United States
Environmental Protection
Office of Water
Regulations and Standards
Washington, DC 20460
December 1983
Water Quality
Standards Handbook
                   U.S. Environmental Protection Agencjj
                   Region V, Library
                   230 South Dearborn Street x*
                   Chicago, Illinois 60604



     The Water Quality Standards Handbook contains the guidance
prepared by EPA to assist States in implementing the  revised  Water
Duality Standards Regulation (48 F.R. 51400, November 8,  1983).
Changes in this Handbook may be made from time to time reflecting
State/EPA experience in implementing the revised Regulation.  The
Handbook is organized to provide a general description of the overall
standards setting process followed by information on  general  program
administrative policies and procedures, and then a description of the
analyses used in determining appropriate uses and criteria.

     The Clean Water Act established two types of regulatory
requirements to control pollutant discharges: technology-based effluent
limitations which reflect the best controls available considering the
technical and economic achievability of those controls; and water
quality-based effluent limitations which reflect the  water  quality
standards and allowable pollutant loadings set by the States  (with  EPA

     Technology-based requirements for dischargers are currently being
issued.  However, in some cases these controls will not be  sufficient
to eliminate water quality impacts and enable water quality standards
to be met.  In these cases, water quality-based controls  are  needed.
Two technical approaches are available for developing WQ-based effluent
limits, the pollutant-specific approach and the biomonitoring approach.
Pollutant-specific techniques are best used where discharges  contain a
few, well-quantified pollutants and the interactions  and  effects of the
pollutants are known.  In addition, pollutant-specific techniques
should be used where health hazards are a concern or  bioaccumulation is

     It may be difficult, however, in some situations to  determine
attainment or nonattainment of water quality standards and  set
appropriate limits because of complex chemical interactions which
affect the fate and ultimate impact of toxic substances in the
receiving water.  In many cases, all potentially toxic pollutants
cannot be identified by chemical methods.  Also, developing numerical
water quality criteria and determining allowable loadings for all of
the wide variety of pollutants found in effluents would be  very time-
consuming and resource intensive.  In such situations, it is  more
feasible to examine overall toxicity and instream impacts using
biological methods rather than attempting to identify all toxic
pollutants, determining the effects of each pollutant individually, and
then attempting to assess their collective effect.

     Therefore EPA has developed a two-fold approach  to toxics control.
In certain situations we must still rely upon the chemical-specific
approach, measuring individual  toxicants and evaluating their specific
toxic properties.  In other situations, especially where  complex.
effluents are involved, it is more appropriate;to examine the harmful
effects of toxicity of the whole effluent rather than attempt to
identify individual  toxicants and understand their chemical
interaction.  This second approach relies on newly-developed  biological
monitoring methods and laboratory testing procedures.

     We expect to continue to build the necessary  EPA  expertise  in  the
area of biomonitoring and work together with other  interested  groups
over the next several years to develop a balanced  and  integrated
biological/chemical-specific approach to developing  realistic  water
quality-based permit limitations.

     The purpose of this guidance document  is to illustrate the  types
of scientific and technical data and analyses EPA  believes are
necessary to be conducted so that the public and EPA can  review
decisions on water quality standards affecting water quality  limited
segments, i.e. those water bodies where standards  cannot  be met  even
with the implementation of the technology-based controls  required  by
the Act (secondary treatment for municipalities and  best  available/best
conventional treatment for industries).

     When a State conducts use attainability analyses  or  establishes
appropriate criteria, EPA is not requiring  that specific  approaches,
methods or  procedures be used.  Rather, States are  encouraged  to
consult with EPA early in the process to agree on  appropriate  methods
before the  analyses are initiated and carried out.   States will  have
the flexibility of tailoring the analyses to the specific water  body
being examined as long as the methods used  are scientifically  and
technically sound.

     State  pollution control agencies are encouraged to  solicit  the
assistance  of other State agencies, municipalities,  industry,
environmental groups, and the community-at-large in  collecting the  data
for the analyses.  By carefully outlining quality  assurance/quality
control procedures States can assure the integrity  and validity  of  the
data for the analyses, while easing the resource burdens.

     A State must conduct and submit to EPA a use  attainability
analysis where the State designates or has  designated  uses that  do  not
include the uses specified in Section 101(a)(2) of  the Act, or when a
State wishes to remove a designated use that is specified in  the  goals
or to adopt subcategories of uses requiring less stringent criteria.  A
State must  adopt criteria sufficient to protect the  designated uses.
In adopting criteria, States may use Section 304(a)  criteria  or  set
site-specific criteria.  Analyses conducted in support of revisions to
standards are subject to EPA review.

     A use  attainability analysis is a multi-step  scientific  assessment
of the physical, chemical, biological and economic  factors affecting
the attainment of a use.   In preparing a use attainability analyses,  a
water body  survey and assessment is conducted to examine  the  physical,
chemical and biological characteristics of  the water body.  This
assessment  identifies and defines the existing uses  of that water  body,
determines  whether the designated uses are  impaired,  and  the  reasons
for the impairment.  By comparing the water body with  one that is  not
impaired by man-induced pollution and with  similar physical
characteristics, the assessment assists States in  projecting  the
potential uses that the water body  could support in  the absence  of


pollution.  The next step in a  use attainability  analysis  is  a  waste
load allocation which utilizes  mathematical models to  predict the
amount of reduction in pollutant  loadings  necessary  to achieve  the
designated use.  After determining the technology needed to meet these
effluent reductions, an economic  assessment may be conducted  to
determine whether requiring more  stringent technology  than that
mandated by the Act will cause  widespread  and  substantial  economic  and
social impact.

     A State may adopt EPA recommended criteria without  any analysis  or
justification.  However, EPA's  laboratory-derived criteria may  not
always accurately reflect the toxicity of  a pollutant  in a particular
water body because of differences in temperature, pH,  etc.  A State may
choose to set site-specific criteria based on  characteristics of the
local water body.  Setting site-specific criteria is also  appropriate
in water bodies with different  species than those used in  the
derivation of the Section 304(a)  criteria  or where adaptive processes
have enabled a viable, balanced community  to exist with  levels  of
pollutants that exceed the national criteria.

     Any questions on this guidance may be directed  to the water
quality standards coordinators  located in  each of the  EPA  regional
offices or to:

        David Sabock
        U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
        Chief, Criteria Branch  (WH-585)
        401  M Street, S.W.
        Washington, D.C.  20460
        (Telephone 202-24B-3042)

     EPA sincerely appreciates  the efforts of  the many people and
organizations who participated  in the public review  of the water
quality standards program regulation and guidance since  their proposal
in October 1982.
                                   Steven Schatzow, Director
                                   Water Regulations and Standards

Foreword ,

Chapter 1


              EPA Review, Approval, Disapproval, and  ....  2-1
                Promulgation Procedure
              Public Participation 	  2-9
              Mixing Zones	2-13
              Flow	2-10
              Economic Considerations  	  2-12
              Antidegradation  	  2-14
              Application of Numerical and Narrative
                Criteria	2-17
              Relationship of Section 304(a)(l) Criteria
                to Designated Water Uses  	  .....  2-22


              Purpose and Application	3-1
              Physical Evaluations 	  3-4
              Chemical Evaluations 	  3-6
              Biological Evaluations 	  3-8
              Approaches to Conducting the Physical,
                Chemical and Biological Evaluations   ....  3-13
              References	3-17

              Appendix A:  Sample State
                           Classification System 	  A-l
              Appendix B:  Fish Taxonomic References  ....  B-l
              Appendix C:  Invertebrate and Algal
                           Taxonomic References  	  C-l
              Appendix D:  Case Studies	D-l


              Purpose and Application	4-1
              Rationale	4-2
              Definition of Site	4-4
              Assumptions	4-5

Procedures - Summary 	  4-5
     Recalculation Procedure 	  4-7
     Indicator Species Procedure 	  4-11
     Resident Species Procedure	4-17
Heavy Metal Speciation and Plant and Other
  Data	4-19

Appendix A:  Bioassay Test Methods 	  A-l
Appendix B:  Determination of
             Statistically Significantly
             Different LC50 Values	B-l
Appendix C:  Case Studies	C-l

                                CHAPTER 1



      The  Clean Water  Act  requires  that a State shall, from time to
 time, but  at  least  once  every  three  years,  hold public hearings for the
 purpose of  reviewing  applicable water  quality standards and,  as
 appropriate,  modifying and  adopting  standards.  The Water Quality
 Standards  Regulation  also requires that any water body with standards
 not consistent with the  Section 101(a)(2)  goals of  the Act must be
 reexamined  every three years to determine  if new information  has become
 available  that would  warrant a revision of  the standard.

      The  Regulation allows  States  to establish procedures for
 identifying and  reviewing the  standards on  specific water bodies in
 detail.i/   Water bodies  receiving  a  detailed standards review are
 most  liFely to be those  where  advanced treatment (AT) or  combined sewer
 overflow  (CSO) funding decisions are pending, water quality based
 permits are scheduled to  be issued or  reissued, or  toxics have been
 identified  or are suspected of precluding  a use, or may be posing an
 unreasonable  risk to  human  health.   States  may have other reasons for
 wishing to  examine  a  water  body in detail.

