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Water Quality Standards Matrix

This matrix is intended as a guide for informative purposes only. For updated and accurate information, consult the relevant state regulations, linked below the table.

Prepared by NEIWPCC in cooperation with the States of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

The full matrix, including designated uses and standards, is also available as an excel spreadsheet for download.

Notes:
Classifications are state-specific and are not necessarily consistent between states. The Classification and Designated Uses page summarizes the different classifications and designated uses for each state, including further details regarding partial uses and unique state classifications.

“N/A” indicates that the state has not set criteria for a specific parameter under that use.

This matrix includes a selected list of parameters for interstate comparison and is not an exhaustive list of every parameter each state adopts.

EPA WQS recommendations are included for reference and are not specific to class.

Click the green (+) icon next to the parameter name to see criteria for each state.

Parameter**EPA Recommended CriteriaCTMAMENHNYRIVT
AestheticsAll waters free from substances attributable to wastewater or other discharges that: settle to form objectionable deposits; float as debris, scum, oil, or other matter to form nuisances; produce objectionable color, odor, taste, or turbidity; injure or are toxic or produce adverse physiological responses in humans, animals or plants; and produce undesirable or nuisance aquatic life.Classes AA, A, SA: Uniformly Excellent.
Classes B, SB: Good to Excellent
All surface waters shall be free from pollutants in concentrations or combinations that settle to form objectionable deposits; float as debris, scum or other matter to form nuisances; produce objectionable odor, color, taste or turbidity, or produce undesirable or nuisance species. Class A waters shall have excellent aesthetic value.N/AAll waters shall be free from substances in kind or quantity which: settle to form harmful deposits; float as foam, debris, scum or other visible substances; produce odor, color, taste or turbidity which is not naturally occurring and would render it unsuitable for its designated use; result in the dominance of nuisance species; or interfere with recreational activities.No taste-, color-, and odor-producing, toxic, and other deleterious substances in amounts that will adversely affect the taste, color or odor thereof, or impair the waters for their best usages. See 6 NYCRR 703.5, Table 1 in the Regulation for standards for specific substances.All waters shall be free from pollutants in concentrations or combinations that: Settle to form deposits that are unsightly, putrescent, or odorous; Float as debris, oil, grease, scum or other floating material attributable to wastes; Produce odor or taste or change the color or physical, chemical or biological conditions; or result in the dominance of species of fish and wildlife; To such a degree as to create a nuisance or interfere with the existing or designated uses.Class A1: Water character, flows, water level, bed and channel characteristics, and flowing and falling waters in their natural condition.
Class A2: Water character, flows, water level, bed and channel characteristics, and flowing and falling waters consistently exhibiting aesthetic value.
Class B: Water character, flows, water level, bed and channel characteristics, exhibiting good aesthetic value and, where attainable, excellent aesthetic value based on water management type designation.
AlkalinityFor protection of freshwater aquatic life: 20,000 µg/L continuous concentrationN/AN/AN/AFor protection of freshwater aquatic life: 20,000 µg/L continuous concentrationN/AN/ANo change from reference conditions that would prevent the full support of the aquatic biota, wildlife, and aquatic habitat uses.
AluminumBased on EPA 2018 Aluminum Criteria Calculator V.2.0 . RANGE: 1-4,800 ug/L (acute); 0.63-3,200 ug/L (chronic) depending on site-specific parameters.For the protection of aquatic life: 750 ug/L (acute); 87 ug/L (chronic)Calculated concentration using the Aluminum Criteria Calculator V.2.0 - refer to the Mass DEP website for the aluminum calculator and up to date information. 314 CMR 4 Massachusetts Surface Water Quality Standards N/AFor the protection of aquatic life: 750 micrograms/L (acute), 87 micrograms/L (chronic)Aquatic life (chronic): 100 micrograms/L ionic AlFor aquatic life: 750 ug/L (acute); 87 ug/L (chronic)
Freshwater criteria for aluminum are for waters in which the pH is between 6.5 and 9
N/A
Aquatic LifeN/ASustainable, diverse biological communities of indigenous taxa shall be present. Moderate changes from natural conditions in the structure of the biological communities, and minimal changes in ecosystem function may be evident.
Freshwater: Water quality shall be sufficient to sustain a biological condition within the range of Connecticut Biological Condition Gradient Tiers 1-4 as assessed along a 6 tier stressor gradient of Biological Condition Gradient (See Section 22a-426-5 of the Regulations of the Connecticut State Agencies).
Marine: Water quality shall be sufficient to sustain a healthy, diverse biological community.
N/AAll: Habitat for fish and other aquatic and/or estuarine and marine life.
Class AA, SA: As naturally occurs. Habitat must be characterized as free-flowing and natural.
Class A: As naturally occurs. Habitat must be characterized as natural.
Class B, SB: Habitat must be characterized as unimpaired. Discharges may not cause adverse impact to aquatic or estuarine and marine life in that the receiving waters must be of sufficient quality to support all aquatic species indigenous to the receiving water without detrimental changes in the resident biological community. (For SB waters only – no new discharge that would cause closure of open shellfish areas. See additional details regarding discharges related to mosquito control and public health in Title 38, Sec.465-B.2.)
Class C, SC: Discharges to Class C waters may cause some changes to aquatic or estuarine and marine life, except that the receiving waters must be of sufficient quality to support all species of fish indigenous to the receiving waters and maintain the structure and function of the resident biological community.
The surface waters shall support and maintain a balanced, integrated, and adaptive community of organisms having a species composition, diversity, and functional organization comparable to that of similar natural habitats of region. Differences from naturally occurring conditions shall be limited to non-detrimental differences in community structure and function.See 6 NYCRR 703.5, Table 1 for standards for specific substances.At a minimum, all waters shall be free of pollutants in concentrations or combinations or from anthropogenic activities subject to these regulations that: adversely affect the composition of fish and wildlife; adversely affect the physical, chemical, or biological integrity of the habitat; interfere with the propagation of fish and wildlife; or adversely alter the life cycle functions, uses, processes and activities of fish and wildlife.Class A(1): Change from the natural condition limited to minimal impacts from human activity. Measures of biological integrity for aquatic macroinvertebrates and fish assemblages are within the range of the natural condition. Uses related to either the physical, chemical, or biological integrity of the aquatic habitat or the composition or life cycle functions of aquatic biota or wildlife are fully supported. All life cycle functions, including overwintering and reproductive requirements are maintained and protected.
Class A(2): Biological integrity is maintained, no change from the reference condition that would prevent the full support of aquatic biota, wildlife or aquatic habitat uses. Change from the reference condition for aquatic macroinvertebrates and fish assemblages shall not exceed moderate changes in the relative proportions of taxonomic, functional, tolerant and intolerant components. All expected functional groups are present in a high quality habitat and none shall be eliminated. All life cycle functions, including overwintering and reproductive requirements, are maintained and protected. Changes in the aquatic habitat shall not exceed moderate differences from the reference condition consistent with full support of all aquatic biota and wildlife uses."
Class B(1): Change from the reference condition for aquatic macroinvertebrate and fish assemblages shall be limited to minor changes in the relative proportions of taxonomic and functional components; relative proportions of tolerant and intolerant components are within the range of the reference condition. Changes in the aquatic habitat shall be limited to minimal differences from the reference condition consistent with the full support of all aquatic biota and wildlife uses.
Class B(2): Change from the reference condition for aquatic macroinvertebrate and fish assemblages shall be limited to moderate changes in the relative proportions of tolerant, intolerant, taxonomic, and functional components. Changes in the aquatic habitat shall be limited to minor differences from the reference condition consistent with the full support of all aquatic biota and wildlife uses.
Class B(3): Change from the reference condition for aquatic macroinvertebrate and fish assemblages shall be limited to moderate changes in the relative proportions of tolerant, intolerant, taxonomic, and functional components. Changes in the aquatic habitat shall be limited to moderate differences from the reference condition consistent with the full support of all aquatic biota and wildlife uses. When such habitat changes are a result of hydrological modification or water level fluctuation, compliance may be determined on the basis of aquatic habitat studies.
Class B(all other waters): no change from reference conditions that would have an undue adverse effect on the composition of the aquatic biota, the physical or chemical nature of the substrate or the species composition or propagation of fishes.
BacteriaBased on a statistically sufficient number of samples (generally not less than 5 samples equally spaced over a 30-day period), the geometric mean of the indicated bacterial densities should not exceed one or the other of the following: E. coli 126 per 100 ml; or enterococci 33 per 100 ml; no sample should exceed a one sided confidence limit (C.L.) calculated using the following as guidance:designated bathing beach 75% C.L.; moderate use for bathing 82% C.L.; light use for bathing 90% C.L.; infrequent use for bathing 95% C.L. based on a site-specific log standard deviation, or if site data are insufficient to establish a log standard deviation, then using 0.4 as the log standard deviation for both indicators.Class AA - For drinking water supply: total coliform monthly moving average less than 100/100 ml and single sample maximum 500/100 ml.
Class AA, A, B - For designated swimming areas: E. coli geometric mean less than 126/100 ml and single sample maximum 235/100 ml.
Class AA, A, B - For non-designated swimming areas: E. coli geometric mean less than 126/100 ml and single sample maximum 410/100ml.
Class AA, A, B - For all other recreational uses: E. coli geometric mean less than 126/100 ml and single sample maximum 576/100 ml.
Class SA - For direct consumption of shellfish: Fecal coliform geometric mean less than 14/100 ml and 90% of samples less than 31/100 ml.
Class SA, SB - For designated swimming areas: Enterococci geometric mean less than 35/100 ml and single sample maximum 104/100 ml.
Class SA, SB - For all other recreational uses: Enterococci geometric mean less than 35/100 ml and single sample maximum 500/100 ml.
Class SB - For commercial harvesting of shellfish: Fecal coliform geometric mean less than 88/100 ml and 90% of samples less than 260/100 ml.
Class A - At water supply intakes in unfiltered public water supplies: fecal coliform less than 20/100 ml in all samples in any six month period, or total coliform less than 100/ 100 ml in 90% of samples in any six month period. (Or as regulated by the MA Drinking Water Regulations – 310 CMR 22.00)
Class A, B - At bathing beaches (defined by MA DPH in 105 CMR 445.010): E. coli geometric mean (five most recent samples) shall not exceed 126 / 100 ml, no single sample shall exceed 235/100 ml; OR enterococci geometric mean (five most recent samples) shall not exceed 33/100 ml, no single sample shall exceed 61/100 ml;
Class A, B - For other waters and, during the non-bathing season (defined by the MA DPH - 105 CMR 445.010): E. Coli geometric within six months shall not exceed 126/ 100 ml based on a minimum of five samples, no single sample shall exceed 235/ 100 ml; OR enterococci geometric mean of all samples taken within six months shall not exceed 33/ 100 ml based on a minimum of five samples, no single sample shall exceed 61 / 100 ml.
Class C: The geometric mean of all E. coli samples taken within the most recent six months shall not exceed 630 colonies per 100 ml typically based on a minimum of five samples, and 10% of such samples shall not exceed 1260 colonies per 100 ml. This criterion may be applied on a seasonal basis at the discretion of the Department.
No such classification.
Class SA- Waters designated for shellfishing: fecal coliform shall not exceed a geometric mean Most Probable Number (MPN) of 14 organisms per 100 ml, nor shall more than 10% of the samples exceed an MPN of 28/100 ml, or other values of equivalent protection based on sampling and analytical methods used by the MA Division of Marine Fisheries and approved by the National Shellfish Sanitation Program (more stringent regulations may apply, see 314 CMR 4.06(1)(d)(5));
Class SB - Waters designated for shellfishing shall not exceed a fecal coliform median or geometric mean MPN of 88 /100 ml, nor shall more than 10% of the samples exceed an MPN of 260 /100 ml or other values of equivalent protection based on sampling and analytical methods used by the MA Division of Marine Fisheries and approved by the National Shellfish Sanitation Program (more stringent regulations may apply, see 314 CMR 4.06(1)(d)(5));
Class SA, SB - at bathing beaches (defined by the MA DPH in 105 CMR 445.010): no single enterococci sample shall exceed 104 / 100 ml, the geometric mean of five most recent samples shall not exceed a geometric mean of 35 enterococci colonies per 100 ml.
Class SA, SB - In non-bathing beach waters and bathing beach waters during the non-bathing season, no single enterococci sample shall exceed 104 /100 ml, the geometric mean of all samples taken within the most recent six months (minimum of five samples) shall not exceed 35/100 ml.
Class SC: The geometric mean of all enterococci samples taken within the most recent six months shall not exceed 175 colonies per 100 ml, typically based on the five most recent samples, and 10% of such samples shall not exceed 350 enterococci colonies per 100 ml. This criterion may be applied on a seasonal basis at the discretion of the Department.
All: Consistent with Massachusetts Department of Public Health regulations for bathing beaches, the single sample maximum values in the primary contact recreation bacteria criteria in 314 CMR 4.05(4)(a)4.b. also are for use in the context of notification and closure decisions.
Class AA, A: As naturally occurs except that the numbers of E. coli bacteria may not exceed a geometric mean of 64 CFU per 100 milliliters over a 90-day interval or 236 CFU per 100 milliliters in more than 10% of the samples in any 90-day interval.
Class B: Between April 15th and October 31st, the number of E. coli bacteria in these waters may not exceed a geometric mean of 64 CFU per 100 milliliters over a 90-day interval or 236 CFU per 100 milliliters in more than 10% of the samples in any 90-day interval.
Class C: Between April 15th and October 31st, the number of E. coli bacteria in Class C waters may not exceed a geometric mean of 100 CFU per 100 milliliters over a 90-day interval or 236 CFU per 100 milliliters in more than 10% of the samples in any 90-day interval.
Class SA: As naturally occurs, except that the numbers of enterococcus bacteria in these waters may not exceed a geometric mean of 8 CFU per 100 milliliters in any 90-day interval or 54 CFU per 100 milliliters in more than 10% of the samples in any 90-day interval.
Class SB: Between April 15th and October 31st, the number of enterococcus bacteria in these waters may not exceed a geometric mean of 8 CFU per 100 milliliters in any 90-day interval or 54 CFU per 100 milliliters in more than 10% of the samples in any 90-day interval. The number of total coliform bacteria or other specified indicator organisms in samples representative of the waters in shellfish harvesting areas may not exceed the criteria recommended under the National Shellfish Sanitation Program.
Class SB: Between April 15th and October 31st, the number of enterococcus bacteria in these waters may not exceed a geometric mean of 14 CFU per 100 milliliters in any 90-day interval or 94 CFU per 100 milliliters in more than 10% of the samples in any 90-day interval. The number of total coliform bacteria or other specified indicator organisms in samples representative of the waters in restricted shellfish harvesting areas may not exceed the criteria recommended under the National Shellfish Sanitation Program.
Class A: Shall contain not more than either a geometric mean based on at least 3 samples obtained over a 60-day period of 47 E coli per 100 milliliters, or greater than 153 E. coli per 100 milliliters in any one sample; and for designated beach areas shall contain not more than a geometric mean based on at least 3 samples obtained over a 60-day period of 47 E. coli per 100 milliliters, or 88 E. coli per 100 milliliters in any one sample; unless naturally occurring.

