DAR File No. 43585

This rule was published in the April 1, 2019, issue (Vol. 2019, No. 7) of the Utah State Bulletin.

Environmental Quality, Water Quality

Section R317-1-1


Notice of Proposed Rule


DAR File No.: 43585
Filed: 03/15/2019 01:10:09 PM


Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:

Definitions are proposed for Ecosystem Respiration, Filamentous Algae Cover, and Gross Primary Production. These terms are only used in Section R317-2-14, proposed Tables 2.14.7 and 2.14.8.

Summary of the rule or change:

Definitions are added for key terms that are proposed in another filing for Section R317-2-14. Amendments are proposed to Section R317-2-14, Tables 2.14.7 and 2.14.8. (EDITOR'S NOTE: The proposed amendment to Rule R317-2 is under Filing No. 43586 in this issue, April 1, 2019, of the Bulletin.)

Statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:

  • Title 19, Chapter 5
  • 40 CFR Part 131

Anticipated cost or savings to:

the state budget:

The purpose of the proposed definitions is to provide clarity. The definitions have no cost impact on state agencies.

local governments:

The purpose of the proposed definitions is to provide clarity. The definitions have no cost impact on local governments.

small businesses:

The purpose of the proposed definitions is to provide clarity. The definitions have no cost impact on small businesses.

persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local governmental entities:

The purpose of the proposed definitions is to provide clarity. The definitions have no cost impact on other persons.

Compliance costs for affected persons:

There are no estimable additional compliance costs for affected persons.

Comments by the department head on the fiscal impact the rule may have on businesses:

The proposed definitions will provide clarity for businesses and fiscal impacts will be neutral.

Alan Matheson, Executive Director

The full text of this rule may be inspected, during regular business hours, at the Office of Administrative Rules, or at:

Environmental Quality
Water QualityRoom DEQ, Third Floor
195 N 1950 W

Direct questions regarding this rule to:

  • Judy Etherington at the above address, by phone at 801-536-4344, by FAX at 801-536-4301, or by Internet E-mail at [email protected]

Interested persons may present their views on this rule by submitting written comments to the address above no later than 5:00 p.m. on:


Interested persons may attend a public hearing regarding this rule:

  • 05/01/2019 06:00 PM, MASOB, 195 N 1950 W, DEQ Board Room, Salt Lake City, UT

This rule may become effective on:


Authorized by:

Erica Gaddis, Director


Appendix 1: Regulatory Impact Summary Table*

Fiscal Costs

FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021

State Government




Local Government




Small Businesses




Non-Small Businesses




Other Person




Total Fiscal Costs:




Fiscal Benefits

State Government




Local Government




Small Businesses




Non-Small Businesses




Other Persons




Total Fiscal Benefits:







Net Fiscal Benefits:





*This table only includes fiscal impacts that could be measured. If there are inestimable fiscal impacts, they will not be included in this table. Inestimable impacts for State Government, Local Government, Small Businesses and Other Persons are described above. Inestimable impacts for Non - Small Businesses are described below.


Appendix 2: Regulatory Impact to Non - Small Businesses

The purpose of the proposed definitions is to provide clarity. The definitions have no cost impact on non-small businesses.



R317. Environmental Quality, Water Quality.

R317-1. Definitions and General Requirements.

R317-1-1. Definitions.

Note that some definitions are repeated from statute to provide clarity to readers.

"Assimilative Capacity" means the difference between the numeric criteria and the concentration in the waterbody of interest where the concentration is less than the criterion.

"Biological assessment" means an evaluation of the biological condition of a water body using biological surveys and other direct measurements of composition or condition of the resident living organisms.

"Biological criteria" means numeric values or narrative descriptions that are established to protect the biological condition of the aquatic life inhabiting waters that have been given a certain designated aquatic life use.

"Board" means the Utah Water Quality Board.

"BOD" means 5-day, 20 degrees C. biochemical oxygen demand.

"Body Politic" means the State or its agencies or any political subdivision of the State to include a county, city, town, improvement district, taxing district or any other governmental subdivision or public corporation of the State.

"Building sewer" means the pipe which carries wastewater from the building drain to a public sewer, a wastewater disposal system or other point of disposal. It is synonymous with "house sewer".

"CBOD" means 5-day, 20 degrees C., carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand.

"Challenging Party" means a Person who has or is seeking a permit in accordance with Title 19, Chapter 5, the Utah Water Quality Act and chooses to use the independent peer review process to challenge a Proposal as defined in Subsection 19-5-105.3(1)(a).

"COD" means chemical oxygen demand.

"Conflict of Interest" means a Person who has any financial or other interest which has the potential to negatively affect services to the Division or Challenging Party because it could impair the individual's objectivity or it could create an unfair competitive advantage for any Person or organization.

"Deep well" means a drinking water supply source which complies with all the applicable provisions of the State of Utah Public Drinking Water rules.

