Definitions for "Water Quality Standards"
State-adopted and EPA-approved ambient standards for water bodies. The standards define the water quality goals of a water body by designating the uses of the water and setting criteria to protect those uses. The standards protect public health and welfare, enhance the quality of the water, and provide the baseline for surface water protection under the Clean Water Act.
Includes three major components: designated uses, water quality criteria, and antidegradation provisions.
A provision of State or Federal law consisting of a designated use or uses for a water body and the quantifiable criteria protective of the use(s). Standards may be annual or seasonal, depending on the designated use.
Recommended or enforceable maximum contaminant levels of chemicals or materials (such as chlorobenzene, nitrate, iron, arsenic) in water. These levels are established for water used by municipalities, industries, agriculture, and recreationists.
Concentration limits for bodies of water established by federal and state authorities. These are limits for overall characteristics and individual components of water based on the proposed use of the water.