      In selecting specific  areas,  States  should also take into account
 the "Municipal Wastewater Treatment  Construction Grant Amendments of
 1981" (P.L. 97-117, December 29, 1981).  EPA interprets Section 24 of
 the Amendments as requiring States to  assure that water quality
 standards  influencing construction grant  decisions  have been  reviewed
 in accordance with  Section  303(c)  of the Clean Water Act.  Section 24
 prohibits  the issuance of a construction  grant after December 1984,
 unless the  State has  completed its review  of the water quality standard
 for any segments affected by the project  grant (see Construction Grants
 Program Interim  Final Rule  40  CFR  35.2111,  47 FR 20450, May 12, 1982).
 Additional  guidance regarding  Section  24 and standards reviews is
 contained  on  page 2-3 of  this  Handbook.

      The water quality standards review process described in  this
 Chapter focuses  on  the analyses used in reviewing standards on water
 quality limited  segments, e.g.  those standards which cannot be attained
 even  with the application of the technology-based controls required by
 the Act.

      In reviewing the standards on water quality limited  segments,
 States must perform and  submit  to  EPA  a use attainability analysis if
 the State designates  or  has designated uses that do not include the
 uses  specified in Section 101(a)(2)  of the  Act, or  the State  wishes to
 remove a designated use  that is specified  in Section 101(a)(2), or to
_]_/ Any procedures States establish  to  revise  standards  should  be
   articulated in the Continuing  Planning  Process  document  consistent
   with the Water Quality Management Regulation.

adopt subcategories of uses specified in Section  101(a)(2) which
require less stringent criteria than are currently adopted.   States  may
adopt seasonal uses as an alternative to reclassifying  a water  body  or
segment thereof to uses requiring less stringent  criteria.

     States may designate uses which do not  reflect the goals of  the
Act if supported by a use attainability analysis  based  on one or  more
of the six factors listed in Section 131.10(g) of the Regulation.   In
no case can a State downgrade an existing use.  No use  attainability
analysis is required when designating uses which  include those
specified in Section 101(a)(2) of the Actjy

     States must adopt water quality criteria sufficient to  protect  the
designated use.  The criteria adopted must provide sufficient
parametric coverage and must be of adequate  stringency  to protect
designated uses.  Numerical criteria may be  based on criteria
recommendations published by EPA or developed by  other  scientifically
defensible methods.  States may also modify  Section 304(a) criteria  and
set site-specific criteria where (1) background water quality
parameters, such as pH, hardness, temperature, color, etc.,  appear to
differ significantly from the laboratory water used in  developing
Section 304(a) criteria; or (2) the types of local aquatic organisms in
the region differ significantly from those actually tested in the
development of the 304(a) criteria or have adapted to higher pollutant
levels.  EPA believes that setting site-specific  criteria will  occur on
only a limited number of stream segments because  of the resources
required to conduct the analyses and the basic soundness of  the Section
304(a) recommendations.  States may also establish narrative criteria
based upon biomonitoring methods where numerical  criteria cannot  be
established or to supplement numerical criteria.  The revised water
quality standards regulation provides increased emphasis on  the need
for adoption by the States of criteria for toxic  pollutants  applicable
to a water body sufficient to protect designated  uses.

     State standards must also contain an antidegradation policy
designed to maintain and protect existing uses and water quality, to
provide protection for higher quality waters, and to provide protection
for outstanding national resource waters.

     Before starting the analyses described  in this Handbook, the State
should agree with EPA on the approach to be  used, availability  of
existing data, scheduling, quality control and assistance procedures,
etc.  In many instances, EPA may be able to  assist.  States  should  also
work with municipal and industrial dischargers and other appropriate
organizations to enlist their assistance in  gathering the data  and
conducting the analyses to reduce the resource impacts  of the analyses
on the State.

     In the remaining portion of this Chapter, the Steps of  the water
quality standards review and revision process are described. The steps
are outlined in Figure 1.
_]_/ NOTE: A use attainability  analysis  may  be  required  to support
   construction  grant  funding  requests  for advanced  treatment  in
   publicly owned treatment works.

                            FIGURE 1
      CONSISTENT WITH 101(a)(2)?
1         CONDUCT A


                                                      PROVIDE ANALYSES
                                                      TO PUBLIC
                                                      FEDERAL WQS
                                                      IN FEDERAL
                                                      STANDARDS TO
                                                      PERMIT PROCESS
                                                      (FIGURE 2)

List of Rivers, Streams, Lakes, Coastal Areas Not Meeting WQS

     States know the location of their water pollution problems and
frequently list the segments in order of priority in State water
quality reports issued biennially under Section 305(b).  Water quality
problems are most frequently expressed in terms of impacts on the  biota
of the water body, restricted beneficial uses, and the extent and
frequency of water quality criteria violations.

Select Priority Water Quality Limited Stream Segments for Detailed
Water Quality Standards Review

     Water quality standards should be revised only where a  need
exists, given the limited resources available.  Section  303(d) of  the
Act requires States to identify those waters which cannot meet water
quality standards with effluent limitations required by  Section
301(b)(l) and (2) and to establish a priority ranking for those

     EPA recommends that States select for standards review  those  water
quality limited segments on which there are advanced treatment (AT) and
combined sewer overflow (CSO) funding decisions pending, major permit
revisions are scheduled or toxics have been identified or are suspected
of precluding a use.  States may select other criteria for determining
which segments will be reviewed, such as human health problems, court
orders, or costs or economic and social impacts of implementing the
existing water quality standards.  Any water body with standards not
consistent with the Section 101(a)(2) goals of the Act must  be
reexamined every three years.

     States are encouraged to review standards for a large enough  area
to consider the interaction between both point and nonpoint  source
discharges.  In carrying out standards reviews, the State and EPA
should ensure proper coordination of all water quality programs.

Water Body Survey and Assessments

     An intensive survey of the water body is not necessary  if adequate
data are available.  The purpose of a survey is to pinpoint  problems
and to characterize present uses, uses impaired or precluded, and  the
reasons why uses are impaired or precluded.  Information generated in
the survey also can be used to establish the basis for seasonal uses
and subcategories of uses.

     Included in Chapter 3 are examples of a full range  of physical,
chemical, and biological characteristics of the water body which,
depending on the site, may be surveyed when evaluating aquatic
protection uses.  This information is then used in determining existing
species in the water body, the health of those species as well as  what
species could be in the water body given the physical characteristics
of the water body or might be in the water if the quality of the water
were improved.

     If the results of the survey show that the water body is, in  fact,
being used for the designated purposes and the biology of the water
body is healthy, although monitoring data show criteria  continue to be
exceeded, EPA recommends that the State adopt appropriate criteria
using Section 304(a) criteria, one of the protocols included in Chapter
4, or other scientifically defensible methods.


Review the Cause of Uses Not Being Met

      If the survey indicates that designated  uses  are  impaired,  the
next  step is to determine the cause.   In many  situations,  both physical
conditions and the presence of water pollutants prevent  the  water  body
from meeting its designated use.  Physical  limitations  refer to  such
factors as depth, flow, habitat, turbulence or structures  such as  dams
which may make a use unsuitable or impossible  to achieve regardless  of
water quality.

      If uses are precluded because of physical limitations of the  water
body, the State may wish to examine modifications  which  might allow a
habitat suitable for a species to thrive where it  could  not  before.
Some of the techniques which have been used include:   bank stabiliza-
tion, current deflectors, construction of oxbows or installation of
spawning beds.  A State might also wish to  consider improving the
access to the water body or improving facilities nearby  so that  it can
be used for recreational purposes.  A State may also consider
establishing seasonal uses or subcategories of a use.

      If uses are not being met because of water pollution  problems, the
first step in the process is to determine the  cause.   If the standards
review process is well coordinated with the total  maximum  daily  load
process and the permit process, some of the analysis necessary to
determine why uses are not attained may be  collected by  permittees
through permit modification or requests for information  under section
308.  When background levels of pollutants, whether natural  or
man-induced, are irretrievable and criteria cannot be  met, States
should evaluate other more appropriate uses for the water  body and
revise the water quality standards appropriately.

Determine Attainable Uses

     Consideration of the suitability of the water body  to attain  a use
is an integral  part of the water quality standards review  and revision
process.  The data and information collected from  the  water  body survey
provide a firm basis for evaluating whether the water  body is suitable
for the particular use.  Suitability depends on the physical, chemical,
and biological  characteristics of the water body,  its  geographic
setting and scenic qualities and the socio-economic and  cultural
characteristics of the surrounding area.  It is not envisioned that
each water body would necessarily have to have a unique  set  of uses.
Rather the characteristics necessary to support a  use  can be identified
so that water bodies having those characteristics  might  be grouped
together as supporting particular uses.