Class B: Shall contain not more than either a geometric mean based on at least 3 samples obtained over a 60-day period of 126 E. coli per 100 milliliters, or greater than 406 E. coli per 100 milliliters in any one sample; and for designated beach areas shall contain not more than a geometric mean based on at least 3 samples obtained over a 60-day period of 47 E. coli per 100 milliliters, or 88 E. coli per 100 milliliters in any one sample; unless naturally occurring.

Enterococcus for Marine Waters: Tidal waters utilized for swimming purposes shall contain not more than either a geometric mean based on at least 3 samples obtained over a 60-day period of 35 enterococci per 100 milliliters, or 104 enterococci per 100 milliliters in any one sample, unless naturally occurring.

Those tidal waters used for growing or taking of shellfish for human consumption shall, in addition to the foregoing requirements, be in accordance with the criteria recommended under the National Shellfish Program Manual of Operation, United States Department of Food and Drug Administration.
Total Coliforms:
Class AA, AA-Special: The monthly median value and more than 20 percent of the samples, from a minimum of five examinations, shall not exceed 50 and 240, respectively.
Class A-Special: The geometric mean, of not less than five samples, taken over not more than a 30-day period shall not exceed 1,000/100 ml.
Class A, B, C, D, SB, SC: The monthly median value and more than 20 percent of the samples, from a minimum of five examinations, shall not exceed 2,400/100 ml and 5,000/100 ml, respectively.
Class SA: The MPN value in any series of representative samples shall not be in excess of 70/100 ml.

E. coli:
Class AA, AA-special, A, A-Special, B: The geometric mean of samples collected over any consecutive 30-day period shall not exceed 126, no more than 10% of the samples collected in the same period shall exceed 410. (E. coli standards shall apply May 1-October 31, when the department deems it necessary, and here required by State or Federal law or interstate compact.)

Fecal Coliforms:
Class A, A-Special, B, C, D, SB, SC: The monthly geometric mean, from a minimum of five examinations, shall not exceed 200/100 ml

Enterococci:
Class SA, SB: The geometric mean of samples collected over any consecutive 30-day period shall not exceed 35, and no more than 10 percent of the samples collected in the same 30-day period shall exceed 130. Enterococci standards shall apply May 1-October 31, when the department deems it necessary, and here required by State or Federal law or interstate compact.
Fecal Coliform:
Class AA - Drinking Water Supply Criteria: not to exceed a geometric mean value of 20 MPN/100 ml and not more than 10% of the samples shall exceed a value of 200. (Applied at the terminal reservoir of the system.)
Class AA, A, B, B(a), B1, B1(a)- Primary Contact Recreational/Swimming Criteria: Not to exceed a geometric mean value of 200 MPN/100 ml and not more than 10% of the total samples taken shall exceed 400 MPN/100 ml, applied only when adequate enterococci data are not available.
Class SA, SA(b) - Shellfishing Criteria: Not to exceed a geometric mean MPN value of 14/100 ml and not more than 10% of the samples shall exceed an MPN value of 49/100 ml for a three-tube decimal dilution.
Class SA, SA(b), SB, SB(a), SB1, SB1(a) - Primary Contact Recreational/Swimming Criteria: Not to exceed a geometric mean value of 50 MPN/100 ml and not more than 10% of the total samples taken shall exceed 400 MPN/100 ml, applied only when adequate enterococci data are not available.