"Digested sludge" means sludge in which the volatile solids content has been reduced by at least 38% using a suitable biological treatment process.

"Director" means the Director of the Division of Water Quality.

"Division" means the Utah State Division of Water Quality.

"Domestic wastewater" means a combination of the liquid or water-carried wastes from residences, business buildings, institutions, and other establishments with installed plumbing facilities, together with those from industrial establishments, and with such ground water, surface water, and storm water as may be present. It is synonymous with the term "sewage".

"Ecosystem respiration (ER)" means the spatially explicit rate of organic degradation derived from open channel, diel stream oxygen models.

"Effluent" means the liquid discharge from any unit of a wastewater treatment works, including a septic tank.

"Existing Uses" means those uses actually attained in a water body on or after November 28, 1975, whether or not they are included in the water quality standards.

"Expert" means a person with technical expertise, knowledge, or skills in a subject matter of relevance to a specific water quality investigation, HISA, or Proposal including persons from other regulatory agencies, academia, or the private sector.

"Filamentous Algae Cover" means patches of filamentous algae greater than 1 cm in length or mats greater than 1 mm thick, expressed as the proportion of visible stream bed where it is observed and where it is not.

"Gross primary production" means the spatially explicit rate of autotrophic biomass formation derived from open channel, diel stream oxygen models.

"Human-induced stressor" means perturbations directly or indirectly caused by humans that alter the components, patterns, and/or processes of an ecosystem.

"Human pathogens" means specific causative agents of disease in humans such as bacteria or viruses.

"Highly Influential Scientific Assessment (HISA)" means a Scientific Assessment developed by the Division or an external Person, that has material relevance to a decision by the Division, and the Director determines could have a significant financial impact on either the public or private sector or is novel, controversial, or precedent-setting, and is not a new or renewed permit issued to a Person.

"Independent Peer Review" means scientific review conducted on request from a Challenging Party in accordance with Section 19-5-105.3 and is a subcategory of Independent Scientific Review.

"Independent Scientific Review" means any technical or scientific review conducted by Experts in an area related to the material being reviewed who were not directly or indirectly involved with the development of the material to be reviewed and who do not have a real or perceived conflict of interest. When an Independent Peer Review is conducted, the conditions in Subsection 19-5-105.3(5) shall apply.

"Industrial wastes" means the liquid wastes from industrial processes as distinct from wastes derived principally from dwellings, business buildings, institutions and the like. It is synonymous with the term "industrial wastewater".

"Influent" means the total wastewater flow entering a wastewater treatment works.

"Great Salt Lake impounded wetland" means wetland ponds which have been formed by dikes or berms to control and retain the flow of freshwater sources in the immediate proximity of Great Salt Lake.

"Large underground wastewater disposal system" means the same type of device as an onsite wastewater system except that it is designed to handle more than 5,000 gallons per day of domestic wastewater, or wastewater that originates in multiple dwellings, commercial establishments, recreational facilities, schools, or any other underground wastewater disposal system not covered under the definition of an onsite wastewater system. The Division controls the installation of such systems.

"Onsite wastewater system" means an underground wastewater disposal system for domestic wastewater which is designed for a capacity of 5,000 gallons per day or less and is not designed to serve multiple dwelling units which are owned by separate owners except condominiums and twin homes. It usually consists of a building sewer, a septic tank and an absorption system.

"Operating Permit" is a State issued permit issued to any wastewater treatment works covered under Rules R317-3 or R317-5 with the following exceptions:

A. Any wastewater treatment permitted under Ground Water Quality Protection Rule R317-6.

B. Any wastewater treatment permitted under Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program Rule R317-7.

C. Any wastewater treatment permitted under Utah Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (UPDES) Rule R317-8.

D. Any wastewater treatment permitted under Approvals and Permits for a Water Reuse Project Rule R317-13.

E. Any wastewater treatment permitted by a Local Health Department under Onsite Wastewater Systems Rule R317-4.

"Person" means any individual, trust, firm, estate, company, corporation, partnership, association, state, state or federal agency or entity, municipality, commission, or political subdivision of a state. "Point source" means any discernible, confined and discrete conveyance including but not limited to any pipe, ditch, channel, tunnel, conduit, well, discrete fissure, container, concentrated animal feeding operation, or vessel or other floating craft from which pollutants are or may be discharged. This term does not include return flow from irrigated agriculture.

"Pollution" means such contamination, or other alteration of the physical, chemical, or biological properties of any waters of the state, or such discharge of any liquid, gaseous or solid substance into any waters of the state as will create a nuisance or render such waters harmful or detrimental or injurious to public health, safety or welfare, or to domestic, commercial, industrial, agricultural, recreational, or other legitimate beneficial uses, or to livestock, wild animals, birds, fish or other aquatic life.