     Suitability, to a great extent, depends on the professional
judgment of the evaluators.  It is their task to provide sufficient
information to the public and the State decision-makers  to base a
decision.  There are instances where non-water quality related factors
preclude the attainment of uses regardless of improvements in water
quality.  This  is particularly true for fish and wildlife protection
uses where the  lack of a proper substrate may preclude certain forms of
aquatic life from using the stream for propagation, or the lack of
cover, depth,  flow, pools, riffles or impacts from channelization,
dams, diversions may preclude particular forms of  aquatic life from the
stream altogether.  While physical  factors do affect the  recreational
uses appropriately designated for a water body, States need  to give
consideration  to the incidental  uses which may be made of the water


body.  Even though it may not make sense to encourage  use  of  a  stream
for swimming because of the flow, depth or the velocity  of the  water,
the States and EPA must recognize that swimming  and/or wading may  occur
anyway.  In order to protect public health, States must  set criteria  to
reflect swimming if it appears that primary contact  recreation  will  in
fact occur in the stream.  While physical factors are  important in
evaluating whether a use is attainable, physical  limitations  of the
stream may not be an overriding factor.  Common  sense  and  good  judgment
play an important role in setting appropriate uses and criteria.   In
setting criteria and uses, States must assure the attainment  of
downstream standards.  The downstream uses may not be  affected  by  the
same physical limitations as the upstream uses.

     Criteria may reflect either primary or secondary  contact
recreation depending on which is expected to occur,  with flow being  a
consideration in determining which recreational  use  is protected.
Where extremely low flow conditions exist, the State and EPA must  be
sure that primary contact recreation does not occur  in stream pools
before adopting the less stringent criteria for  protecting secondary
contact recreation.  (Of, course, if the "existing use"  is a
recreational use, then both that use and the criteria  to protect  it
must be reflected in the standard.  Common sense must  be used in
deciding whether a use is sufficiently likely to be  a  "existing use"
rather than merely incidental, or, indeed whether it will  occur at

     The rationale offered by a State for not designating  a stream for
either primary or secondary contact recreation must  be of  sufficient
detail to indicate that the State has considered the conditions in a
particular water body or water bodies rather than a  simple blanket
Statewide exception.  Water bodies, with specific and  limited
exceptions, should be suitable for human use in  recreation activities
not involving significant risks of ingestion without reference  to
official designation of recreation as a water use.

     The basis of this policy is that the States and EPA have an
obligation to do as much as possible to protect  the  health of the
public even though it may not make sense to encourage  use  of  a  stream
for swimming or wading because of physical conditions.   In certain
instances, particulary urban areas, people will  use  whatever  water
bodies are available for recreation.

Set Appropriate Criteria

     Regardless of whether changes or modifications  in uses are made,
criteria protective of the use must be adopted.   States  may use EPA's
Section 304(a) criteria or set site-specific criteria.   EPA's
laboratory-derived criteria may not always accurately  reflect the
bioavailability and/or toxicity of a pollutant because of  the effect  of
local physical and chemical characteristics or varying sensitivities  of
local aquatic communities.  Similarly, certain compounds may  be more  or
less toxic in some waters because of differences in  temperature,


hardness, or other conditions.  Setting site specific  criteria  is
appropriate where:

  0 background water quality parameters, such as pH, hardness,
    temperature, color, etc., appear to differ significantly  from the
    laboratory water used in developing the Section 304(a)  criteria;
    the types of local aquatic organisms differ significantly  from
    those actually tested in developing the Section 304(a) criteria.

     Developing site-specific criteria is a method of  taking local
conditions into account so that criteria are adequate  to  protect the
designated use without being more or less stringent than  needed.  A
three phase testing program which includes water quality  sampling and
analysis, a biological survey, and acute bioassays provides an  approach
for developing site-specific criteria.  Much of the data  and
information for the water quality sampling and analysis and the
biological survey can be obtained while conducting the assessment of
the water body.  Included in Chapter 4 are scientifically acceptable
procedures for setting site-specific pollutant concentrations  that will
protect designated uses.

Perform Water Quality Analysis and Calculate Preliminary  Limits

     When the technology-based limitations are insufficient to  protect
the designated uses, the Clean Water Act requires the  development of
more stringent limitations to maintain the water quality  standards  (see
§301(b)(l )(C)).  EPA encourages States to review in detail those
segments where more stringent effluent limitations are necessary to
meet water quality standards.  More stringent limitations are  generally
developed as part of the total maximum daily load and  wasteload
allocation processes required under Sections 303(d) and 303(e)(3)(A) of
the Act.  These sections require States to identify waters requiring
more stringent effluent limitations, set priorities for calculating
total  maximum daily loads and submit the above to the  Administrator for
approval.  Total maximum daily loads of pollutants are calculated so as
to meet water quality standards.  A wasteload allocation  involves:  (1)
identifying the pollutant sources and their loadings,  (2) applying
mathematical  models and other techniques that predict  the amount of
load reduction necessary to achieve the water quality  standards, and
(3) allocating the necessary load reduction among the  pollution

     Although not included in this document, guidance  is  available  on
performing waste load allocations.^/  Again, the water  body  survey
provides much of the data to determine the total maximum  daily  load and
waste load allocation.

     In addition to examining more stringent technology-based controls
the State should also consider establishing or  improving  best
management practices for the control of  pollution  from  nonpoint
sources.  Existing BMPs and related control programs should  be  reviewed
to determine if they constitute the most effective way  of meeting
standards or if revised nonpoint source  controls need  to  be

Economic Impact Assessment

     The Regulation allows States to establish  uses  that  are
inconsistent with the Section 101(a)(2)  goals of the Act  if  the  more
stringent technology to meet the goals will cause  substantial and
widespread economic and social impact.   These are  impacts resulting
specifically from imposition of the pollution controls  and reflect  such
factors as unemployment, plant closures, changes in  the governmental
fiscal base, and other factors (see page 2-11 of this  Handbook).  The
analysis should address the incremental  effects of water  quality
standards beyond technology-based or other State requirements.   If  the
requirements are not demonstrated to have an incremental  substantial
and widespread impact on the affected community, the  standard must  be
maintained or made compatible with the goals of the  Act.

Revise Water Quality Standards

     If a change in the designated use is warranted  based on a  use
attainability analysis, States may modify the uses now  assigned.   In
doing so, the State should designate uses which can  be  supported given
the physical, chemical, or biological limitations  of the  water  body.
Or, a State may designate uses on a seasonal basis.  Seasonal use
designations may be appropriate for streams that lack  adequate  water
volume to support aquatic life year-round, but  can be  used for  fish
spawning, etc. during higher flow periods.  In  setting  seasonal  uses,
care must be taken not to allow the creation of conditions instream
that preclude uses in another season.  EPA encourages  the designation
of seasonal uses as an alternative to completely downgrading the use of
a water body.

     Change in use designations must also  be accompanied  by
consideration of the need for a change in criteria.   If a use is
removed, the criteria to protect that use may be deleted  or  revised to
!_/ U.S.  Environmental  Protection  Agency.   Technical  Guidance Manuals
~  for Performing  Wasteload  Allocations.   Wasteload  Allocation Section,
   (Phone 202-382-7056) Monitoring  and  Data  Support  Division (WH-553),
   401 M St., S.W.,  Washington, D.C.  204fiO,  1983.


assure protection of the  remaining  uses.   If  a  use  is added,  there must
be adequate water quality criteria  to  protect the use.   Existing
criteria may be  adequate  or  new  criteria  may  have to be adopted.

     As an alternative to downgrading  standards  a State may wish to
include a variance  as part of  a  water  quality standard  rather than
change the standard across-the-board because  the State  believes  that
the standard ultimately can  be attained.   By  maintaining the standard
rather than changing it,  the State  will assure  further  progress  is made
in improving water  quality and attaining  the  standard.   EPA has
approved State-adopted variances  in the past  and will  continue to do so
if:  the variance is included  as  part  of  the  water  quality standard, it
is subjected to  the same  public  review as  other  changes in water
quality standards,  and if the  variance is  granted based on a
demonstration that meeting the standard would cause  substantial  and
widespread economic and social impact, the same  test as if the State
were removing a  designated use.   A  variance may  be  granted to an
individual discharger.  However,  the determining factor is whether the
economic impact  on  the discharger is sufficient  to  have a substantial
and widespread impact on  the affected  community  and  not just on  the
discharger.  Such a variance controls  the  permit limits for the
discharger that  received  the variance.  With  the variance provision,
NPDES permits may be written such that reasonable progress is made
toward attaining the general standard  without violating Section
402(a)(l) of the Act which states that NPDES  permits must meet the
applicable water quality  standards.  (A word  of  caution is necessary.
The term "variance", if it is  used  at  all  in  a  State's  standards, is
not always defined  consistently  from State to State.  Therefore, some
State "variance" policies and  procedures  may  not be  consistent with the
standards regulation but, for  example, an  "exception" policy might be).
Office of General Counsel opinion 58,  March 29,  1977, provides guidance
on the legal basis  for granting  variances.

Public Hearing

     Prior to removing or modifying any use or  changing criteria, the
Clean Water Act  requires  the State  to  hold a  public  hearing (see
Chapter 2).  More than one hearing  may be  required  depending  on  State
regulations.  It may be appropriate to have EPA  review  the adequacy of
justifications including  the data and  the  suitability and appropriate-
ness of the analyses and  how the  analyses  were  applied  prior  to  the
public hearing.  In cases where  the analyses  are judged to be
inadequate, EPA  will identify  how the  analyses  could be improved and
suggest the additional types of  evaluations or  data  needed.  By
consulting with  EPA frequently throughout  the review process, States
can be better assured that EPA will be able to  expeditiously  review
State submissions and make the determination  that the standards  meet
the requirements of the Act.

