National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES - Utility Vaults)

NPDES logo


The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) adopted the Statewide General NPDES Permit for Discharges from Utility Vaults and Underground Structures to Waters of the United States, Water Quality Order 2014-0174-DWQ, in October 2014. Water Quality Order 2014-0174-DWQ became effective on July 1, 2015.

This General Permit covers short-term and intermittent discharges from utility vaults and underground structures to Waters of the United States. Utilities eligible for coverage under this General Permit include, but are not limited to, suppliers of cable television, electricity, internet, natural gas, and telephone services. Water Quality Order 2014-0174-DWQ expired on June 29, 2020 but remains in effect until the State Water Board reissues the General Permit.

Current Permit


  • Fee Schedule (NPDES Permit Fees)

  • Please Note: The California Water Code requires the State Water Board to adjust the fees each fiscal year to conform with the revenue levels set forth in the California Budget Act. Thus, the fees could change every year.

Notice of Intents and Pollution Prevention Plans

Copies of the Applicant/ Discharger’s Notice of Intent / Pollution Prevention Plan are available upon request and searchable on the California Integrated Water Quality System (CIWQS) database. Please use the following website and type in “2014-0174-DWQ” under the Order Number:

Utility Vaults Permit Mailing Address
State Water Resources Control Board
Division of Water Quality
1001 I Street, 15th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
Utility Vault Contact Information

Email Subscription

To receive notices of future public workshops and other communications from the State Water Board regarding utility vaults, you may subscribe to an email notification list by following the link below, choosing the Water Quality list, and selecting "Utility Vaults General Permit":