Water Quality Standards

Congress passed the Clean Water Act (CWA) in 1972 to keep our waters clean enough for recreational uses, such as swimming and fishing.  The CWA required states to develop water quality standards to protect all water uses and to designate uses for each waterway. The legislation also mandated that industries and wastewater treatment plants obtain permits that set restrictions on the discharge of specific pollutants. These National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits are designed to ensure the protection of a stream’s designated uses. 
 
Click-Here to download a two-page flyer that provides some simple explanations of how these standards are deternined and used.  Can you describe the major goal of the CWA?  
 

 Water Quality Standards 
General information and definitions 
Designated uses 
Water quality standards tables 
Appendices and additional resources 
Antidegradation policy
Category B2 (Trout waters) 
Public water supplies 
Category E3 (Power production) 
Category C (Water contact recreation) 
Cool water lakes 
To learn more visit WVDEP's Water Quality Standards website and the US EPA's Water Quality Standards Academy

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