California Integrated Water Quality System Project (CIWQS)

Questions or Comments

If you would like to participate in this user group or would like more information on this project please contact the CIWQS Help Center at or 1-866-79-CIWQS (24977). Feel free to submit feedback on our Public Reports.


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13267 Letter


Letter written in accordance with section 13267 of the Water Code.  Used as an enforcement action, these letters cite violations and request information (monitoring, studies, etc.).

13308 Order


A time schedule order with prescribed liability amounts that apply if conditions are not met.  This type of order is issued in accordance with section 13308 of the Water Code.

401 Certification


Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification; regulation of dredge and fill projects.



AB1803 Follow up program


Activities related to AB 1803 which was a bill of the 1980's requiring the regional boards to initiate an investigation for the potential source of contamination of small public water systems.

Above Ground Tanks


Regulation of above ground petroleum storage tanks.  See Typically AGT sites aren't tracked in CIWQS unless there is request for information or enforcement by the regional board.

ACL Complaint Issuance Date


This is the date that a complaint was issued to the responsible party.



This is a status of a regulatory measure that is currently in effect.

Acute Toxicity


Violation of acute toxicity effluent limitation.

Addresses MMP


The enforcement action addresses a violation that is a Mandatory minimum penalty per California Water Code section 13385(h) and (i). 

Administrative Civil Liability


This type of enforcement action means a monetary assessment imposed by the Water Boards.  They can be issued in accordance with several different sections of the Water Code, with varying coverages.  Projects can also be included in ACLs.

Adoption Date


This is the date that the applicable Board adopted an Order or the date the Executive Officer signed the Order.



The organization that is the owner and/or operator of the facility that is discharging, also known as responsible party or discharger.

Agency Type


The organization responsible for the discharge/activity can be local (city, county, etc.), private (Home Owners Association, Cemex, or an individual person, etc.), state (Dept. of Fish and Game, Caltrans, etc.), or Federal (Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Navy, etc.).

Allegation Dismiss


An incident that was either found to be or that could have been a violation but was then determined not be a violation.

Authorized NSWD


Violations of the industrial stormwater general permit due to non-stormwater discharges that meet the conditions provided in Section D (pages 5-6), of the industrial General Permit.


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Basin Plan Prohibition


Violation of Basin Plan prohibition (e.g., discharge to prohibited zone, etc.). 



BMPs not maintained, deficient, or not implemented. 


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Violation of a limit where the limit basis is dependant on a calculation

California Water Code


Violation of the California Water Code but not specifically a violation of an order. 

Category 1


Violation of effluent limitation (for any program) for Group I pollutant (e.g., BOD, TSS, aluminum, nitrate).

Category 2


Violation of effluent limitation (for any program) for Group II pollutant (e.g., chlorine, copper, cyanide). 

Cease and Desist Order


CDOs are adopted pursuant to California Water Code sections 13301-13303.  CDOs may be issued to dischargers violating or threatening to violate WDRs or prohibitions prescribed by the RWQCB or the SWRCB.  CDOs are often issued to dischargers with chronic non-compliance problems. 



See 401 Certification

Chronic Toxicity


Violation of chronic toxicity effluent limitation.

Chronic Violations


Effluent violations that persist.  The first three are not penalized, but the fourth and subsequent violations within 180 day period are penalized at $3,000 per violation.

Cleanup and Abatement Account


Sections 13440-13443 of the California Water Code establish a State Water Pollution Cleanup and Abatement Account that is administered by the State Water Resources Control Board. The CAA receives monies from court judgments, administrative civil liabilities (ACLs), and other specified sources, which is then allocated to water quality improvement projects.

Clean-up and Abatement Order


CAOs are adopted pursuant to California Water Code section 13304.  CAOs may be issued to any person who has discharged or discharges waste into the waters of this state in violation of any waste discharge requirement or other order or prohibition issued by a regional board or the state board, or who has caused or permitted, causes or permits, or threatens to cause or permit any waste to be discharged or deposited where it is, or probably will be, discharged into the waters of the state and creates, or threatens to create, a condition of pollution or nuisance (discharger).  The CAO requires the discharger to clean up the waste or abate the effects of the waste, or, in the case of threatened pollution or nuisance, take other necessary remedial action, including, but not limited to, overseeing cleanup and abatement efforts. 



This is for a violation that was reported by a third party, whether or not an inspection was performed to verify the violation.