Enterococci:
Class AA, A, B, B(a), B1, B1(a) - Primary Contact Recreational/Swimming Criteria - Non-Designated Bathing Beach Waters: Geometric Mean Density: 54 colonies/100 ml
Class AA, A, B, B(a), B1, B1(a) - Designated Bathing Beach Waters Geometric Mean Density: 33 colonies/100 ml; Single Sample Maximum*: 61 colonies/100 ml; * Criteria for determining beach swimming advisories at designated beaches as evaluated by Health.
Class SA, SA(b), SB, SB(a), SB1, SB1(a) - Primary Contact Recreational/Swimming Criteria: Geometric Mean Density: 35 colonies/100 ml Single Sample Maximum*: 104/100 ml * Criteria for determining beach swimming advisories at designated beaches as evaluated by Health.

All Bacteria:
Class C, SC: None in such concentrations that would impair any usages specifically assigned to this class.
Class A: E. Coli not to exceed a geometric mean of at least 3 samples over a 30 day period of 18 organisms/100ml, no single sample above 33 organisms/100 ml. None attributable to the discharge of wastes.
Class B: E. coli not to exceed 77 organisms/100 ml (except via permit between October 31 and April 1.)
Chemical ConstituentsCriteria are provided for a number of chemical constituents classified as priority and non-priority pollutants. See www.epa.gov/waterscience/criteria/wqcriteria.html for specific chemicals.Surface waters and sediments shall be free from chemical constituents in concentrations or combinations which would be harmful to designated uses. Refer to Table of 3 section 22a-426-9 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies for numeric water quality criteria for specific chemical constituents. All surface waters shall be free from pollutants in concentrations or combinations that are toxic to humans, aquatic life or wildlife. For pollutants not otherwise listed in 314 CMR 4.00, the National Recommended Water Quality Criteria published by EPA pursuant to Section 304(a) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, are the allowable receiving water concentrations for the affected waters, unless the Department either establishes a site specific criterion or determines that naturally occurring background concentrations are higher. Except as naturally occurs, surface waters must be free of pollutants in concentrations which impart toxicity and cause those waters to be unsuitable for the existing and designated uses of the water body. Except as naturally occur, levels of toxic pollutants in surface waters must not exceed federal water quality criteria as established by USEPA, pursuant to Section 304(a) of the Clean Water Act, or alternative criteria established by the state and listed in Chapter 584 Surface Water Quality Criteria for Toxic Pollutants.Unless naturally occurring or allowed under Env-Ws 1707 , all surface waters shall be free from toxic substances or chemical constituents in concentrations or combinations that: injure or a inimical to plants, animals, humans or aquatic life; or persist in the environment or accumulate in aquatic organisms to levels that result in harmful concentrations in edible portions of fish, shellfish, other aquatic life, or wildlife which might consume aquatic life. None in amounts that will adversely affect the taste, color, odor or impair the waters for their best use. See 6 NYCRR 703.5, Table 1 of the Regulation and DOW TOGS 1.1.1 for criteria and guidance values for specific substances.a. None in concentrations or combinations that could be harmful to humans or fish and wildlife for the most sensitive and governing water class use, or unfavorably alter the biota, or which would make the waters unsafe or unsuitable for fish and wildlife or their propagation, impair the palatability of same, or impair waters for any other existing or designated use. None in such concentrations that would exceed the Water Quality Criteria and Guidelines as found in Appendix B.

b. The ambient concentration of a pollutant in a water body shall not exceed the Ambient Water Quality Criteria and Guidelines, (Appendix B) for the protection of aquatic organisms from acute or chronic effects, unless the criteria or guidelines are modified by the Director based on results of bioassay tests conducted in accordance with the terms and conditions provided in the RIDEM Site Specific Aquatic Life Water Quality Criteria Development Policy.
Criteria for specific substances are given in Appendix C of the Water Quality Standards.
ChlorideFor protection of freshwater aquatic life: 860,000 µg/L maximum concentration; 230,000 µg/L continuous concentration.For protection of freshwater aquatic life: 860,000 µg/L maximum concentration; 230,000 µg/L continuous concentration.2019 Proposed Revisions would adopt the EPA recommended criteria for protection of aquatic life. For protection of freshwater aquatic life: 860,000 µg/L maximum concentration; 230,000 µg/L continuous concentration.For protection of freshwater aquatic life: 860,000 µg/L maximum concentration; 230,000 µg/L continuous concentration.Class AA, AA-Special, A, A-Special: For protection of human health: 250,000 µg/L for consumption of water. For protection of freshwater aquatic life: 860,000 µg/L maximum concentration; 230,000 µg/L continuous concentration.For protection of freshwater aquatic life: 860,000 µg/L maximum concentration; 230,000 µg/L continuous concentration.
Color and TurbidityWaters shall be virtually free from substances producing objectionable color for aesthetic purposes and free from substances attributable to wastewater or other discharges that produce objectionable color, odor, taste, or turbidity. The source of supply should not exceed 75 color units on the platinum-cobalt scale for domestic water supplies; increased color should not reduce the depth of the compensation point for photosynthetic activity by more than 10% from seasonally established norm for aquatic life.Turbidity:
Class AA, A, B: Shall not exceed 5 NTU over ambient levels and none exceeding levels necessary to protect and maintain all designated uses. All reasonable controls or Best Management Practices are to be used to control turbidity."
Class SA, SB: None other than of natural origin except as may result from normal agricultural, road maintenance, or construction activity, dredging activity or discharge of dredged or fill materials provided all reasonable controls and Best Management Practices are used to control turbidity and none exceeding levels necessary to protect and maintain all designated uses.
Color:
Class AA, A, SA,: None other than of natural origin.
Class B, SB: None that causes visible discoloration of the surface water outside of the designated zone of influence.
Waters shall be free from color and turbidity in concentrations or combinations that are aesthetically objectionable or would impair any use assigned to this class.Discharge of pollutants to waters of the State that imparts color, taste, turbidity, toxicity, radioactivity or other properties that cause those waters to be unsuitable for the designated uses and characteristics ascribed to their class are not allowed.Class A: Shall contain no color and or turbidity unless naturally occurring.
Class B: Shall contain no color in such concentrations that would impair any existing or designated uses, unless naturally occurring. Turbidity shall not exceed naturally occurring conditions by more than 10 NTUs.
No substances in amounts that will adversely affect the color. No increase in turbidity that will cause a substantial visible contrast to natural conditions.Class AA, A, SA, SA(b): None such concentrations that would impair any usages specifically assigned to this class. Turbidity not to exceed 5 NTU over background.
Class B, B(a), B1, B1(a), SB, SB(a), SB1, SB1(a), C: None in such concentrations that would impair any usages specifically assigned to this class. Turbidity not to exceed 10 NTU over natural background."
Color – All Waters: None that would prevent the full support of uses.
Turbidity – Class A and in Cold Water Fish Habitat Waters: None in such amounts or concentrations that would prevent the full support of uses, and not to exceed 10 NTU as an average under dry weather base-flow conditions."
Turbidity - Class B and in Warm Water Fish Habitat Waters: None in such amounts or concentrations that would prevent the full support of uses, and not to exceed 25 NTU as an annual average under dry weather base-flow conditions.
Copper - FreshwaterFreshwater criteria calculated using the Biotic Ligand Model.For the protection of aquatic life: 14.3 ug/L (acute); 4.8 ug/L (chronic)
For the protection of human health: 1,300 ug/L for consumption of water and fish. (Threshold Toxicant, not carcinogenic) [Site specific criteria apply to several water bodies in the state, largely those assiciated with POTW.]
Calculated concentrations using the Biotic Ligand Model (BLM) - refer to the Mass DEP website for BLM software and up to date information 314 CMR 4 Massachusetts Surface Water Quality Standards Aquatic Life: 3.07 µg/L (Criteria Maximum Concentration); 2.36 µg/L (Criterion Continuous Concentration)
Human Health: 1,300 µg/L (consumption of water and organisms; sustenance fishing waters for consumption of water and organisms.)

When the concentration of dissolved organic copper is elevated, copper is substantially less toxic and use of Water Effect Ratio might be appropriate.
For the protection of aquatic life: 2.9 μg/L (acute), 2.3 μg/L (chronic)
For the protection of human health: 1,000 μg/L
(These criteria are expressed as a function of the water effect ratio (WER) as defined in 40 CFR 131.36( c); either of the following references may be used: "The Streamlined Water Effect Ratio Procedure for Discharges of Copper" (2001) or the Biotic Ligand Model (BLM) as described in "Aquatic Life Ambient Freshwater Quality Criteria - Copper" (2007)
Class AA, AA-special, A, A-Special: 200 micrograms/L - health (water source) Site-specific aquatic life criteria apply as calculated via EPA's Water Effect Ratio Procedure as described in §1.26(M) of the regulation: https://risos-apa-production-public.s3.amazonaws.com/DEM/REG_10722_20190117114831.pdf#page=184For the protection of Aquatic Life: 7.0 micrograms/L (acute); 4.95 micrograms/L (chronic)
Copper - MarineFor the protection of aquatic life: 4.8 ug/L (acute); 3.1 ug/L (chronic) For the protection of aquatic life: 4.8 ug/L (acute); 3.1 ug/L (chronic) 4.8 ug/L (Criterion Maximum Concentration), 3.1 ug/L (Criterion Continuous Concentration) Aquatic Life: 5.78 µg/L (Criteria Maximum Concentration); 3.73 µg/L (Criterion Continuous Concentration)
Human Health: 1,300 µg/L (consumption of water and organisms; sustenance fishing waters for consumption of water and organisms.)