     The analyses and supporting  documentation  prepared in conjunction
with the proposed water quality  standards  revision  should be  made


available to the interested public prior to the  hearing.   Open
discussion of the scientific evidence and analysis  supporting  proposed
revisions in the water quality standards will  assist  the  State  in
making its decision.

EPA Review

     States are to  submit their  revised water  quality standards and
supporting analyses to EPA within 30 days of their  final  administrative
action.  Final administrative action is meant  to  be the  last  action  a
State must take before its revision becomes a  rule  under  State  law  and
it can officially transmit State-adopted standards  to EPA for  review.
This last action might be a signature, a review  by  a  legislative
committee or State  Board, or a delay mandated  by  a  State  administrative
procedures act.  In reviewing changes in uses  that  are inconsistent
with the Section 101(a)(2) goals of the Act or changes in criteria,  EPA
will carefully consider the adequacy of the analyses  and  the  public
comments received during the hearing process.  Standards  are  to meet
the goals of the Act  unless the  State can clearly demonstrate  that  the
uses reflected in the goals are  unattainable.

Standards to Permit Process

     Based on a new or revised water quality standard, a  wasteload
allocation analysis is conducted, as described earlier,  to determine
the load reduction  necessary to  achieve the standard.  The results  of
the wasteload allocation analysis are adopted  into  the water  quality
management plan for the stream,  and are included  as enforceable
effluent limits in  permits issued to dischargers.  These  permits are
part of the National  Pollutant Discharge Elimination  System (NPDES)  and
are the legal basis for requiring dischargers  to  control  the  pollutant
levels in their effluents.

     Figure 2 illustrates the steps involved in  moving from a water
quality standard to the issuance of a permit reflecting  that  standard.
Details on these activities are  beyond the  purview  of the standards
program and this guidance.  Permits are issued based  on  the level  of
discharge necessary to meet the  standard.   Dischargers are monitored to
determine whether they are meeting their permit  conditions and  to
ensure expected water quality improvements  are achieved.

                     FIGURE 2
 L  Identify Water Quality-Limited Segments and
    Set Control Priorities; Implement Local
    Monitoring Program, if Necessary

    Review and Revise (or Reaffirm) Water
    Quality Standards-
Ill.  Develop Water Quality-Based Control
           IV. Incorporate Identified WQL Segments, Priorities,
              Revised/Reaffirmed Standards, TMDLs, Effluent
              Limits, and Feasible Nonpoint Source Controls
              into Updated WQM Plans
V. Issue Water Quality-Based Permits; Make
   Water Quality-Based Construction Grant
   Decisions; Implement Nonpoint Source Controls
VI.  Monitor Municipal and Industrial Sources for
    Compliance; Perform Amoient Monitoring to
    Document Protection of Designated Uses

                               CHAPTER 2
                       GENERAL PROGRAM GUIDANCE
EPA Review, Approval, Disapproval and 	  2-1
   Promulgation Procedures
Public Participation	2-5
Mixing Zones	2-7
Flows	2-10
Economic Guidance 	  2-11
Antidegradation 	  2-13
Application of Numerical and Narrative Criteria 	  2-17
Relationship of Section 304(a)(l) Criteria to
   Designated Water Uses	2-22

                               Chapter 2

                       GENERAL PROGRAM GUIDANCE



     Section 303{c) of the Clean Water Act provides  the  basis  for EPA
review and approval of State adopted or revised water  quality
standards.  It requires States to hold hearings to  review these
standards at least once every three years, and to revise  standards
where necessary; it establishes time limits  for various  State  and
federal  actions; and it provides a mechanism  for Federal  promulgation
if the State's action is  inconsistent with the  requirements  of the  Act.

     EPA's revised water  quality standards regulation  places greater
emphasis on the adoption  of criteria for toxic  pollutants necessary to
protect designated uses,  requires States to  periodically  review  any
standards not consistent  with the goals of the Act,  allows States to
justify standards other than those specified  in the  goals of the Act
through an analysis of the physical, chemical,  biological, and economic
factors involved, and to  develop site-specific water quality criteria.

     The revised water quality standards regulation  became effective on
December 8, 1983.  Properly implementing the  requirements of the
regulation will require extensive cooperation between  EPA and  the
States along with a good  deal of common sense.  This is  because  each
State administers its standards program differently, therefore,  at  any
point in time each State  will be at a different stage  in  its standards
review.   Also, it may require several years  for the  State to develop an
adequate response to the  requirements of the  regulation.   EPA  and the
States should identify areas where changes may  be necessary  to meet the
requirements of the new regulation and establish a  schedule  for  making
the changes as soon as possible.

     EPA assistance will  include meeting with State  officials  before
WQS revisions are initiated to mutually agree upon what  standards and
water bodies will be reviewed.  This agreement will  outline  the  extent
and detail of analyses needed to support any  changes in  the  standards,
how the analyses will be  conducted, who might be participating in the
analyses, the sources of  existing data and information,  and  a  schedule
for completion of the analyses.  EPA will assist in  the  analyses and
recommend approaches where needed and requested by the State.   The
objective is to develop a close working partnership  between  the  States
and EPA and to assure the involvement of locally affected parties.
Local involvement should  assist in developing the acceptance and
commitment to achieve the standards.  Also,  it will  assist EPA in its
review of State water quality standards and  lessen  the possibility  that
EPA will question or disapprove formally adopted standards.

Components of a Water Quality Standards Submission

     The Governor, or his designee, should submit the  results  of the
review and any adopted revisions to State water quality  standards to


the Regional Administrator.  The submittal should include the  following

     (a) Use designations consistent with the provisions of  Sections
         101(a)(2) and 303(c)(2) of the Act,

     (b) The methods used and analyses conducted to support  water
         quality standards revisions,

     (c) Water quality criteria sufficient to protect the designated

     (d) An antidegradation policy consistent with 40 CFR 131.12,
     (e) Certification by the State Attorney General or other
         appropriate legal authority within the State that the water
         quality standards were duly adopted and enforceable pursuant
         to State law, and

     (f) General information which will aid the Agency  in determining
         the adequacy of the scientific basis of the standards which do
         not include the uses specified in Section I01(a)(2) of  the Act
         as well as information on general policies applicable to  State
         standards which may affect their application and

NOTE: The Administrator or Regional Administrator may also request
      additional information from the  State as an aid in reviewing the
      adequacy of the State-adopted standards.

EPA's Review of State Hater Quality Standards

     EPA will review State water quality  standards to ensure that  the
standards meet the requirements of the Act.  EPA will review the
adequacy of the analyses in support of any changes in the standards.
Where the analyses are inadequate, EPA will identify how the analyses
need to be  improved and will suggest the  type of information or
analyses needed.

     EPA will also be looking at whether  uses and/or criteria  are
consistent throughout the water body and  that downstream standards are
protected.  A review to determine compliance with downstream standards
is most likely to involve bodies of water on or crossing interstate and
international boundaries.

Timing of State Water Quality Standards Submission

     Section 303(c) of the Act  requires States to review their
standards at least once every three years and modify or adopt  standards
as appropriate.  EPA's regulation interprets that to include the
requirement that any water body with water quality standards that  do
not  include the uses specified  in Section 101(a)(2) of  the Act shall  be
re-examined every three years to determine if any new information  has
become available to cause a revision in the standards.  Procedures  for
identifying and reviewing the standards of specific water bodies in


greater detail may  be  established  by  the  States  and  identified in the
Continuing Planning Process Document.

     States may  review all or  some  of  their  standards  more often  than
once every three years.   For purposes  of  the  Act  and the  regulation,
EPA will measure the 3-year review  from the  date  of  the letter in which
the State informs EPA  that revised  or  new standards  have  been  adopted
for the affected waters  and are  being  submitted  for  EPA review or, if
no changes were made in  the standards  for those waters,  from the  date
of the letter in which  the State informs  EPA  that the  standards were
reviewed and no changes  were made.

     Under the "Municipal Wastewater Treatment  Construction Grant
Amendments of 1981" (§24 of P.L. 97-117 33.  U.S.C. 1313a)  after 1984,
EPA may make a construction grant  only where  a  State has  reviewed the
water quality standards  for the  segment affected  by  the project.
Section 24 is no more  than a reconfirmation  of  the requirements of
Section 303(c) of the  Act and  a mechanism to  ensure  that water quality
standards influencing  construction  grant  decisions have in fact been
reviewed in accordance with Section 303(c) of the Act.   Water  quality
standards reviews for  water body segments involving  prospective AT
projects should take into account the  Agency's  policy  and  technical
procedures for review  of and funding  decisions  for such projects.

Policies and Procedures  Related to Approvals

     Revisions to State  water  quality  standards that meet  the
requirements of the Act  are approved  by the  appropriate EPA Regional
Administrator.  The Regional Administrator must within  sixty days
notify the Governor or  his designee by letter of  the approval  and
forward a copy of the  letter to the appropriate State  agency.   The
letter should contain  any information  which  may be helpful  in
understanding the scope  of the approval action.   If  particular events
could result in a failure of the approved standards  to  continue to meet
the requirements of the  Act, these  events should  be  identified in the
approval letter to  facilitate  future  review/revision activities.