Construction Stormwater


The majority of the sites in this program is regulated by the statewide general permit; although there are regional board general permits as well as individual construction permits.  Generally, construction sites that disturb one acre of land or more or are part of a project that in total disturbs one acre or more are subject to an NPDES permit.



The county in which the discharge occurs.

County Health Monitoring


County Health Monitoring


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Deficient Monitoring


Monitoring is missing or incorrect in some way, such as sample/analysis method, location, QA/QC criteria not met, lab not ELAP-certified. 

Deficient Reporting


Incomplete report (i.e., missing signature, certification statement, laboratory identification, etc.); failure to notify per requirement (i.e., call out violation in self-monitoring report cover sheet).

Department of Defense


The Water Boards partner with the Department of Defense (DoD) through the Defense and State Memorandum of Agreement (DSMOA) to oversee the investigation and remediation of water quality issues at military facilities.



The organization named in the Order. The responsible party associated with the discharge.



An incident that was either found to be or that could have been a violation but was then determined not be a violation.


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Effective Date


Date a regulatory measure went into effective, which is not always the same as the adoption date.



Violation of effluent limits, other than of a category 1 or 2 pollutant, or a toxicity requirement

Enforcement Action Violation


This type of violation is to be recorded when an enforcement action is violated.  For example, if a Time Schedule Order contains interim limits and those limits are exceeded, the violation should be recorded as this type. 

Enforcement Action Type


This is the type of enforcement action taken by the Board such as a Cease and Desist Order, Cleanup and Abatement Order, or Administrative Civil Liability



Discharger enrolled under a General Permit.



Electronic Self Monitoring Report



This will be for system-generated violations when the event module is completed/

Expedited Payment Letter EPL A conditional offer that provides a discharger with an opportunity to resolve any outstanding violations subject to mandatory minimum penalties by acknowledging them and providing full payment of the accrued mandatory penalties identified in the payment letter

Expiration Date


Date that a regulatory measure is set to expire. Some regulatory measures do not expire.


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The place named in the order, associated with the discharge (i.e., Wastewater Treatment Plan, Dairy, collection system, etc.)

Fact Sheets


Created to guide the user through the report’s purpose, function, and terminology.

Failure to Notify


Failure to notify regional board of spill within defined period of time.  As specified in the Water Code, this applies to both regulated and unregulated sites. 

Failure to Obtain Permit


Violation for not applying for or getting coverage under an order

Failure to Pay Fees


Annual fees not paid on time or in full.



Annual fees not paid on time or in full.

File (to be “Storm Water Non-filer”)


Storm water non-filer in accordance with California Water Code section 13399.25. 

Formal Enforcement Actions


Formal enforcement actions are typically issued by the Water Board or Executive Officer and include Cleanup and Abatement Orders, Cease and Desist Orders, Administrative Civil Liabilities, etc.



Account authorized by statute to collect money. The most common are the Cleanup and Abatement Account and the Waste Discharge Permit Fund.


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General Permit


A permit that is use to regulate multiple facilities involved a common activity that is determined to be low threat. Dischargers must submit a Notice of Intent to comply with the conditions of the general permit.



Degradation or pollution of groundwater; release to groundwater; exceedance of groundwater limitations. 


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Hearing Waived/ACL Settled


Discharger (responsible party) decided to waive his/her right to a hearing and paid the initial assessment.



This is a status of a regulatory measure used when it has expired, was rescinded, terminated, or no further action is required by the discharger.

Hydro Modification


Noncompliance with dredge and fill requirements.


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Industrial Stormwater


The majority of the sites in this program is regulated by the statewide general permit; although there are regional board general permits as well as individual industrial permits.  Generally, certain industrial activities, defined within the NPDES federal regulations, are subject to NPDES permits for the discharge of stormwater.

Incomplete Monitoring


Required monitoring results not included in monitoring report

Individual Order/Permit


Discharger is under an individual permit as opposed to a general permit.

Informal Enforcement Action


Informal enforcement actions are typically done by staff and included staff enforcement letters, expedited payment letters, notices of violation, and oral/verbal communication.

Initial Assessed Amount


Amount that Water Board staff first assessed, which can change after negotiations with the responsible party or by Board decision

Inspection (as source of violation)


This source is used if the violation is discoverer during an inspection.  Generally this source should be used in conjunction with routine compliance inspections.  Inspections that were prompted by a complaint and the result was a violation, the source should be Complaint.