When the concentration of dissolved organic copper is elevated, copper is substantially less toxic and use of Water Effect Ratio might be appropriate.
For the protection of aquatic life: 4.8 μg/L (acute), 3.1 μg/L (chronic)
For the protection of human health: 1,000 μg/L
(These criteria are expressed as a function of the water effect ratio (WER) as defined in 40 CFR 131.36( c); either of the following references may be used: "The Streamlined Water Effect Ratio Procedure for Discharges of Copper" (2001) or the Biotic Ligand Model (BLM) as described in "Aquatic Life Ambient Freshwater Quality Criteria - Copper" (2007)
N/AAquatic Life - Acute: 4.8 ug/L; Chronic: 3.1 ug/L
Human health: 1300 ug/l for consumption of water and aquatic organisms
N/A
Dissolved Oxygen (DO) - FreshwaterCold Water Criteria: 30 day mean of 6.5 mg/L for other (non-early) life stages; 7 day mean of 9.5 mg/L for early life stages; 7 day mean minimum of 5.0 mg/L for other life stages; 1 day minimum of 8.0 mg/L for early life stages and 4.0 mg/L for other life stages.
Warm Water Criteria: 30 day mean of 5.5 mg/L for other life stages; 7 day mean of 6.0 mg/L for early life stages; 7 day mean minimum of 4.0 mg/L for other life stages; 1 day minimum of 5.0 mg/L for early life stages and 3.0 mg/L for other life stages.
Not less than 5 mg/L at any time.Class A, B waters shall not be less than 6.0 mg/L.
Class C waters shall not be less than 5.0 mg/L at least 16 hours of any 24-hour period and not less than 4.0 mg/L at any time.
For all waters, where natural background conditions are lower, DO shall not be less than natural background. Natural seasonal and daily variations that are necessary to protect existing and designated uses shall be maintained.
Class AA: As naturally occurs.
Class A, B: May not be less than 7 ppm or 75% saturation, whichever is higher, except that for the period from October 1st to May 14th, in order to ensure spawning and egg incubation of indigenous fish species, the 7-day mean dissolved oxygen concentration may not be less than 9.5 parts per million and the 1-day minimum dissolved oxygen concentration may not be less than 8.0 parts per million in identified fish spawning areas.
Class C: DO may not be less than 5 ppm or 60% of saturation, whichever is higher. In identified salmonid spawning areas where water quality is sufficient to ensure spawning, egg incubation and survival of early life stages, water quality sufficient for these purposes must be maintained and the following standards apply: (1)The 30-day average dissolved oxygen criterion of a Class C water is 6.5 ppm using a temperature of 22 degrees C or the ambient temperature of the water body, whichever is less. Additional requirements, designations, and exceptions apply – see full criteria for details.
Class A: At least 75% DO saturation, based on a daily average, and an instantaneous amount of at least 6.0 mg/L at any place or time except as naturally occurs.
Class B: Surface waters within the top 25 percent of depth of thermally unstratified lakes, ponds, impoundments and reservoirs or within the epilimnion shall contain at least 75% DO saturation, based on a daily average and an instantaneous minimum DO content of at least 5 mg/L. Unless naturally occurring, the DO content below those depths shall be consistent with that necessary to maintain and protect existing and designated uses. (See full WQS for exceptions). From October 1st to May 14th, in identified cold water fish spawning areas of species whose early life stages are buried in the gravel on the bed of the surface water, the 7 day mean dissolved oxygen concentration shall be at least 9.5 mg/L and the instantaneous minimum dissolved oxygen concentration shall be at least 8 mg/L. This period shall be extended to June 30 for a particular waterbody if the fish and game department determines it is necessary to protect spring spawners and late hatches of fall spawners.
For trout spawning waters (TS): the DO concentration shall not be less than 7.0 mg/L from other than natural conditions.
For trout waters (T), the minimum daily average shall not be less than 6.0 mg/L, and at no time shall the concentration be less than 5.0 mg/L.
For nontrout waters the minimum daily average shall not be less than 5.0 mg/L and at no time shall the dissolved oxygen be less than 4.0 mg/L.
Class A-Special: In rivers and upper waters of lakes, not less than 6.0 mg/l at any time. In hypolimnetic waters, it should not be less than necessary for the support of fish life, particularly cold water species.
Class D: Shall not be less than 3.0 mg/L at any time.
Cold Water Fish Habitat - Dissolved oxygen content of not less than 75% saturation, based on a daily average, and an instantaneous minimum dissolved oxygen concentration of at least 5 mg/l, except as naturally occurs. For the period from October 1st to May 14th, where in areas identified by the RI DFW as cold water fish spawning areas the following criteria apply: For species whose early life stages are not directly exposed to the water column, the 7 day mean water column dissolved oxygen concentration shall not be less than 9.5 mg/l and the instantaneous minimum dissolved oxygen concentration shall not be less than 8 mg/l. For species that have early life stages exposed directly to the water column, the 7 day mean water column dissolved oxygen concentration shall not be less than 6.5 mg/l and the instantaneous minimum dissolved oxygen concentration shall not be less than 5.0 mg/l. (See Appendix A for coldwater designated waters)
Warm Water Fish Habitat - Dissolved oxygen content of not less than 60% saturation, based on a daily average, and an instantaneous minimum dissolved oxygen concentration of at least 5.0 mg/l, except as naturally occurs. The 7 day mean water column dissolved oxygen concentration shall not be less than 6 mg/l. (See Appendix A for warmwater designated waters)"
Class A(1) Ecological Waters: As exists in waters in their natural condition.
Class A(2), B: The specified dissolved oxygen criteria for each designated fish habitat type will be considered absolute instantaneous minimum values. In addition, fluctuations above the minimum values shall be maintained as necessary to support aquatic habitat.
Cold Water Fish Habitat - Not less than 7mg/L and 75% saturation at all times, nor less than 95% saturation during late egg maturation and larval development of salmonids in areas that the secretary determines are salmonid spawning or nursery areas important to the establishment or maintenance of the fishery resource. Not less than 6 mg/L and 70% saturation at all times in all other waters designated as a cold water fish habitat.
Warm Water Fish Habitat: Not less than 5 mg/L and 60% saturation at all times.
Dissolved Oxygen (DO) - MarineFor continuous and cyclic hypoxia in saltwater: Meets aquatic life objectives when > 4.8 mg/L, does not meet aquatic life objectives when < 2.3 mg/L (limit for juvenile and adult survival) . When the DO is between these values, the site requires evaluation of duration and intensity of hypoxia to determine suitability of habitat for the larval recruitment objective. [Ambient Aquatic Life WQS for DO (Saltwater) - Cape Cod to Cape Hatteras] Not less than 3.0 mg/L. Chronic: Not less than 4.8 mg/L with cumulative periods of dissolved oxygen in the 3.0– 4.8 mg/L range as detailed in Note 1 of Table 1 of the CT Water Quality Criteria. Class SA waters shall not be less than 6.0 mg/L.
Class SB waters shall not be less than 5.0 mg/L.
Class SC waters shall not be less than 5.0 mg/L at least 16 hours of any 24-hour period and not less than 4.0 mg/L at any time.
For all waters, where natural background conditions are lower, DO shall not be less than natural background. Natural seasonal and daily variations that are necessary to protect existing and designated uses shall be maintained.
Class A: As naturally occurs.
The dissolved oxygen content of Class SB waters may not be less than 85% of saturation.
The dissolved oxygen content of Class SC waters may not be less than 70% of saturation.
Except as naturally occurs, (1) At least 75% of saturation, as specified in RSA 485-A:8, II, based on a daily average; and (2) An instantaneous minimum dissolved oxygen concentration of at least 5 mg/l.Chronic: Shall not be less than a daily average of 4.8 mg/L. The DO concentration may fall below 4.8 mg/L for a limited number of days, as defined by a formula given in 6 NYCRR 703.3.
Acute: Shall not be less than 3.0 mg/L at any time.
Class D: Shall not be less than 3.0 mg/L at any time.
For surface waters above a seasonal pycnocline: not less than an instantaneous value of 4.8 mg/L more than once every three years, except as naturally occurs.
For waters below the seasonal pycnocline: Aquatic Life Uses are considered to be protected if conditions do not fail to meet protective thresholds, as described in Table 3 of the Surface Water Quality Regulations, more than once every three years.
For waters without a seasonal pycnocline: DO concentrations above 4.8 mg/L shall be considered protective of Aquatic Life Uses. When instantaneous DO values fall below 4.8 mg/L, the waters shall not be:
1. Less than 3.0 mg/L for more than 24 consecutive hours during the recruitment season; nor
2.Less than 1.4 mg/L for more than 1 hour more than twice during the recruitment season; nor
3. Shall they exceed the cumulative DO exposure presented in Table 3.A. "
N/A
MercuryFor protection of aquatic life: 1.8µg/l for acute exposure and 0.94µg/l for chronic exposure.For protection of freshwater aquatic life: 1.4µg/l for acute exposure and 0.77µg/l for chronic exposure (both total values)
For protection of saltwater aquatic life: 1.8µg/l for acute exposure and 0.94µg/l for chronic exposure (both total values)
For protection of human health: 0.05µg/l for water and fish ingestion, 0.051µg/l for fish consumption only (both total values)."
For protection of freshwater aquatic life: 1.4µg/l for acute exposure and 0.77µg/l for chronic exposure.
For protection of saltwater aquatic life: 1.8µg/l for acute exposure and 0.94µg/l for chronic exposure.
For protection of freshwater aquatic life: 1.7µg/l for acute exposure and 0.91µg/l for chronic exposure.
For protection of saltwater aquatic life: 2.1µg/l for acute exposure and 1.1µg/l for chronic exposure.
For protection of freshwater aquatic life: 1.4µg/l for acute exposure and 0.77µg/l for chronic exposure (both dissolved values).
For protection of marine aquatic life: 1.8µg/l for acute exposure and 0.94µg/l for chronic exposure (both dissolved values)
For protection of human health: 0.05µg/l for water and fish ingestion, 0.051µg/l for fish consumption only.
Health (Water Source): 0.7µg/l
Aquatic (Chronic): 0.77µg/l in dissolved form
Aquatic (Acute): 1.4µg/l in dissolved form
Health (Fish Consumption): 0.0007µg/l in dissolved form
Wildlife: 0.0026µg/l in dissolved form.
For protection of freshwater aquatic life: 1.4µg/l for acute exposure and 0.77µg/l for chronic exposure.
For protection of marine aquatic life: 1.8µg/l for acute exposure and 0.94µg/l for chronic exposure.
For protection of human health: 0.14µg/l for consumption of water and aquatic organisms, 0.15µg/l for consumption of aquatic organisms only.
For the protection of aquatic biota: 2.4µg/l for acute exposure and 0.012µg/l for chronic exposure.
For the protection of human health: 0.14µg/l for consumption of water and aquatic organisms, 0.15µg/l for consumption of aquatic organisms only.