     When only a portion  of the  revisions submitted meet the
requirements of the Act,  the Regional  Administrator may only approve
that portion.  If only a  partial approval  is  made, the  Region  should,
for the revisions which  do not meet the requirements of the Act,
administer the State notification as a disapproval action.

Policies and Procedures  Related to Disapprovals

     If the Regional Administrator  determines that the  revisions
submitted are not consistent with or do not meet  the requirements of
the Act, the Regional  Administrator must  disapprove such standards
within ninety days.    Such disapproval is by  written notification to
the Governor of the State or his designee.  The letter  must state why
the revisions are not  consistent with  the Act and specify  the  revisions
which must be adopted  to  obtain full approval.    The letter must  also
notify the Governor that  the Administrator will initiate promulgation
proceedings if the State  fails to adopt and submit the  necessary
revisions within 90 days  after notification.


     A State water quality standard remains in effect, even though
disapproved by EPA, until the State revises it or EPA promulgates a
rule that supersedes the State water quality standard.

Policies and Procedures Related to Promulgations

     If the State fails to appropriately amend its standards during  the
90 day period following the notification of disapproval, the
Administrator is required to promptly publish proposed revisions to  the
State standards in the Federal Register.  Generally,  a public  hearing
will be held on the proposed standards.  Final standards are
promulgated after giving due consideration to written comments  received
and statements made at any public hearings on the proposed  revisions.

     Although only the Administrator may promulgate State standards,
the Regional Office has a major role in the promulgation process.  The
Regional Office provides the necessary background information  and
conducts the public hearings.  The Regions are encouraged to prepare
drafts of the rationale supporting EPA's action  included in the
proposed and final rulemakings.  The rationale should clearly  state  the
reason for the disapproval of the State standard.  The documentation
should be forwarded to the Director, Criteria and Standards Division

     If a State remedies the deficiencies in its water quality
standards prior to promulgation, the Administrator will terminate the
rulemaking proceedings.  However, if a proposed  rulemaking  has  been
published in the Federal Register, then the Regional  Administrator
must not approve the State's changes until the proposed rulemaking  has
been withdrawn by the Administrator.

Withdrawal Notices

     Proposed Rulemaking

     Whenever promulgation proceedings are terminated, a notice  of
withdrawal of the proposed rulemaking must be published in  the Federal
Register.  The Regional Offices are responsible  for initiating  such
action and furnishing a  rationale for use in preparing the  notice  for
the Administrator's signature.  These materials  should be sent  to the
Criteria and Standards Division  (WH-585).


     An EPA-promulgated  standard will be withdrawn when revisions  to
State water quality standards are made which meet the requirements  of
the Act.

     In such a situation, the Regional Office should  initiate  the
withdrawal action by notifying the Criteria and  Standards Division
(WH-585) that it  is requesting the withdrawal and specifying the
rationale for the withdrawal.  EPA's action to withdraw a Federally
promulgated standard requires both a proposed and final Rulemaking.

                         PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
     This guidance includes two objectives  that  emphasize  public
participation and intergovernmental  coordination.   The  first  is  to
involve the regulated community (municipalities  and  industry)  in the
review and revision of water  quality  standards.  The  second  objective
is to encourage local, State, EPA, Regional  and  Headquarters  personnel
to cooperate as partners  in the water  quality  standards  review process.
This partnership will ensure  cross-fertilization of  ideas,  data  and
information and will  increase the  effectiveness  of  the  total  water
quality management process.

     Revisions in the water quality  standards  regulation were  made to
foster improved scientific and technical  bases of water  quality
standards decisions.  The analyses described in  previous sections of
this Handbook should  assist States in  analyzing  their standards  and  in
setting appropriate site-specific  water  quality  standards.

     An important component of the water  quality standards  setting
process is the meaningful involvement  in  the process  of  those  affected
by standards decisions.  At a minimum, States  are required  by  Section
303(c) of the Clean Water Act to hold  a  public hearing  in  reviewing  and
revising their water  quality  standards.   However, States are  urged to
more actively involve the public in  the  review process.  By  opening  the
water quality standards decision-making  process  to  the  public,  States
can encourage scientific  discussion  of the  analyses  and  build  the
consensus necessary for implementing water  quality  standards
decisions.  The State may satisfy  this public  hearing requirement by
providing the opportunity for the  public  to  request a hearing.   If no
such request is forthcoming,  the State need  not  actually conduct a

     There are several points in the water  quality  standards  decision-
making process where  public (municipal,  industrial, environmental,
academic, etc.) involvement would  be  beneficial.  Enlisting  the  support
of municipalities, industries, environmentalists and  universities in
collecting and evaluating data for the recommended  analyses  is another
way States can involve those  affected  by  standards  decisions  in  the
review process.  The  participation of  outside  groups  in  data  collection
and analyses must be  based on State  guidelines and  oversight  to  ensure
the integrity of the  analyses.  The  extra time and  effort  necessary  to
organize and coordinate the participation of outside  groups  is worth
the effort, particularly  if the standards review is  likely  to  generate
widespread interest and/or controversy.

     Involving the public in  the analysis and  interpretation  of  the
data should assist States in  improving the  scientific basis  of the
standards decisions and in building  support  for  a standards  decision.
Scientific discussion of the  data  can  clarify  areas of  uncertainty,
bring in new data, and/or identify areas  where new  data  is  necessary.
The more people that  are  involved  early  in  the process  of  setting

appropriate standards, the more support the State will have in
implementing the standards.

     For the formal public hearings on the reviews and/or  revisions  of
State water quality standards, the following requirements  are

     (1)  A notice of the public hearing must be published in a
          newspaper with general circulation in the affected area  at
          least 30 days prior the hearing.  The notice should include:

          (a) time and location of hearing,
           b) hearing agenda,
           c) notification of the availability of a Fact Sheet  (The
              sheet must outline the major issues to  be discussed,
              relevant State  staff reports on the standards,
              determinations  on proposed revisions, and any analyses
              conducted in support of proposed revisions that the
              public should be aware of prior to the  hearing),  and
          (d) the  location where reports, documents and data to  be
              discussed at the hearing are available  for public

     (2)  Notice of the public hearing should be mailed at least 30
          days prior to the hearing to interested and affected  persons
          and organizations including private and government
          organizations and individuals who have filed with the  State
          requesting such notices.  Notice of hearings should also be
          mailed to adjoining States and to Federal,  interstate, and
          State agencies which are affected by existing State water
          quality  standards or the proposed revisions.

     (3)  In addition, any other requirements necesssary to comply with
          State law for rulemaking hearings.

     The hearing notice should solicit comments and provide opportunity
for public comment.  It is suggested that the hearing be held in the
locally affected area.  The State should prepare transcripts and
summaries of the hearings which would be available for inspection  by
the public and the Regional Administrator.  To facilitate  EPA's  review
of revisions, States should supply the Agency with responses to  the
public comments related to the revision(s).

     As has been indicated, effective public participation in the
standards revision process is far more than a public  hearing.   The
interaction of local, State and Federal governments along  with  the
input of industry, municipalities and public interest groups will  make
the process more effective.

                             MIXING ZONES


     The concept of a mixing zone, a  limited  area  or  volume  of  water
where initial dilution of a discharge takes place,  has  been  covered by
a series of guidance documents  issued by EPA  and its  predecessor
agencies.  Although mixing zones have been applied  in the water quality
standards program since its inception, the Water Quality  Standards
regulation never has had explicit reference to mixing zones.  The
rule now recognizes that States may adopt mixing zones  as a  matter  of
State discretion.  Guidance on  defining mixing zones  has  previously
been provided in the following  documents:  the Department of Interior
Report, Water Quality Criteria  1968,  (Green Book),  the  National Academy
of Science, Hater Quality Criteria 1972, (Blue Book), the EPA Quality
Criteria for Water 1976 (Red Book), and Chapter 5,    "Water  Quality
Standards, in the Guidelines for State and Area Wide  Water Quality
Management Program, 1976.  The  current guidance evolved from and
supersedes these sources.

     A limited mixing zone, serving as a zone  of  initial  dilution  in
the immediate area of a point source of pollution, may be  allowed.*
Whether to establish a mixing zone policy is a matter of  State
discretion.  Such a policy, however, must be consistent with  the Act
and is subject to the approval of the Regional Administrator.

     Careful  consideration must be given to the appropriateness of a
mixing zone where a substance discharged is bioaccumulative,
persistent, carcinogenic, mutagenic, or teratogenic.  In  such cases the
State must consider such effects as sediment deposition,
bioaccumulation in aquatic biota, biconcentration in the  food chain,
and the known or predicted safe exposure levels for the substance.  The
effects of bioaccumulation will depend on the  predicted duration/
concentration exposure of the biota; thus, the likelihood  that the
mixing zone will  be inhabited by resident biota for a sufficiently long
time to cause adverse effects should be considered.  Factors  such  as
size of the zone, concentration gradient within the zone,  physical
habitat, attraction of aquatic life, etc., are important  in this
evaluation.  In some instances, the ecological and human  health effects
may be so adverse that a mixing zone is not appropriate.