"Proposal" means any science-based initiative proposed by the division on or after January 1, 2016, that would financially impact a Challenging Party and that would:

A. change water quality standards;

B. develop or modify total maximum daily load requirements;

C. modify wasteloads or other regulatory requirements for permits; or

D. change rules or other regulatory guidance. A Proposal is not an individual permit issued to a Person, nor is it a technology based limit applied in accordance with Effluent limitations, 33 U.S.C. Sec. 1311, National pollutant discharge elimination system, 33 U.S.C. Sec. 1342, and Information and guidelines, 33 U.S.C. Sec. 1314.

"Regulatory requirements" for permits means the methods or policies used by the Division to derive permit limits such as wasteload analyses, reasonable potential determinations, whole effluent toxicity policy, interim permitting guidance, antidegradation reviews, or Technology Based Nutrient Effluent Limit requirements.

"Scientific Assessment" means an evaluation of a body of credible scientific or technical knowledge that synthesizes scientific literature, data analysis and interpretation, and models, and includes any assumptions used to bridge uncertainties in the available information.

"Scientific basis" means empirical data or other scientific findings, conclusions, or assumptions used as the justification for a rule, regulatory guidance, or a regulatory tool.

"Scientifically necessary to protect the designated beneficial uses of a waterbody" as referenced in Subsection 19-5-105.3(8) means a Technology Based Nutrient Effluent Limit that under current and future growth projections, will:

A. prevent circumstances that would cause or contribute to an impairment of any designated or existing use in the receiving water or downstream water bodies based on Utah's water quality standards, Section R317-2-7; or

B. improve water quality conditions that are causing or contributing to any existing impairment in the receiving water or downstream water bodies, as defined by Utah's water quality standards, Section R317-2-7.

"Sewage" is synonymous with the term "domestic wastewater".

"Shallow well" means a well providing a source of drinking water which does not meet the requirements of a "deep well".

"Sludge" means the accumulation of solids which have settled from wastewater. As initially accumulated, and prior to treatment, it is known as "raw sludge".

"SS" means suspended solids.

"Technology Based Nutrient Effluent Limit" means maximum nutrient limitations based on the availability of technology to achieve the limitations, rather than based on a water quality standard or a total maximum daily load.

Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) means the maximum amount of a particular pollutant that a waterbody can receive and still meet state water quality standards, and an allocation of that amount to the pollutant's sources.

"Treatment works" means any plant, disposal field, lagoon, dam, pumping station, incinerator, or other works used for the purpose of treating, stabilizing or holding wastes. (Section 19-5-102).

"TSS" means total suspended solids.

"Underground Wastewater Disposal System" means a system for underground disposal of domestic wastewater. It includes onsite wastewater systems and large underground wastewater disposal systems.

"Use Attainability Analysis" means a structured Scientific Assessment of the factors affecting the attainment of the uses specified in Section R317-2-6. The factors to be considered in such an analysis include the physical, chemical, biological, and economic use removal criteria as described in 40 CFR 131.10(g) (1-6).

"Wastes" means dredged spoil, solid waste, incinerator residue, sewage, garbage, sewage sludge, munitions, chemical wastes, biological materials, radioactive materials, heat, wrecked or discarded equipment, rock, sand, cellar dirt, and industrial, municipal, and agricultural waste discharged into water. (Section 19-5-102).

"Wastewater" means sewage, industrial waste or other liquid substances which might cause pollution of waters of the state. Intercepted ground water which is uncontaminated by wastes is not included.

"Waters of the state" means all streams, lakes, ponds, marshes, water-courses, waterways, wells, springs, irrigation systems, drainage systems, and all other bodies or accumulations of water, surface and underground, natural or artificial, public or private, which are contained within, flow through, or border upon this state or any portion thereof, except that bodies of water confined to and retained within the limits of private property, and which do not develop into or constitute a nuisance, or a public health hazard, or a menace to fish and wildlife, shall not be considered to be "waters of the state" under this definition (Section 19-5-102).

"Water Quality Based Effluent Limit (WQBEL)" means an effluent limitation that has been determined necessary to ensure that water quality standards in a receiving body of water will not be violated.


KEY: TMDL, water pollution

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: [May 24, 2018]2019

Notice of Continuation: August 30, 2017

Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: 19-5

Additional Information

More information about a Notice of Proposed Rule is available online.

The Portable Document Format (PDF) version of the Bulletin is the official version. The PDF version of this issue is available at https://rules.utah.gov/publicat/bull_pdf/2019/b20190401.pdf. The HTML edition of the Bulletin is a convenience copy. Any discrepancy between the PDF version and HTML version is resolved in favor of the PDF version.

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For questions regarding the content or application of this rule, please contact Judy Etherington at the above address, by phone at 801-536-4344, by FAX at 801-536-4301, or by Internet E-mail at [email protected].  For questions about the rulemaking process, please contact the Office of Administrative Rules.