MethylmercuryFish tissue residue criterion for human health: 0.3mg/kg in the edible portion of the fish.N/AFish tissue residue criterion for human health: 0.3mg/kg in the edible portion of the fish.Fish tissue residue criterion for human health: 0.2mg/kg in the edible portion of the fish.If the fresh or marine chronic criteria for total mercury exceeds 0.77 ug/l more than once in a 3-year period in the ambient water, the edible portion of aquatic species of concern shall be analyzed to determine whether the concentration of methyl mercury exceeds the FDA action level of 1.0 mg/kg.N/AN/AIf the CCC for total mercury exceeds 0.012µg/l more than once in a three year period in the ambient water, the edible portion of aquatic species of concern must be analyzed to determine whether the concentration of methyl mercury exceeds the FDA action level of 1.0 mg/Kg.
Mixing ZonesAllowable mixing zone characteristics should be established to ensure that: 1) mixing zones do not impair the integrity of the waterbody as a whole, 2) there is no lethality to organisms passing through the mixing zones, and 3) there are no significant health risks, considering likely pathways of exposure.The Commissioner may, on a case-by-case basis, establish zones of influence when permitting discharges to surface waters under Section 22a-430 and 22a-133(k) of the Connecticut General Statutes in order to allocate a portion of the receiving surface waters for mixing and assimilation of the discharge. In establishing a zone of influence the Commissioner shall consider without limitation: See 22a-426-4(l) for additional details.In applying 314 CMR 4.00 the Department may recognize a limited area or volume of a waterbody as a mixing zone for the initial dilution of a discharge. Waters within a mixing zone may fail to meet specific water quality criteria provided the following conditions are met:
a) Mixing zones shall be limited to an area or volume as small as feasible. There shall be no lethality to organism passing through the mixing zone as determined by the Department. The location, design and operation of the discharge shall minimize the impacts on aquatic life and other existing and designated uses within and beyond the mixing zone.
b) Mixing zones shall not interfere with the migration or free movement of fish or other aquatic life. There shall be safe and adequate passage for swimming and drifting organisms with no deleterious effects on their populations.
c) Mixing zones shall not create nuisance conditions, accumulate pollutants in sediments or biota in toxic amounts or otherwise interfere with the existing or designated uses of surface waters.
N/AMixing zones are prohibited in all Class A waters. In other waters, mixing zones shall be subject to site specific criteria that, as a minimum:
(a) Meet the criteria in Env-Ws 1703.03(c)(1);
(b) Do not interfere with biological communities or populations of indigenous species;
(c) Do not result in the accumulation of pollutants in the sediments or biota;
(d) Allow a zone of passage for swimming and drifting organisms;
(e) Do not interfere with existing and designated uses of the surface water;
(f) Do not impinge upon spawning grounds and/or nursery areas of any indigenous aquatic species;
(g) Do not result in the mortality of any plants, animals, humans, or aquatic life within the mixing zone;
(h) Do not exceed the chronic toxicity value of 1.0 TUc at the mixing zone boundary; and
(i) Do not result in an overlap with another mixing zone.
Non-Thermal Mixing Zones: The presence of a mixing zone in a receiving water is accepted as a normal and expected consequence of a wastewater discharge. Within mixing zones, water quality standards for pollutants are expected to be exceeded, potentially impairing habitat usability for fish and benthic communities. Detailed guidelines can be found in TOGS 1.3.1
Thermal Mixing Zones: The department shall specify definable, numerical limits for all mixing zones. Conditions in the mixing zone shall not be lethal in contravention of water quality standards to aquatic biota which may enter the zone. The location of mixing zones for thermal discharges shall not interfere with spawning areas, nursery areas, and fish migration routes. More details regarding thermal discharges and mixing zones can be found in 6 NYCRR Part 704.
All Mixing Zones: At a minimum, all mixing zones must: meet the criteria for aesthetics, in accordance with rule 8.D.(1).b; be limited to an area or volume that will prevent interference with the existing and designated uses in the associated waterbody segment and beyond; allow an appropriate zone of passage for migrating fish and other organisms, prohibit lethality to organisms passing through the mixing zone, and protect for spawning and nursery habitat; and not allow substances to accumulate in sediments, fish and wildlife or food chains such that known or predicted safe exposure levels for the health of humans or fish and wildlife will be exceeded.
Non-Thermal Mixing Zones: In the case of non-thermal discharges, in applying these standards the Director may recognize, where appropriate, a limited acute and/or chronic mixing zone(s) on a case-by-case basis. The locations, size and shape of these zones shall provide for the maximum protection of fish and wildlife.
Thermal Mixing Zones: In the case of thermal discharges into tidal rivers, fresh water streams or estuaries, where thermal mixing zones are allowed by the Director, the mixing zone will be limited to no more than one quarter (1/4) of the cross sectional area and/or volume of river flow, stream or estuary, leaving at least three quarters (3/4) free as a zone of passage. In wide estuaries and oceans, the limits of mixing zones will be established by the Director.
The Secretary shall ensure that conditions due to discharges of waste within any mixing zone shall:
(a) Not result in a significant increase in public health risk when evaluated using reasonable assumptions about exposure pathways;
(b) Not constitute a barrier to the passage or movement of fish or prevent the full support of aquatic biota, wildlife, and aquatic habitat uses in the receiving waters outside the mixing zone;
(c) Not kill organisms passing through the mixing zone;
(d) Protect and maintain the existing uses of the waters;
(e) Be free from materials in concentrations that settle to form objectionable deposits;
(f) Be free from floating debris, oil, scum, and other material in concentrations that form nuisances;
(g) Be free from substances in concentrations that produce objectionable color, odor, taste, or turbidity; and
(h) Be free from substances in concentrations that produce undesirable aquatic life or result in a dominance of nuisance species."
No mixing zones shall be created in any Class A water.
NitrateFor protection of human health: 10,000 ug/L for consumption of water and organisms.N/AUnless naturally occurring, all surface waters shall be free from nutrients in concentrations that would cause or contribute to impairment of existing or designated uses and shall not exceed the site specific criteria developed in a TMDL or as otherwise established by the Department pursuant to 314 CMR 4.00. Any existing point source discharge containing nutrients in concentrations that would cause or contribute to cultural eutrophication, including the excessive growth of aquatic plants or algae, in any surface water shall be provided with the most appropriate treatment as determined by the Department, including, where necessary, highest and best practical treatment (HBPT) for POTWs and BAT for non POTWs, to remove such nutrients to ensure protection of existing and designated uses. Human activities that result in the nonpoint source discharge of nutrients to any surface water may be required to be provided with cost effective and reasonable best management practices for nonpoint source control.For protection of human health: 10,000 ug/L for consumption of water and organisms.Class A waters shall contain no nitrogen unless naturally occurring.
Class B waters shall contain no nitrogen in such concentrations that would impair any existing or designated uses, unless naturally occurring.
For the protection of human health, nitrate concentrations shall not exceed 10 mg/L.
For protection of human health: 10,000 µg/L for sources of drinking water. (MCL)
No nitrogen or phosphorus in amounts that will result in growth of algae, weeds and slimes that will impair the waters for their best use.
Nitrates and ammonia may be assigned site-specific permit limits based on reasonable Best Available Technologies.All Waters: Nitrates shall be limited so not to contribute to the acceleration of eutrophication, or stimulation of the growth of aquatic biota, in a manner that prevents the full support of uses.
Lakes, Ponds & Reservoirs: Not to exceed 5.0 mg/L nitrate-nitrogen regardless of classification.
Other Class A(1) and A(2) waters above 2,500 feet altitude, NGVD: Not to exceed 0.2 mg/L as nitrate-nitrogen at flows exceeding low median monthly flows.
Other Class A(1) and A(2) waters at or below 2,500 feet altitude, NGVD: Not to exceed 2.0 mg/L as nitrate-nitrogen at flows exceeding low median monthly flows.
NutrientsSee EPA website for numeric nutrient criteria recommendations. The loading of nutrients, principally phosphorus and nitrogen, to any surface water body shall not exceed that which supports maintenance or attainment of designated uses.Unless naturally occurring, all surface waters shall be free from nutrients in concentrations that would cause or contribute to impairment of existing or designated uses and shall not exceed the site-specific criteria developed in a TMDL or as otherwise established by the Department pursuant to 314 CMR 4.00, including but not limited to those established in Table 28.
Any existing point source discharge containing nutrients in concentrations that would cause or contribute to cultural eutrophication, including the excessive growth of aquatic plants or algae, in any surface water shall be provided with the most appropriate treatment as determined by the Department, including, where necessary, highest and best practical treatment (HBPT) for POTWs and BAT for non POTWs, to remove such nutrients to ensure protection of existing and designated uses. Human activities that result in the nonpoint source discharge of nutrients to any surface water may be required to be provided with cost effective and reasonable best management practices for nonpoint source control.
N/AClass A waters shall contain no phosphorus or nitrogen unless naturally occurring.
Class B waters shall contain no phosphorus or nitrogen in such concentrations that would impair any existing or designated uses, unless naturally occurring.
Existing discharges containing phosphorus or nitrogen, or both, which encourage cultural eutrophication shall be treated to remove the nutrient(s) to ensure attainment and maintenance of water quality standards. There shall be no new or increased discharge of phosphorus into lakes or ponds or into tributaries of lakes or ponds that would contribute to cultural eutrophication or growth of weeds or algae in such lakes and ponds.
Phosphorus and Nitrogen: None in amounts that will result in growths of algae, weeds and slimes that will impair the waters for their best usages.Average total phosphorus: shall not exceed 0.025 mg/l in any lake, pond, kettlehole or reservoir, and average Total P in tributaries at the point where they enter such bodies of water shall not cause exceedance of this phosphorus criteria, except as naturally occurs unless the Director determines, on a site-specific basis, that a different value for phosphorus is necessary to prevent cultural eutrophication.