A regulatory activity (site visit) used to determine compliance.

Inspection ID


A unique CIWQS identifier given to each inspection.

Inspection type


A categorization of inspections that indicates what the inspector did at the site (responded to a complaint, took samples, etc.)


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Land Disposal/Landfill/Surface Impoundment


The Land Disposal program regulates of waste discharge to land for treatment, storage and disposal in waste management units.  Waste management units include waste piles, surface impoundments, and landfills. California Code of Regulations (CCR) Title 23, (Chapter 15) contains the regulatory requirements for hazardous waste. CCR Title 27, contains the regulatory requirements for wastes other than hazardous waste.  These sites require orders issued by the regional board.  See for more information.

Late Monitoring


Monitoring results that were submitted late

Late Report


Either the report was not received or the report was received after due date.

Late Report MMP Violations


Every 30 days that a report is late, the discharger is subject to an MMP (30 days, 60 days, 90 days, etc.)

Lead Inspector


An EPA designation that is mandatory for all NPDES and storm water inspections.



A mandatory monetary amount owed as a payment to the applicable Water Board


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Major Facility


For the NPDES program, EPA designates certain facilities as major depending on their industrial category or by the amount of flow, generally flow greater than 1 mgd or a discharge that poses a substantial threat to water quality.

Mandatory Minimum Penalty


Mandatory penalty provisions are required by California Water Code section 13385(h) and (i) for specified violations of NPDES permits. 

Minor Facility


For the NPDES program, EPA designates certain facilities as minor that have smaller flows and are considered lower threat.

MMP Enforcement


Includes ACL complaints, ACL Orders, Court Settlements, Stipulated Penalties, and Expedited Payment Letters and displays the complaint or order number.

MMP Exempt Violations


Violations that should not be considered when determining mandatory minimum penalties.

MMP Type


Either serious or chronic.



Deficient monitoring

Municipal Stormwater, Phase I


Generally, this program regulates the discharge of stormwater from municipal areas that were over 100,000 people, according to the 1990 census.  Smaller areas that were contiguous with these areas were also regulated under this phase of the municipal program.  This is part of the NPDES program.

Municipal Stormwater, Phase II


Generally, this program regulates the discharge of stormwater from municipal areas that are smaller than those defined under the first phase of the municipal stormwater program.  This is part of the NPDES program.


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National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System


The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program regulates discharges to waters of the U.S.  It is a federal program.

Non-point Source


The Non-Point source program deals with polluted runoff from areas that are not defined as point sources under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program.  Typically NPS program activities are not recorded in CIWQS.

Non-Subchapter 15


Discharge of wastewater to land or non-federal waters which are exempt from Title 27 regulations and NPDES regulations.  These sites are issued waste discharge requirements, which are tracked in CIWQS.

Notice of Stormwater Noncompliance


Enforcement actions written in accordance to the Stormwater Enforcement Act of 1998 (California Water Code section 13399.25 et seq.), which requires that each RWQCB notify storm water dischargers who have failed to file a notice of intent to obtain coverage, a notice of non-applicability, a construction certification, or annual reports.  If, after two notifications, the discharger fails to file the applicable document a mandatory civil liability shall be assessed against the discharger. 

Notice of Violation


An NOV letter is the highest level of informal enforcement action.

Notice to Comply


Notices to Comply are issued pursuant to California Water Code section 13399 et seq. This section requires the use of Notices to Comply as the only means by which the SWRCB or RWQCB can issue citations for minor violations.  A violation is determined to be minor by the SWRCB or the RWQCB after considering factors defined in California Water Code sections 13399(e) and (f) and the danger the violation poses to, or the potential that the violation has for endangering human health, safety, or welfare or the environment.



A unique number assigned by the governing board to a permit to discharge waste to navigable water.


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Occurred (Occurrence) Date


Date that a violation occurred.



Archived/Historic Unregulated Sites.  These sites may be of interest for a variety of reasons, but had not been issued a regulatory order.

Order Number


Identification number for regulatory measure assigned by applicable Water Board or Executive Officer



See Agency

Organization Classification


See Agency Type

Other Code


Violation of a code of regulations other than the Water Code

Other Effluent Violation


Violation of any constituent-specific effluent limitation not included in Group I or Group II. 

Other Requirement


Violation of order requirements other than effluent and receiving water limitations


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A generic term in CIWQS for people and organizations. Roles and relationships give parties their meaning.