Definition of Allowable Mixing Zones

     Water quality standards should describe the  State's  methodology
for determining the location,  size, shape, outfall design  and in-zone
quality of mixing zones.  The methodology should  be sufficiently

*In the broadest sense, the zone surrounding,  or  downstream from,  a
 discharge location is an "allocated impact zone" where numeric water
 quality criteria can be exceeded as long as acutely toxic conditions
 are prevented.

precise to support regulatory actions, issuance of  permits  and
determination of RMP's for nonpoint sources.   EPA recommends  the

Location.  Biologically important areas are to be identified  and
protected.  Where necessary to preserve a zone of passage for migrating
fish or other organisms in a water course, the standards  should
specifically identify the portion of the waters to  be  kept  free from
mixing zones.  The zone of passage should be  based  on  the water quality
criteria needed to allow migration of fish.   This is typically less
stringent than water quality criteria needed  to maintain  good growth
and propagation of fish.
                                                        surface  area
                                                        have  been
Size.  Various methods and techniques for defining the
the volume of mixing zones for various types of waters
formulated.  Methods which result in quantitative measures  sufficient
for permit actions and which protect the designated uses of the water
body as a whole are acceptable.  The area or volume of
zone or group of zones must be limited to an area or
                                                        an  individual
                                                      volume  as  small
practicable that will not interfere with the  designated  uses  or  with
the established community of aquatic life  in  the segment  for  which  the
uses are designated.

Shape.  The shape of a mixing zone should  be  a  simple  configuration
that is easy to locate in the body of water and that avoids impingement
on biologically important areas.   In lakes, a circle with a specified
radius is generally preferable, but other  shapes may be  specified  in
the case of unusual site requirements.  "Shore-hugging"  plumes should
be avoided in all  water bodies.
Outfall Design.  Prior to designating any mixing  zone,  the  State  should
                best practicable engineering  design  is  used and that
                the existing or proposed outfall  will  avoid significant
                resource and water quality  impacts of  the wastewater
assure that the
the location of
adverse aquatic
In-zone Quality.  Water quality  standards  should  provide  that  all
mixing zones conform with the following  requirements.   Any  mixing  zone
should be free of point or nonpoint  source  related:

     (a) Materials in concentrations that will  cause acute  toxicity  to
     aquatic life.*

     (b) Materials in concentrations that  settle  to  form  objectionable
* Acute toxicity as  used  here  refers  to  aquatic  life  lethality  caused
  by passage through the  mixing zone  by  migrating  fish  moving  up - or
  downstream, or by  less  mobile forms  drifting through  a  plume.
  Requirements for waste  water plumes  which  tend to attract  aquatic
  life should take into account such  attraction  and reduce  toxicity so
  as not to cause irreversible toxic  effects  in  such  attracted  aquatic


     (c) Floating debris, oil , scum and other matter  in  concentrations
     that form nuisances;

     (d) Substances in concentrations that  produce  objectionable  color,
     odor, taste or turbidity; and

     (e) Substances in concentrations which  produce undesirable aquatic
     life or result in a dominance of nuisance  species.
Mixing Zones for the Discharge of Dredged or  Fill Material

     EPA, in conjunction with the Department  of the Army,  has  developed
guidelines to be applied in evaluating the discharge  of  dredged  or  fill
material  in navigable waters.  (See 40 CFR Part 230,  Federal Register,
December 24, 1980).  The guidelines include provisions for determining
the acceptability of mixing discharge zones (§230.11(f)).   The
particular pollutants involved should be evaluated carefully in
establishing dredging mixing zones.  Dredged  spoil discharges  generally
result in a temporary short-term disruption and do not represent  a
continous discharge of materials that will affect beneficial uses over
a long-term.  Disruption of beneficial uses should be the  primary
consideration in establishing mixing zones for dredged and fill
activities.  State water quality standards should reflect  these
principles if mixing zones for dredging activities are referenced.

Mixing Zones for Aquaculture Projects

     The Administrator is authorized, after public hearings, to  permit
certain discharges associated with approved aquaculture  projects
(Section 318 of the Act).  The regulations relating to aquaculture
(40 CFR §122.56 and §125.11), provide that the aquaculture project  must
not result in a violation of standards outside of the project  area  and
project approval must not result in the enlargement of any previously
approved mixing zone.  In addition, the aquaculture regulations  provide
that designated project areas must not include so large  a  portion of
the body of water that a substantial portion  of the indigenous biota
will be exposed to the conditions within the  designated  project  area
(125.11(d)).  Areas designated for approved aquaculture  projects  should
be treated in the same manner as other mixing zones.  Special
allowances should not be made for these areas.


     Water quality standards should protect water quality  for
designated uses in critical low flow situations.  In establishing water
quality standards, States may designate a critical low stream  flow
below which numerical water quality criteria do not apply.  However,  at
all  times water shall be free from substances that settle  to form
objectionable deposits; float as debris, scum, oil, or other matter;
produces objectionable color, odor, taste, or turbidity; are acutely
toxic, and which produce undesirable or nuisance aquatic life.
Additional guidance on flow considerations may be found in Design
Conditions. Chapter I, Stream Design Flow (Draft), August  31,  1983.
This report is available from the Monitoring and Data Support  Division

                           ECONOMIC GUIDANCE
     Part 131.10, paragraph (g)(6) of the Water Quality Standards
Regulation allows States, under certain conditions,  to change a  desig-
nated use if attaining that use would result  in substantial  and  wide-
spread economic and social  impact.  The substantial  and widespread
criteria should be applied  to discrete changes in economic activity due
to water quality standards.  When considering these  changes in economic
activity, States should evaluate the incremental  effects due to  water
quality standards; that is, effects due to controls  beyond technology-
based standards or other State requirements.

     For municipalities, States should consider the  economic effects
associated with controls beyond the technology-based requirements in
Section 301(b)(l)(B) of the Clean Water Act.   If water quality standards
require municipal treatment beyond those levels,  EPA believes States
should evaluate both the municipality's ability to make the initial  pollu-
tion control investment and their financial  capability over time for
continued operation and maintenance.  States  should  also evaluate changes
to disposable income resulting from increased user charges or higher
taxes.  Another effect to consider is a situation where the municipality
can make the investment for pollution control  only by restricting expendi-
tures for other municipal activities.  These  types of economic effects
are the factors States should consider.  States should then determine
if the effects on the affected community are  substantial and widespread.

     When industry is required to install  additional  controls, the
appropriate baseline is the technology-based  requirement of Section
301(b)(2).     If water quality standards  require industrial  controls
beyond those requirements,  States should consider the economic effects
associated with the additional level of control.   States should  consider
effects such as plant closure and unemployment, resulting from the
inability of the plant to provide the necessary treatment.  States  should
evaluate these effects in light of the level  of unemployment in  the  area.
States should also consider the condition  where the  plant is able to
install and operate the treatment, but these  expenditures would  cancel
or delay current plans for  plant expansion or modernization.  This
effect on plant investment  could cause reductions in future growth  of
employment and sales.  Other industry effects include shifts in  production
processes or practices that change the plant's inputs.  These shifts
could result in changes to  local  employment,  sales,  and tax revenues.
States should also evaluate effects on profitability and on a firm's
competitive position.  Further, if the plant's output is used locally,
and the plant can pass through the additional  costs  in the form  of
higher prices, States should consider the  price increase.

     The factors listed above are not meant  to be  all-inclusive  of  what
the States should consider when evaluating economic  impact.   Other
economic effects may be appropriate,  depending on  the  locality.   Thus,
any evaluation must be site-specific  and address specific  conditions  in
the affected community.  The appropriate definition  for  community may
vary depending on the type of effect  being measured.   For  example,  if
unemployment is the effect being considered, the area  from which the
labor pool is drawn is affected community.   After  considering the
appropriate factors, States should determine whether the effects are
substantial and if so, whether they are widespread.
                                 2 -12

                        ANTIDEGRADATION  POLICY


     Each State must develop,  adopt  and  retain  a  Statewide
antidegradation policy in the  water  quality  standards  and  identify
methods for its implementation through the State  WQM  process.   At a
minimum the policy should contain the following components:

     1.  Existing instream water  uses and the  level  of water quality
     necessary to protect the  existing uses  shall  be maintained and

     2.  Where the quality of  the waters exceed levels necessary to
     support propagation of fish, shellfish, and  wildlife  and
     recreation in and on the  water, that quality shall  be maintained
     and protected unless the  State  finds, after  full  satisfaction of
     the intergovernmental coordination  and  public participation
     provisions of the State's continuing planning process,  that
     allowing lower water quality is necessary  to accommodate  important
     economic or social development  in the area in which the waters are
     located.  In allowing such degradation  or  lower water quality, the
     State shall  assure water  quality adequate  to protect  existing uses
     fully.  Further, the State shall assure that there shall  be
     achieved the highest statutory  and  regulatory requirements for all
     new and existing point sources  and  all  cost-effective and
     reasonable best management practices for  nonpoint source  control.

     3.  Where high quality waters constitute  an  outstanding National
     resource, such as waters  of  National and  State  parks  and  wildlife
     refuges and waters of exceptional recreational  or ecological
     significance, that water  quality shall  be  maintained  and

     4.  In those cases where  potential  water  quality  impairment
     associated with a thermal discharge is  involved,  the
     antidegradation policy and implementing method  shall  be consistent
     with section 316 of the Act.