No nutrients in such concentration that would impair any usages specifically assigned to said Class, or cause undesirable or nuisance aquatic species associated with cultural eutrophication, nor cause exceedance of the criterion above in a downstream lake, pond, or reservoir. Total phosphorus, nitrates and ammonia may be assigned site-specific permit limits based on reasonable Best Available Technologies. Where waters have low tidal flushing rates, applicable treatment to prevent or minimize accelerated or cultural eutrophication may be required for regulated nonpoint source activities. New discharges of wastes containing phosphates will not be permitted into or immediately upstream of lakes or ponds. Phosphates shall be removed from existing discharges to the extent that such removal is or may become technically and reasonably feasible.
See Vermont's Combined Nutrient Criteria for Aquatic Biota and Wildlife in Rivers and Streams
pHFor protection of aquatic life: 6.5-9 continuous concentration.
For protection of human health: 5-9 for consumption of water and organisms.
Class AA, A: As naturally occurs.
Class B: 6.5-8.0
Class SA, SB: 6.8-8.5
There shall be no change from natural background conditions that would impair any assigned use.
Class A, B: Shall be in the range of 6.5 through 8.3 standard units but not more than 0.5 units outside of the natural background range.
Class C, SC: Shall be in the range of 6.5 through 9.0 standard units and not more than 1.0 standard unit outside of the natural background range.
Class SA, SB: Shall be in the range of 6.5 through 8.5 standard units and not more than 0.2 standard units outside of the natural background range.
Freshwater: 6.0 - 8.5
Marine: 7.0 - 8.5
Class A: Shall be as naturally occurs.
Class B: Shall be 6.5-8.0, unless due to natural causes.
Class A, B, C: Shall not be less than 6.5 nor more than 8.5
Class D: Shall not be less than 6.0 nore more than 9.5
Marine waters: The normal range shall not be extended by more than one tenth (0.1) of a pH unit.
Freshwater: 6.5 - 9.0 or as naturally occurs.
Marine waters: 6.5 - 8.5 but not more than 0.2 units outside of the normally occurring range."
pH values shall be maintained within the range of 6.5 and 8.5. Both the change and rate of change in pH values shall be controlled to ensure the full support of the aquatic biota, wildlife, and aquatic habitat uses.
PhenolFor protection of human health: 10,000 µg/L for consumption of water and organisms; 860,000 for consumption of organisms onlyFor protection of human health: 10,000 µg/L for consumption of water and organisms; 860,000 µg/L for consumption of organisms only.N/AFor protection of human health: 10,514 µg/L for consumption of water and organisms; 462,963 ug/L for consumption of organisms onlyFor protection of freshwater aquatic life: 10,200 ug/L for acute exposure and 2,560 ug/L for chronic exposure; For protection of human health: 300 ug/L for consumption of water and organisms; 300 ug/L for consumption of organisms onlyFor aesthetics: total chlorinated phenols 1 µg/L; total unchlorinated phenols 5 µg/L.For protection of freshwater aquatic life: 251 µg/L for acute exposure and 5.6 µg/L for chronic exposure
For protection of human health: 21 mg/L for consumption of water and organisms; 1700 mg/L for consumption of organisms only
For protection of human health: 21,000 ug/L for consumption of water and organisms; 4.6 x 10^6 ug/L for consumption of organisms only
PhosphorusTo prevent the development of biological nuisances and to control accelerated or cultural eutrophication, total phosphates as phosphorus (P) should not exceed 50 ug/L in any stream at the point where it enters any lake or reservoir, nor 25 ug/L within the lake or reservoir.
For protection of aquatic life in marine waters: 0.1 µg/L continuous concentration.
The loading of nutrients, principally phosphorus and nitrogen, to any surface water body shall not exceed that which supports maintenance of attainment of designated uses.Unless naturally occurring, all surface waters shall be free from nutrients in concentrations that would cause or contribute to impairment of existing or designated uses and shall not exceed the site specific criteria developed in a TMDL or as otherwise established by the Department pursuant to 314 CMR 4.00. Any existing point source discharge containing nutrients in concentrations that would cause or contribute to cultural eutrophication, including the excessive growth of aquatic plants or algae, in any surface water shall be provided with the most appropriate treatment as determined by the Department, including, where necessary, highest and best practical treatment (HBPT) for POTWs and BAT for non POTWs, to remove such nutrients to ensure protection of existing and designated uses. Human activities that result in the nonpoint source discharge of nutrients to any surface water may be required to be provided with cost effective and reasonable best management practices for nonpoint source control.N/AClass A waters shall contain no phosphorus unless naturally occurring.
Class B waters shall contain no phosphorus in such concentrations that would impair any existing or designated uses, unless naturally occurring.
None in amounts that will result in growth of algae, weeds and slimes that will impair the waters for their best usages (For phosphorus and nitrogen). All waters: No nutrients shall be present in such concentration that would impair any assigned usages or cause undesirable or nuisance aquatic species associated with cultural eutrophication.
Freshwater: Average Total Phosphorus shall not exceed 0.025 mg/L in any lake, pond, kettlehole or reservoir, and average Total P in tributaries at the point where they enter such bodies of water shall not cause exceedance of this phosphorus criteria, except as naturally occurs, unless the Director determines, on a site-specific basis, that a different value for phosphorus is necessary to prevent cultural eutrophication. None in such concentration that would cause exceedance of the criterion of 10(a) above in a downstream lake, pond, or reservoir. New discharges of wastes containing phosphates will not be permitted into or immediately upstream of lakes or ponds. Phosphates shall be removed from existing discharges to the extent that such removal is or may become technically and reasonably feasible."
Marine: Shall not exceed site-specific limits if deemed necessary by the Director to prevent or minimize accelerated or cultural eutrophication. Total phosphorus, nitrates and ammonia may be assigned site-specific permit limits based on reasonable Best Available Technologies. Where waters have low tidal flushing rates, applicable treatment to prevent or minimize accelerated or cultural eutrophication may be required for regulated nonpoint source activities."
In all waters, total phosphorus loadings shall be limited so that they will not contribute to the acceleration of eutrophication or stimulation of the growth of aquatic biota in a manner that prevents the full support of uses.

