Permits wastewater discharges from large cruise ships
  • Ensures cruise ships and State ferries comply with visible emission standards
  • Oversees the Alaska Ocean Ranger Program that monitors compliance with environmental standards, safety, and sanitation issues
  • Conducts scientific research to assess impact of cruise ship wastewater on Alaska's environment

Wastewater Discharge Authorization (Go to Home Page)

  • Develop standard operating procedures, guidance, and policies to implement the APDES Program.
  • Monitor revisions to federal laws, regulations, and policies relating to implementation of the APDES Program.
  • Issue permits and monitor compliance with permits for wastewater discharges.
  • Certify that permits for wastewater discharges issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency comply with State water quality law.
  • Improve online permitting and permit fee payment services.
  • Provide outreach and information to the public, Local and Tribal Governments, and other interested stakeholders.

Water Quality Standards Assessment and Restoration (Go to Home Page)

  • Protect the waters of the State of Alaska from pollutants.
  • Help people understand the Water Quality Standards regulations and how they are used.
  • Provide easy access to the regulations, proposed revisions, fact sheets, technical papers, and issues that may be of interest.