Party ID


A unique CIWQS identifier given to each person and organization.

Permit Conditions (to be “Order Conditions”)


Violations of prohibitions, provisions, and maintenance-type requirements (e.g., pond freeboard and internal DO process) contained in WDRs. 



A generic term in CIWQS for locations and spill locations (i.e., water bodies, facilities, spills, etc.)

Place ID


A unique CIWQS identifier given to each location or spill.

Planned (inspections)


The inspection was planned before the inspection occurs. In other words, it was a routine inspection and not ad hoc or the result of complaint.



The pretreatment program requires certain wastewater treatment plants to implement programs that reduce the inflow of pollutants into the wastewater treatment plant.  Typically this includes the treatment plant operator issuing permits to industries in their service area and inspecting those industries.



Failure to implement pretreatment program adequately.  For example, not reporting a waste stream, not doing inspections, failing to insert prohibitions into user permits, etc.

Priority Violations


Generally, priority violations include: all NPDES violations that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S.EPA) requires to be reported on the Quarterly Non-Compliance Report (QNCR) for the purpose of tracking significant non-compliance; all serious violations as defined in California Water Code section 13385; and other violations that the SWRCB and/or RWQCB considers to be significant and therefore high priority.  Priority violations are more fully defined in Section III of the Enforcement Policy.

Priority Violations With No Enforcement Actions


Violations that are considered "priority" and have not yet been addressed by an enforcement action.



The Water Boards has divided its workload into regulatory programs that are distinguishable by the type of discharge.



A mandatory activity, such as an environmental project, with a predetermined monetary value that the named party is responsible for completing or overseeing


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Receiving Water


Violation of surface water limitation.



This program regulates discharges that can be reused for beneficial purposes.






Violations with this source were the result of a referral, regardless of whether an inspection was performed to verify the violation.

Referral to Attorney General


Formal Refer to Attorney General for civil enforcement actions.



The nine Regions are semi-autonomous bodies that implement the Water Boards' programs. 

Regulatory Measure


Permit, waste discharge requirements, enforcement action, or other Order adopted by the Board or drafted by staff to regulate a discharge activity.

Regulatory Measure ID

Reg. Meas. ID

A unique CIWQS identifier associated with a regulatory measure (i.e., permit, WDR, enforcement action)

Regulatory Measure Status

Reg. Meas. Status

Status of a permit, WDR, enforcement action, etc., which indicates whether or not the regulatory measure is in affect.



Violations discovered in a report submitted by a discharger.



Late or unsubmitted report

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act


RCRA is a federal statute that requires the safe management and disposal of waste generated nationwide.


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Sanitary Sewer Overflow/Spill


Discharge from collection system (except for private laterals); other spills and/or bypassing of treatment unit(s). 

Serious Violations


An exceedance of a Category 1 effluent limit by 40% or more or a Category 2 effluent limit by 20% or more, or every 30 day period that a report is late. Serious violation penalized at $3,000 per violation.

Settlement - Court Order


Settlement - Court Order

Solid Waste Assessment Test


Tests required at land disposal sites during a concentrated effort to characterize the impacts of solid waste disposal on water quality.  See for more information.

Source (associated with violations)


Source of the violation or source of the notification of the violation (i.e., spill, report, inspection, etc.)

Spills, Leaks, Investigations, and Cleanup


The Spills, Leaks, Investigations & Cleanup (SLIC) Program oversee soil and water investigations, corrective actions, and health risk assessments at sites with current or historic unauthorized discharges, which have adversely affected or threaten to adversely affect waters of the state. The program covers all types of pollutants (such as solvents, petroleum fuels, heavy metals, pesticides, etc) and all environments (including surface water, groundwater, sediment, and soil). Public participation is conducted and tailored to the needs of the community. The Water Code allows the Water Boards to recovery reasonable expenses from responsible parties to oversee investigation and cleanup activities. The responsible parties must sign an acknowledgement form stating the intent to pay oversight bills, and a unique account is set up for staff charges. Procedures for site investigation and remediation are promulgated in State Water Resources Control Board Resolution No. 92-49 entitled Policies and Procedures For Investigation and Cleanup and 

Abatement of Discharges Under Water Code Section 13304.Responsible parties conduct work in a stepwise fashion, starting with preliminary assessment, then soil and water investigation; interim remedial measures if warranted; risk assessment; setting cleanup goals; cleanup plan; cleanup implementation and monitoring; and No Further Action determination. Most often, responsible parties conduct the work voluntarily, but sometimes enforcement orders are necessary to compel the work to be performed.