For aquatic biota and wildlife in rivers and streams (from Table 2)
Class A(1), B(1) - Small, high-gradient: 10 ug/L
Class A(1), B(1) - Medium, high-gradient: 9 ug/L
Class A(1)- Warm-water, medium-gradient: 18 ug/L
Class B(1) - Warm-water, medium-gradient: 21 ug/L
Class A(2), B(2) - Small, high-gradient: 12 ug/L
Class A(2), B(2) - Medium, high-gradient: 15 ug/L
Class A(2), B(2) - Warm-water, medium-gradient: 27 ug/L

For lakes, ponds, and reservoirs with drainage areas <40 sq. miles and a drainage area to surface area ratio <500:1 and their tributaries: No significant increase over currently permitted P loadings; discharges shall not increase instream conditions by more than 0.001 mg/L at low median monthly flow. Indirect discharges shall not increase total dissolved P as measured in the groundwater 100 ft from mean water level by more than 0.001 mg/L.

See VT's Water Quality Standards for further detail and criteria for segments within Lake Champlain and Lake Memphremagog.
RadioactivityDischarge of radioactive materials to a surface water in concentrations or combinations which would be harmful to human, animal or aquatic life shall not be allowed. Applicable criteria can be found in Title10 Part 20 of the Code of Federal Regulations.All surface waters shall be free from radioactive substances in concentrations or combinations that would be harmful to human, animal or aquatic life or the most sensitive designated use; result in radionuclides in aquatic life exceeding the recommended limits for consumption by humans; or exceed Massachusetts Drinking Water Regulations as set forth in 310 CMR 22.09.Discharge of pollutants to waters of the State that imparts color, taste, turbidity, toxicity, radioactivity or other properties that cause those waters to be unsuitable for the designated uses and characteristics ascribed to their class are not allowed.The level of radioactive materials in all waters shall not be in concentrations or combinations that would: a. Be harmful to human, animal, or aquatic life or the most sensitive designated use; b. Result in radionuclides in aquatic life exceeding the recommended limits for consumption by humans; or c. Exceed limits specified in EPA's national drinking water regulations or Env-Ws 300 whichever are more stringent.

Gross beta radioactivity: 1000 PC/l
Radium: 3PC/l
Strontium-90: 10 PC/l.
Gross Alpha: 15 PCI/L, excluding radon and uranium.
Gross Beta: 1000 PCI/l, excluding Sr-90 and alpha-emitters.
Radium 226: 3 PCI/L for sources of drinking water.
Sum of Radium 226 and 228: 5 PCI/L for sources of drinking water.
Strontium 90: 8 PCI/L for sources of drinking water; If two or more radionuclides are present, the sum of their does shall not exceed an annual potentialdose of 4 millirems per year.
A-Special: Should be kept at the lowest practicable levels, and in any event should be controlled to the extent necessary to prevent harmful effects on health.
The level of radioactive materials in all waters shall not be in concentrations or combinations which will likely be harmful to humans, fish and wildlife, or result in concentrations in organisms producing undesirable conditions.Waters shall be managed so as to prevent the discharge of radioactive substances in concentrations, quantities, or combinations that may create a significant likelihood of an adverse impact on human health or a risk of acute or chronic toxicity of aquatic biota, fish or wildlife. Unless otherwise required by these rules, the Secretary shall determine limits for discharges containing radioactive substances based on the results of biological toxicity assessments and the appropriate available scientific data, including but not limited to: The VT State Health Regulation, Part 5, Chapter 3 "Radiological Health", effective as of 12/10/77, and the code 10 CFR 50, Appendix I. The discharge of radioactive substances shall not exceed the lowest limits that are reasonably achievable.
Silt or Sand DepositsN/ANone other than of natural origin except as may result form normal agricultural, road maintenance, construction activity, dredging activity or the discharge of dredged or fill materials provided all reasonable controls or Best Management Practices are used in such activities and all designated uses are protected and maintained.N/AN/AClass A waters shall contain no benthic deposits, unless naturally occurring.
Class B waters shall contain no benthic deposits that have a detrimental impact on the benthic community, unless naturally occurring.
N/AN/AN/A
Sludge Deposits, Solid Refuse, Floating Solids, Oil, Grease and ScumOil and Grease - For domestic water supply: Virtually free from oil and grease, particularly from the tastes and odors that emanate from petroleum products.
For aquatic life: (1) 0.01 of the lowest continuous flow 96-hour LC50 to several important freshwater or marine species, each having a demonstrated high susceptibility to oils and petrochemicals, (2) Levels of oils or petrochemicals in the sediment which cause deleterious effects to the biota should not be allowed, (3) Surface waters shall be virtually free from floating non-petroleum oils of vegetable or animal origin, as well as petroleum derived oils.
Class AA, A, SA: None other than of natural origin.
Class B, SB: None except for small amounts that may result from the discharge from a permitted waste treatment facility and none exceeding levels necessary to protect and maintain all designated uses.
Waters shall be free from floating, suspended and settleable solids in concentrations or combinations that would impair any use assigned to this class, that would cause aesthetically objectionable conditions, or that would impair the benthic biota or degrade the chemical composition of the bottom.
Class A waters shall be free from oil and grease, petrochemicals and other volatile or synthetic organic pollutants.
Class SA waters shall be free from oil and grease and petrochemicals.
Class B, SB, C, and SC waters shall be free from oil, grease and petrochemicals that produce a visible film on the surface of the water, impart an oily taste to the water or an oily or other undesirable taste to the edible portions of aquatic life, coat the banks or bottom of the water course, or are deleterious or become toxic to aquatic life.
All surface waters of the State shall be free of settled substances which alter the physical or chemical nature of bottom material and of floating substances, except as naturally occur, which impair the characteristics and designated uses ascribed to their class.All waters shall be free from substances in kind or quantity which settle to form harmful deposits, float as foam, scum or other visible substances, produce odor, color, taste or turbidity which is not naturally occurring and would render it unsuitable for its designated use.
Class A waters shall contain no oil or grease, slicks, odors, or surface floating solids unless naturally occurring. Shall contain no benthic deposits unless naturally occurring.
Class B waters shall contain no oil or grease, slicks, odors, or surface floating solids in such concentrations that would impair any existing or designated use. Shall contain no benthic deposits that have a detrimental impact on the benthic community, unless naturally occurring.
No residue attributable to sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes, nor visible oil film or globules of grease. Class AA, A, SA, SA(b), B, B(a), B1, B1(a), SB, SB(a), SB1(a): None allowable.
Class C, SC: None in such amounts that would impair any usages specifically assigned to this class.
No sludge deposits or solid refuse. No floating solids, oil, grease, and scum in such concentrations or combinations that would prevent the full support of uses.
SodiumN/AClass AA: Not to exceed 20 mg/L.
Class A: None other than of natural origin
N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Substances Potentially ToxicCriteria are provided for a number of chemical constituents classified as priority and non-priority pollutants. applicable EPA tables for specific chemicals.Surface waters and sediments shall be free from chemical constituents in concentrations or combinations which will or can reasonably be expected to result in acute or chronic toxicity to aquatic organisms or otherwise impair the biological integrity of aquatic or marine ecosystems outside of any dredged material disposal area or areas designated by the Commissioner for disposal or placement of fill materials or any zone of influence allowed by the Commissioner, or bioconcentrate or bioaccumulate in tissues of fish, shellfish and other aquatic organisms at levels which will impair the health of aquatic organisms or wildlife or result in unacceptable tastes, odors or health risks to human consumers of aquatic organisms or wildlife unless such sediments are capped with material suitable for unconfined, open water disposal as an appropriate means of ensuring consistency with this standard as approved by the Commissioner in writing. In determining consistency with this Standard, the Commissioner shall at a minimum consider the numeric criteria listed in Table 3 of section 22a-426-9 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies and any other information he or she deems relevant.All surface waters shall be free from pollutants in concentrations or combinations that are toxic to humans, aquatic life or wildlife. For pollutants not otherwise listed in 314 CMR 4.00, the National Recommended Water Quality Criteria: 2002, EPA 822-R-02-047, November 2002 published by EPA pursuant to Section 304(a) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, are the allowable receiving water concentrations for the affected waters, unless the Department either establishes a site specific criterion or determines that naturally occurring background concentrations are higher. Where the Department determines that naturally occurring background conditions are higher, those concentrations shall be the allowable receiving water concentrations. The Department shall use the water quality criteria for the protection of aquatic life expressed in terms of the dissolved fraction. The EPA recommended criteria based on total recoverable metals shall be converted to dissolved metals using EPA's published conversion factors. Permit limits will be written in terms of total recoverable metals. Translation from dissolved metals criteria to total recoverable metals permit limits will lbe based on EPA's conversion factors or other methods approved by the Department. The Department may establish site specific criteria for toxic pollutants based on site specific considerations.Except as naturally occurs, surface waters must be free of pollutants in concentrations which impart toxicity and cause those waters to be unsuitable for the existing and designated uses of the water body. Except as naturally occur, levels of toxic pollutants in surface waters must not exceed federal water quality criteria as established by USEPA, pursuant to Section 304(a) of the Clean Water Act, or alternative criteria established by the state and listed in Chapter 584 Surface Water Quality Criteria for Toxic Pollutants.Unless naturally occurring or allowed under Env-Ws 1707 , all surface waters shall be free from toxic substances or chemical constituents in concentrations or combinations that: injure or a inimical to plants, animals, humans or aquatic life; or persist in the environment or accumulate in aquatic organisms to levels that result in harmful concentrations in edible portions of fish, shellfish, other aquatic life, or wildlife which might consume aquatic life. Unless allowed in part Env-Ws 1707 or naturally occurring, concentrations of toxic substances in all surface waters shall not exceed the recommended safe exposure levels of the most sensitive surface water use shown in Table 1703.1, subject to the notes as explained in Env-Ws 1703.22.None in amounts that will adversely affect the taste, color, odor thereof or impair the waters for their best use. See 6 NYCRR 703.5, Table 1 of the Regulation for specific standards.Criteria for specific substances are listed in Table 1 in Appendix B of the Regulation. To protect aquatic life, the one hour average concentration of a pollutant should not exceed the acute criteria more than once every three years on the average. An exclusion to this rule are the pesticides and PCBs acute criteria, which are considered instantaneous values. The four day average concentration of a pollutant should not exceed the chronic criteria more than once every three years on the average. These aquatic life criteria shall be achieved in all waters, except mixing zones, regardless of the waters' classification.Where necessary to fully support an existing or designated use, waters shall be managed to prevent the discharge of toxic substances in concentrations, quantities or combinations that exceed: (1)for toxic substances that are carcinogenic, a maximum individual lifetime risk to human health greater than 10-6; (2)for toxic substances that are noncarcinogenic, a maximum individual life time risk of no adverse effect to human health; or (3)acute or chronic toxicity to aquatic biota or wildlife. Criteria for specific substances can be found in Appendix C of the Water Quality Standards.
SulfatesFor domestic water supply: 250 mg/LN/AN/AN/AN/AFor protection of human health: 250,000 µg/L for consumption of water.N/AN/A
Taste and OdorMaterials should not be present in concentrations that individually or in combination produce undesirable flavors which are detectable by organoleptic tests performed on the edible portions of aquatic organisms.Class AA, A, SA: None other than that of natural origin.
Class B, SB: None that would impair any use specifically assigned to this Class.
Class A, SA: None other than of natural origin.
Class B, SB, C, SC: None in such concentrations or combinations that are aesthetically objectionable, that would impair any use assigned to this Class, or that would cause tainting or undesirable flavors in the edible portions of aquatic life.
Discharge of pollutants to waters of the State that imparts color, taste, turbidity, toxicity, radioactivity or other properties that cause those waters to be unsuitable for the designated uses and characteristics ascribed to their class are not allowed.All surface waters shall be free from substances in kind of quantity which produce taste which is not naturally occurring and would render it unsuitable for its designated uses. Shall contain no odors unless naturally occurring.No substances in amounts that will adversely affect the taste or odor or impair the waters for their best usages..Class AA, A: None other than of natural origin and none associated with nuisance algal species.
Class SA, SA(b): None allowable except as naturally occurs.
Class B, B(a), B1, B1(a), SB, SB(a), SB1, SB1(a), C, SC: None in such concentrations that would impair any usages specifically assigned to this class nor cause taste or odor in edible portions of fish.
None that would prevent the full support of any designated uses or existing use or have an adverse effect on the taste or odor of fish.
TemperatureFor any time of year, there are two upper limiting temperatures for a location (based on the important sensitive species found there at that time): (1) One limit consists of a maximum temperature for short exposures that is time dependent and is given by a species-specific equation; (2) the second value is a limit on the weekly average temperature (see Gold Book for more information).Freshwater: There shall be no changes from natural conditions that would impair any existing or designated uses and, in no case exceed 85 degrees F, or in any case raise the temperature of surface water more than 4 degrees F.
Marine: There shall be no changes from natural conditions that would impair any existing or designated uses assigned to this class and, in no case exceed 83 degrees F, or in any case raise the temperature of the receiving water more than 4 degrees F. During the period including July, August, and September, the temperature of the receiving water shall not be raised more than 1.5 degrees F unless it can be shown that spawning and growth of indigenous organisms will not be significantly affected. The allowable temperature increase resulting from discharges in the estuarine segments of the Housatonic, Connecticut, and Thames Rivers shall be consistent with the criteria for the non-tidal segments.
There shall be no changes from natural background conditions that would impair any assigned uses, including those conditions necessary to protect normal species diversity, successful migration, reproductive functions or growth of aquatic organisms
Freshwater: Natural seasonal and daily variations that are necessary to protect existing and designated uses shall be maintained.
Class A, B: Temperature shall not exceed 68° F (20° C) based on the mean of the daily maximum temperature over a seven day period in cold water fisheries, unless naturally occurring. Where a reproducing cold water aquatic community exists at a naturally occurring higher temperature, the temperature necessary to protect the community shall not be exceeded and natural daily and seasonal temperature fluctuations necessary to protect the community shall be maintained. Temperature shall not exceed 83°F (28.3°C) in warm water fisheries. Class A: The rise in temperature due to a discharge shall not exceed 1.5°F (0.8°C)
Class B: The rise in temperature due to a discharge shall not exceed 3°F (1.7°0C) in rivers and streams designated as cold water fisheries nor 5°F (2.8°C) in rivers and streams designated as warm water fisheries (based on the minimum expected flow for the month); in lakes and ponds the rise shall not exceed 3°F (1.7°0C) in the epilimnion (based on the monthly average of maximum daily temperature).
Class C: Shall not exceed 85°F (29.4°C) nor shall the rise due to a discharge exceed 5°F (2.8°C)
Marine: Shall not exceed 85°F (29.4°C) in any waters nor a maximum daily mean of 80°F (26.7°0C) in classes SA or SB waters.
Class SA: the rise in temperature due to a discharge shall not exceed 1.5°0F (0.8°0C);
Class SB: the rise in temperature due to a discharge shall not exceed 1.5°F (0.8°C) during the summer months (July through September) nor 4°0F (2.2°0C) during the winter months (October through June).
Class SC: the rise in temperature due to a discharge shall not exceed 5°0F (2.8°0C)
Effluent limitations and cooling water intake structures (CWIS) for all classes except A: Alternative effluent limitations established in connection with a variance for a thermal discharge issued under 33 U.S.C. § 1251 (FWPCA, § 316(a)) and 314 CMR 3.00 are in compliance with 314 CMR 4.00. In the case of a CWIS regulated by EPA, the Department has the authority to condition the CWIS to assure compliance of the withdrawal activity with 314 CMR 4.00, including, but not limited to, compliance with narrative and numerical criteria and protection of existing and designated uses.
N/AClass A: There shall be no change in temperature unless naturally occurring.
Class B: Any stream temperature increase associated with the discharge of treated sewage, waste or cooling water, water diversions, or releases shall not be such as to appreciably interfere with the uses assigned to this class.
All thermal discharges to the waters of the State shall assure the protection and propagation of a balanced, indigenous population of shellfish, fish, and wildlife in and on the body of water. The natural seasonal cycle shall be retained. Annual spring and fall temperature changes shall be gradual. Large day-to-day temperature fluctuations due to heat of artificial origin shall be avoided. Development or growth of nuisance organisms shall not occur in contravention of water quality standards. Discharges which would lower receiving water temperature shall not cause a violation of water quality standards and 6 NYCRR 704.3.
For the protection of the aquatic biota from severe temperature changes, routine shut down of an entire thermal discharge at any site shall not be scheduled during the period from December through March. Additional special criteria for different types of waters are provided in 6 NYCRR 704.
Freshwater: No activity shall raise the temperature of the receiving waters above the recommended limit on the most sensitive receiving water use nor cause the growth of undesirable or nuisance species of biota. In no cases shall an activity cause the temperature to exceed 83 degrees F. Heated discharges into designated coldwater habitats shall not raise the temperature above 68 degrees F outside an established thermal mixing zone. In no case shall the temperature of the receiving water be raised more than 4 degrees F.

