Working in Waters

The Bureau of Water Pollution Control (BWPC) protects waters of the State from the discharge of pollutants. BWPC issues temporary permits in accordance with Chapter 445A of the Nevada Revised Statutes. A temporary Working in Waters permit is issued by the BWPC for any work being conducted in or near a waterway.

Getting Started

Who Needs Permit Coverage 

Temporary Working in Waters permits are for work that will last 180 days or less. The permit is required before operating earthmoving equipment in or around surface waters, waterbodies, and any water conveyance feature of the State even if they are dry.  This permit does not authorize discharges of any kind.

Temporary Working in Waters permits will typically only be issued twice for one project (total of 1 year). Reissuances are given on a case-by-case basis. Projects expected to take longer than 1 year must generally apply for an Individual discharge permit. Contact the BWPC Permits Branch if you are unsure about which permit would be best for your specific project. 

What is a Water of the State

Waters of the State are all waters situated wholly or partly within or bordering upon the State of Nevada. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Streams
  • Washes
  • Wells
  • Lakes
  • Water Courses
  • Impounding Reservoirs
  • Ponds
  • Waterways
  • Irrigation Systems
  • Marshes
  • Springs
  • Drainage Systems
  • All Bodies or Accumulation of water, surface, and underground, natural or artificial 



What are Examples of Projects that Would Require a Permit

Below you will find examples of projects that would need or not need permit coverage. This list is not all inclusive and is to be used only as a guideline. If you need help determining if your project needs a permit, please contact us


                                                                                        NEEDED      NOT NEEDED

Repairing or Installing Curb and Gutter
Working with equipment1 in a river, stream, creek, lake, wetland, or pond in Nevada


Working with hand tools2 that don't have feul or petroleum sources in a river, stream, creek, lake, wetland or pond in Nevada. 

Work occurring with equipment1 over a waterway 

Installing a culvert or channel crossing using equipment1

Creating a stormwater channel that did not previously exist using equipment1

Connecting a stormwater channel that did not previously exist to waters of the state using equipment1

Geotechnical Boring in a waterway 

Removing debris from a surface water using equipment1

Removing debris from a surface water using hand tools2 that dont have fuel or petroleum sources 

Installing/extending a pier using equipment1 even if the work is done via a barge and the equipment1 is on the barge. 

Restoration work using equipment1

Installing a buoy and fish habitat using a barge and equipment1
Installing a buoy and fish habitat using diver teams      X
1 Equipment includes but is not limited to dozers, excavators, haul trucks, cement trucks, etc. 
2 Hand tools include but are not limited to shovels, pick axes, etc. 

How to Apply for Permit Coverage

You must complete the following two steps to get coverage:

  1. Complete a Notice of Intent (permit application). The Notice of Intent is available online in the General Permits System. There you can also:
  1. Submit the filing fee and the signed Notice of Intent. 

How to Pay the Application Fee 

The application fee may be paid electronically or by mailing in a check. To pay electronically please visit the E-Payments page and include your site ID. To pay by check please mail the appropriate fee indicating your site ID to:

Nevada Division of Environmental Protection
Bureau of Water Pollution Control
901 South Stewart Street, Suite 4001
Carson City NV 89701

For information on fees, and to view the latest fee schedule, please visit our Water Pollution Control Fees page.

What Reporting Must I Complete

A water quality logbook (logbook) must be maintained onsite for the duration of the project. The logbook shall include monitoring results, time and date, pertinent notes on specific project activities, and what was done to address any turbidity exceedances.

Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) Forms must be submitted to the Division by the 28th day of each month of the permit. The DMR will include analytical data and monitoring results and must be signed by the authorized representative that is responsible for the work covered by the permit. 

When Do I Submit My Final Report

The final narrative report must include: 

  • Photos describing and documenting the results of the projects activities before, after, and during the project.
  • Project logbook

The final narrative report must be submitted on or before the 28th day of the month following the expiration of the permit or by the 28th day of the month following the project completion, whichever comes first.

How To Terminate Coverage

The Working in Waters permit will automatically expire after 180 days from the effective date.

What Other Permits Will I Need from the Bureau of Water Pollution Control

  • If you have a contrustion site or have to dewater, you may need additional permitting. Please contact the BWPC for more information, see our additional permitting webpages, and refer to our Construction Project Permitting Flowchart document below. This flowchart is designed to provide general guidance and is not intended to cover every situation. It is the owner/operator's responsibility to contact all required agencies and entities regarding required permitting.
  • Construction Project Permitting Flowchart

NDEP Resources

Not Finding What You Are Looking For? 

See our Bureau of Water Pollution Control Contacts page to help find a person to answer your questions.


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