     Existing approved antidegradation statements consistent with
§131.12 may be retained, but procedures  for  implementation must be
established through the State  water  quality management (WQM) process.
These procedures will enable the  State to determine on a case-by-case
basis whether, and to what extent, water quality  may be lowered.

Public and Intergovernmental Review

     The State WQM process must provide  that whenever  an activity is
proposed which may degrade existing  high quality  waters, the State will
assure that there is adequate  public and intergovernmental

     Uhere the public and Intergovernmental response, taken as a whole,
clearly opposes a proposed degradation, the State must give serious
consideration to that response and may not allow the proposed
degradation activity unless it has a substantial and convincing
justification for the activity.

     While a State may decide, after satisfying the requirements for
coordination and public participation, to allow some degradation of
"high quality waters," any such lower water quality must  protect
existing uses fully and must also reflect the highest statutory and
regulatory requirement for all new and existing point sources and  all
cost-effective and reasonable BMPs for nonpoint source control.
"Highest statutory and regulatory requirements" refers to BAT or
secondary treatment or new source performance standards  (subject to any
modifications under 301(g) and 316(a)), and any more stringent
requirements imposed under State law or regulation.

Outstanding National Resource Waters

     EPA changed the regulatory provision dealing with the degradation
of outstanding National resource water (ONRW) to provide  a limited
exception to the previous absolute "no degradation" requirement.   The
regulation requires water quality to be maintained and protected in
ONRW.  EPA interprets this provision such that  States may allow some
limited activities which result in temporary and short-term changes in
the water quality of ONRW.  Such activities must not permanently
degrade water quality nor result in water quality lower  than that
necessary to protect the existing uses in the ONRW.  It  is difficult to
give an exact definition of "temporary" and "short-term"  because of the
variety of activities which might be considered.  The intent of EPA's
provision clearly is to limit water quality degradation  to the shortest
possible time.  If a construction activity is involved,  for example,
temporary is defined as the length of time necessary to  construct  the
facility and make it operational.  During any period of  time when,
after opportunity for public participation in the decision, the State
allows temporary degradation, all practical means of minimizing such
degradation shall be implemented.

     This change was made to make the ONRW provision a reasonable  one
which should encourage more States to make use  of this designation.
EPA views the effects of the change as minimal  and consistent with
sound resource management.  The change is intended to avoid
unreasonable restrictions and provide flexibility within the
regulation.  Example of situations when flexibility is required

     Example 1 - A national park wishes to replace a defective septic
tank - drainfield system in a campground.  The  campground is located
immediately adjacent to a small stream with the ONRW use designation.

     If the previous regulation were taken literally, no construction
would be allowed because if precipitation occurred, sediment would be
washed into the stream.  Under the new provision, the construction
could occur if best management practices were scrupulously followed to
minimize any disturbance of water quality or aquatic habitat.


     Example 2 - Same situation except the  campground  is  served  by a
small sewage treatment plant already discharging to  the ONRW.   It  is
desired to enlarge the treatment system and provide  higher  levels  of

     Under the previous regulation, since no degradation  was permitted,
this water-quality-enhancing action would not be permitted  because of
the temporary increase in sediment and, perhaps, in  organic loading
which would occur during the actual construction phase.   Under the new
regulation, it could be allowed.

     Example 3 - A National forest with a mature,  second  growth  of
trees which are suitable for harvesting, with associated  road repair
and re-stabilization.  Streams in the area designated  as  ONRW and
support trout fishing.

     The new regulation intends that best management practices for
timber harvesting be followed and might include preventive measures
more stringent than for similar logging in less environmentally
sensitive areas.  Of course, if the lands were being considered  for
designation as wilderness areas or other similar designations, EPA's
regulation should not be construed as encouraging  or condoning
timbering operations.  The regulation only allows  temporary and  short
term water quality degradation while maintaining existing uses or  new
uses consistent with the purpose of the management of  the ONRW area.

Antidegradation and Growth

     National antidegradation requirements should  not  be  viewed  as a
"no growth" rule.  Where the State intends to provide  for further
development, the State WQM process should evaluate the alternative
measures which can be taken to preserve water quality, such as
requiring land disposal  for new projects.  The evaluation must take
into account the physical, chemical, and biological  characteristics of
the  waterbody and possible widespread economic and  social impacts.

Optional  State Actions

     The State's antidegradation policy is to be used  for the
protection of existing water quality.  Use designations should not be
an issue, since the specific water quality standards should always, at
a minimum, designate existing beneficial  uses.  The  State's water
quality standards for high quality waters may, within the constraints
and limitations of monitoring practicability, set  forth the existing
water quality of a segment.  Thus, the State may adopt specific
criteria  reflecting existing levels measured in the  high quality
segment,  even though such levels may be more stringent than the  Section
304(a)  criteria minimum  levels for given uses.  Documentation of
existing  water quality is essential in the State WQM process as  a
baseline  against which any future degradation could  be measured.


Consistency with Section 316

     Under Section 316(a) of the Act, if a proper showing is made,
NPDES permits may contain thermal effluent limitations which are less
stringent than those which might otherwise be required under Section
301(b)(l)(C) to implement State antidegradation requirements.  (In this
respect, Section 316(a) creates a limited exception to Section 510).
Section 131.12(a)(4) of the water quality standard regulation therefore
provides that States must ensure that their antidegradation policies
are not interpreted or applied to prevent the imposition of modified
thermal effluent limitations in NPDES permits under Section 3l6(a).

Federal Review of Antidegradation Policies and Actions

     The State's antidegradation statement and implementing procedures,
as a part of its water quality standards and WQM process, are subject
to the Regional Administrator's>review and approval.  EPA encourages
submittal of any amendments to this statement and implementing
procedures to the Regional Administrator for pre-adoption review so
that the State may take EPA comments into account prior to final



     Section 131.11(a)(2) of the  Water Quality  Standards  Regulation
provides that the "States must  review water  quality data  and
information on discharges to identify specific  water  bodies where  toxic
pollutants may be adversely affecting water  quality or  the  attainment
of the designated water use or  where the  levels  of  toxic  pollutants  are
at a level to warrant  concern and must adopt  criteria for such  toxic
pollutants applicable  to the water body sufficient  to protect the
designated use."  The  criteria  which are  adopted may  be numerical  or
narrative or both.  Pollutant-specific numerical criteria may be used
when the control of specific pollutants is of concern,  and  narrative
criteria may be applied when the  control  of  either  combinations of
pollutants together or individual pollutants  not contained  in State
water quality standards is  of concern.

     When narrative criteria are  adopted  in  lieu of numerical criteria
to control toxic pollutants, the  Water Quality  Standards  Regulation
requires that "the  State must provide information identifying the
method by which the State intends to regulate point source  discharges
of toxic pollutants on water quality limited  segments based on  such
narrative criteria," and that "such information  may be  included as part
of the standards or may be  included in documents generated  by the  State
in response to the  Water Quality  Planning and Management  Regulations
(40 CFR Part 35)."

     To implement these numerical and narrative  criteria, the
Environmental Protection Agency encourages the  use  of an  integrated
strategy consisting of both biological and chemical methods.  Where
State water quality standards contain numerical  criteria  for toxic
pollutants, NPDES permits will  contain limits as necessary  to assure
compliance with these  standards.  In addition to enforcing  specific
numerical criteria, biological  techniques and available data on
chemical effects will  be used to  assess toxicity impacts  based  on  the
State's general  narrative toxicity standard.  The use of  such an
integrated approach by the  EPA  and the States has been  endorsed in a
draft EPA Office of Water "Policy for the Development of  Water
Quality-Based Permit Limitations  for Toxic Pollutants."

     The following  section discusses how  numerical  and  narrative
criteria may be applied for toxic pollutants.

Approaches for Applying Numerical and Narrative  Criteria  for Toxic

     All States  have a general  narrative  requirement in their water
quality standards that their waters not contain toxic substances in
toxic amounts (e.g., the so-called "toxics free  from").   This
requirement, which focuses on the toxicological  properties  of either


individual substances or mixtures of substances, has most  commonly  been
applied to individual toxic pollutants through the establishment  of
pollutant-specific water quality based controls, but can also  be
applied to mixtures of pollutants such as can be found in  whole
effluents or in receiving waters.  The latter application  of general
narrative toxicity criteria is consistent with §502(13) of the Clean
Water Act, which defines "toxic pollutant" as "those pollutants,  or_
combinations of pollutants, . . . which . . .will . . . cause death,
disease, behavioral abnormalities, cancer, .  . ."  (emphasis added).

     Narrative toxicity criteria are normally applied to those
pollutants identified under §307(a)(l) of the Clean Water  Act, but  may
also be applied to any other individual pollutant  or combination  of
pollutants which fit the definition of §502(13).

     The two possible approaches for applying numerical and narrative
water quality criteria are discussed further  below.

Pollutant-Specific Approach for Applying Toxics Water Quality  Criteria

     A pollutant-specific approach for controlling toxic pollutants
involves the application of numerical water quality criteria which
reflect the toxicological properties of individual substances.  These
numerical criteria express water quality objectives for preventing
acute or chronic toxicity or for meeting a defined level of water
quality protection that is based on the water body's designated uses.