Violations that were system-generated as a result of the SSO module.

SSO Historic


Violations of orders that were issued before the statewide general SSO order.

Staff Enforcement Letter


An informal enforcement action that is a follow-up to or in lieu of a verbal enforcement action.

Stipulated Penalty


An action whereby the discharger agrees or "stipulates" to a penalty to address certain violations.  These are rare, and are different from agreeing to simply pay an Administrative Civil Liability.

Subchapter 15


Same as the Land Disposal program

Supplemental Environmental Project


Projects that may be allowed in lieu of some or all of the monetary assessment imposed in an Administrative Civil Liability.  SEPs are projects that enhance the beneficial uses of the waters of the State, provide a benefit to the public at large, and that, at the time they are included in an Administrative Civil Liability action, are not otherwise required of the discharger.



Storm water pollution prevention plan not on site, not implemented (i.e. self-inspections, updating plan, etc.  Failure to implement BMPs should be recorded under the BMP violation type), or not in existence. 


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Timber Harvest


The regulation of discharges from timber harvest activities, including logging, road construction, and herbicide application.

Time Schedule Order


Enforcement actions issued in accordance with section 13300 of the California Water Code.  These orders require the discharger to submit a time schedule which sets forth the actions that the discharger will take to address actual or threatened discharges of wastes in violation of requirements.



Description of regulatory measure

Toxic Pits Cleanup Act


Regulation of open pits or injection wells for hazard waste disposal


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Unauthorized Discharger


Discharges without WDRs (including coverage under a general order) or discharges other than that described in an order (e.g. surface water discharge by discharger with non-NPDES WDRs).  For discharges to non-federal waters, only record discharges that con

Unauthorized Non-stormwater Discharge (NSWD)


Violations of stormwater permits due to discharges (such as wash or rinse waters) of non-stormwater that do not meet the allowable non-stormwater discharges defined in Section D (pages 5-6) of the Industrial General Permit.

Underground Storage Tanks


The prevention, cleanup, and enforcement of water degradation or pollution associated with underground storage tanks.  Underground storage tanks are defined as one or more tanks, including pipes connected thereto, that is used for the storage of hazardous substances and that is substantially or totally beneath the surface of the ground.  Generally, these sites are tracked in Geotracker.



Not specifically known or ascertained

Unregulated discharge (to be “Unauthorized Discharge”)


Discharges without WDRs (including coverage under a general order) or discharges other than that described in an order (e.g. surface water discharge by discharger with non-NPDES WDRs).  For discharges to non-federal waters, only record discharges that continue after a report of waste discharge has been requested but not submitted.  For SSO related discharges use “SSO” violation type.  For storm water non filers, use “File” violation type. 

Unregulated Sites


A non regulated site that is or was of interest.


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Verbal Enforcement Action


Telephone or in person contact of the discharger by staff regarding specific violations.



An infraction of an order or the Water Code.  For example, an exceedance of a limit contained in a permit or discharging without a permit.

Violation ID


A CIWQS identifier that is unique to a specific violation.

Violation Source


Source of the violation or source of the notification of the violation (i.e., spill, report, inspection, etc.)

Violation Type


Used to differentiate violations by the use of categories (effluent, receiving water, reporting, monitoring violations, etc.) and subcategories (acute toxicity, groundwater, late reporting, etc.).

Violations Tied To Enforcement Actions


Violations that have been addressed by enforcement actions.

Violations With No Enforcement Actions


Violations that have not yet been addressed by an enforcement action.

Volunteer monitoring


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Water Quality


Violation of a receiving water limit or requirement



Waste discharge ID;  unique identifier given to regulatory measure and facility

Waste Discharge Permit Fund


Permit fees, ambient monitoring surcharges, and other monies designated by the Water Code, go into the waste discharge permit fund. These funds are used to support the Water Boards regulatory activities.

Well Investigation Program


The Well Investigation Program was developed to locate, assess and remediate sources of solvent contamination impacting drinking water wells.  WIP is no longer in use. Existing WIP cases that are still being assessed or remediated are now overseen under the SLIC program.



This status is used for enforcement regulatory measure only and I only when a enforcement action is withdrawn by the applicable Water Board or Executive Officer.