Marine: Activities shall not increase the temperature except where the increase will not exceed the recommended limit on the most sensitive receiving water use and in no case shall an activity cause the temperature to exceed 83 degrees F nor raise the normal temperature more than 1.6 degrees F, 16 June through September and not more than 4 degrees F from October through 16 June. All measurements shall be made at the boundary of such mixing zones as is found to be reasonable by the Director.
The change or rate of change in temperature, either upward or downward, shall be controlled to ensure full support of aquatic biota, wildlife, and aquatic habitat uses. For the purpose of applying this criterion, ambient temperature shall mean the water temperature measured at a control point determined by the Secretary to be outside the influence of a discharge or activity.

Cold Water Habitat: The total increase from the ambient temperature due to all discharges and activities shall not exceed 1.0 degree F except for specific situations noted in the WQS document.

Warm Water Habitat: The total increase from the ambient temperature due to all discharges and activities shall not exceed the temperature criteria derived from tables 1 & 2 in the WQS document.
Total Dissolved SolidsFor protection of human health: 250,000 µg/L for consumption of water and organisms.N/AN/AN/AN/AShall be kept as low as practicable to maintain the best usage of waters but in no case shall it exceed 500 mg/L.
A-Special: Shall not exceed 200 mg/L.
N/AN/A
TritiumN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A20,000 PCI/L for sources of drinking water; if two or more radionuclides are present, the sum of their annual dose equivalent to the total body or any organ shall not exceed 4 millirems per year.N/AN/A
ZincN/AN/ACalculated concentration using the applicable hardness-dependent equation - see standards for equation 314 CMR 4 Massachusetts Surface Water Quality Standards N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A

State Regulations

Connecticut: Regulations of CT State Agencies: Title 22a-426-1 to 22a-426-9 (Revised Nov. 2015)

Maine: MRS Title 38, Chapter 3 

Massachusetts:  314 CMR 4.00 (PDF) (Revised December 2013)

New Hampshire: NH Code of Administrative Rules, Ch. Env-Wq 1700 (Revised December 2016)

New York: Title 6, Chapter X, Subchapter A, Article 2

Rhode Island: 250-RICR- 150-05-1 (Amended December 2010)

Vermont: DEC Rules Ch. 29A (Effective January 2017)