Can I urinate or put wastewater directly into a water source?

Generally speaking, no urine or wastewater should ever go into a water source. Both kinds of liquid waste should be disposed of a minimum of 200 ft. from any water source. However, there is one environment where disposal of liquid waste into a water source may be acceptable and/or required by the land management agency: arid, silt laden, high-volume western rivers such as the Colorado and the Green. The idea is that “dilution is the solution” in these unique environments.
In many western river corridors it is virtually impossible to get 200 ft. from the water. Over time the practice of surface disposal of liquid wastes lead to river runners disposing of liquid waste in the same locations in the same campsites over and over. Due to very limited precipitation (washing effect), this lead to both biophysical and aesthetic impacts. Land managers eventually determined that another method had to be employed to dispose of this liquid waste that was being generated by river users, and eventually determined that putting the liquid waste directly into the water was – in certain cases – the best option. Each agency and each river are different therefore it is always best to check with the land management agency first as they will likely have a specific regulation in place for dealing with liquid waste.
A good rule of thumb is this: if the water is clear flowing and you can get 200 ft. from the water, then do so and dispose of your liquid waste far from the water. If the water is high-volume (more than 1000 cfs), silt-laden, you’re in an arid environment, and you can’t get out of the immediate river corridor (more than 200 ft.) consider disposing of your liquid waste directly into the water. All dishwater should be strained prior to being put into the river or broadcast 200 ft from the water, depending on the recommended/required method of disposal.