     The pollutant-specific approach is most  appropriately used where  a
few specific pollutants have been identified  as the concern, or where
human health is the issue.  Predictive tools  such  as water quality  fate
and transport models are often used to translate specific  criteria  on  a
pollutant-by-pollutant basis into a specific  water quality based  permit

     The numerical criteria which are applied in any given case may be
based on existing water quality standards or  published criteria,  or
else site-specific numerical criteria may be  developed based on the
State's general narrative toxicity standard.  A recommended procedure
for determining appropriate numerical water quality criteria for
individual toxic pollutants is outlined below:

  1) The designated uses of the receiving water should first be
     examined to determine whether the protection  of aquatic life,
     human health, or both is of concern.  Appropriate criteria
     protective of aquatic life or human health should then be selected
     in the steps  below for those pollutants  present or  suspected of
     being present in the water body.

  2) The applicable State water quality  standards  for  the  receiving
     water should  be examined to see if a numerical criterion  value
     exists for the  parameter of concern, and if  it appropriately
     reflects the  aquatic life or human  health protection  needs of  the
     water body.   If so, then this criterion  may  be applied.


  3) If no appropriate criteria appear  in the State's  water  quality
     standards, then the EPA national criteria  for  protection  of
     aquatic life and human health  (References  1, 2, 3, 4) may be
     consulted for the pollutant parameters of  concern.   If  a  discharge
     is to a receiving water designated as a domestic  water  supply,
     then the finished drinking water health advisories (adjusted  for
     treatment capabilities) should  also be consulted.  Where  a
     pollutant has both EPA human health water  quality criteria and
     drinking water advisories, the  more stringent  of  the  criteria
     should normally be applied.

  4) For those pollutants which have no EPA water quality  criteria or
     drinking water advisories, or the criteria or  advisories  are
     inapplicable to the water body  of concern, site-specific  criteria
     which are protective of the water body's designated uses  should  be
     developed based on the State's  general narrative  toxicity
     standard.  These site-specific  criteria should be developed
     utilizing toxicity tests, indicator organisms, and application
     factors which may be contained  in the State's  water quality
     standards, or other procedures  that are consistent with those
     outlined in Chapter 4 of this Handbook.

     The Pennsylvania Water Quality  Standards illustrate how numerical
criteria can be developed and applied for pollutants.  The Standards
list the parameters for which criteria have been established by the
State and the values of those criteria; and also acknowledge that  the
"list of specific water quality criteria does not include  all  possible
substances that could cause pollution," and that "for  substances not
listed, the general criterion that these substances shall  not  be
inimical or injurious to the designated water use applies."  The
Pennsylvania standards further define the steps which  may  be taken when
a specific criterion has not been established for a pollutant.  They
provide that a specific criterion may be determined through
establishment of a "safe concentration value," which shall be  based
upon adequate data obtained from relevant aquatic field studies,
available literature, or specific bioassay tests, or, where
insufficient data are available to establish a  safe concentration
value, shall be determined by using  specified bioassay testing
procedures and by applying appropriate specified application factors  to
the pollutant's 96-hour (or greater) LC5Q value.

General Toxicity Approach for Applying Toxics Water Quality  Criteria

     A general  toxicity approach focuses on the overall toxicological
properties of mixtures of pollutants in effluents or receiving  waters,
with the objective of preventing acute and chronic  toxicity  conditions
in the water body and meeting a defined level  of water quality
protection that is based on the water body's designated uses.   With
this approach, the State's general  narrative toxicity  standard  is  used
on a case-by-case basis to ensure that no acute toxicity conditions
exist within any State-defined or otherwise identified mixing  zone, and
no acute or chronic toxicity conditions exist elsewhere in the  water


     The general toxicity approach is most appropriately used where
effluent or instream conditions are complex.  For example, the toxicity
effects of one or several discharges containing many known or unknown
constituents can be readily assessed.  This approach can also be
applied in conjunction with pollutant-specific techniques, especially
when residual  toxicity or synergistic or other effects are a concern.

     The State Water Quality Standards of Maryland and Florida
illustrate how narrative criteria can be developed and applied for
individual and combinations of pollutants.  Maryland's Water Quality
Standards contain a general criterion which provides that the "waters
of the State at all times shall be free from . .  . toxic, corrosive, or
other deleterious substances attributable to sewage, industrial waste,
or other waste in concentrations or combinations which interfere
directly or indirectly with water uses, or which are harmful to human,
animal, plant, or aquatic life" (emphasis added).  Florida's Water
Quality Standards contain a similar general narrative criterion which
provides that "all waters . .  . shall at all places and at all times be
free from . .  . components of discharges which, alone or in combination
with other substances 0£ in_ combination with other components _of
discharges . . . are acutely toxic ... or .  . . carcinogenfc~7
mutagenic, or teratogenic to human beings or ... aquatic life .  .  ."
(emphasis added).  The Florida standards also further specify several
of the narrative requirements  contained therein: for example, the
standards define acute toxicity to mean "the presence of one or more
substances or characteristics  or components of substances in amounts
which . . . are greater than one-third (1/3) of the ... 96 hr.
LC5Q . .  . where the 9fi hr. LC5Q is the lowest value which has
been determined for a species significant to the indigenous aquatic
community . . . ."

     Toxicity tests, including instream or laboratory bioassays and
instream biological sampling, may be used to implement this approach.
The State should identify, in  its water quality standards or a guidance
document, the appropriate acute and/or chronic toxicity bioassay tests,
number and types of indicator  organisms, application factors, water
body design conditions, and instream biological sampling procedures to
be used.  The methods and procedures to he employed should be
reflective of the use designations of the water bodies to be protected.

     numerous States already identify various toxicity testing-related
requirements in their water quality standards.  For example, the West
Virginia standards provide that "bioassay testing shall be conducted in
accordance with the methodologies outlined in the . . . [EPA
publication,1 Methods of Acute Toxicity Tests with Fish,
Macroinvertebrates, and Amphibians . . .: Standard Method's of [sic] the
Examination of Water and Wastewater  ...:... Standard Method of
Test for ASTM . .  .; or . . .  [the EPA pub! icatioTH, Methods fo~
Measuring the Acute Toxicity of Effluents to Aquatic Organisms . .   .":
and Texas' standards state that, "[f]or evaluations of toxicity,

bioassay techniques will be selected as suited to the  purpose  at  hand,"
and "[a]s a general guideline, bioassays will be conducted  using  fish
indigenous to the  receiving waters, and water quality  conditions  .  .  .
which approximate those of the receiving waters."

     Reference 5 contains additional information on toxicity testing
methods and procedures for setting water quality based controls for
toxic pollutants using a general toxicity approach.

1. U.S. EPA, Water Quality Criteria Documents  (45 FR 79318,
   November 28, 1980, 46 FR 40919, August 13,  1981).

2. Quality Criteria for Water, U.S. EPA (1976).  GPO Stock No.

3. Water Quality Criteria, U.S. EPA (1972).  EPA-R3-73-033.

4. Water Quality Criteria, FWPCA  (1968).

5. A Technical  Support Document for Mater Quality Based Toxics Control
   (Draft), U.S. EPA, Office of Water (1983).

                       TO DESIGNATED WATER  USES


     The Section 304(a)(l) criteria published periodically  by  EPA  can
be used to support the designated uses which are generally  found in
State standards.  The following sections  briefly discuss  the
relationship between certain criteria  and individual  use
classifications.  Additional information  on this subject  may also  be
found in the FWPCA report, Water Quality  Criteria  1968  ("Green  Book");
the National Academy of Science, Water Quality Criteria 1972  ("Blue
Book"); the EPA Quality Criteria 'for Water  1976 ("Red Book");  the  EPA
Water Quality Criteria Documents(45 FR 79318. November  28,  1980, 46 FR
40919, August 13, 1981); and future EPA section 304(a)(l) water quality
criteria publications.

     Where a water body is designated  for more than  one use, criteria
necessary to protect the most sensitive use must be  applied.


     Recreational uses of water include activities such as  swimming,
wading, boating, and fishing.  In general,  insufficient data exist on
the human health effects of physical and  chemical  pollutants,  including
most toxics, resulting from exposure through such  primary contact  as
swimming.  However, as a general guideline, recreational  waters that
contain chemicals in such concentrations  as to be  toxic or  otherwise
harmful to man if ingested, or to be irritating to the  skin or  mucous
membranes of the human body upon brief immersion should be  avoided.
The section 304(a)(l) human health effects  criteria  based on direct
human drinking water intake and fish consumption might  provide  useful
guidance in these circumstances.  Also, section 304(a)(l) criteria
based on human health effects may be used to support  this designated
use where fishing is included in the State  definition of  "recreation."
In this latter situation, only the portion  of the  criterion based  on
fish consumption should be used.  Section 304(a)(l)  criteria to protect
recreational uses are also available for  certain physical,
microbiological, and qualitative parameters.

     The "Green Book" and "Blue Book" provide additional  information on
protecting recreational uses.

Protection and Propagation of Fish and Other Aquatic  Life

     The section 304(a)(l) criteria based on toxicity to  aquatic life
may be used directly to support this designated use.  If  subcategories
of this use are adopted (e.g., to differentiate between cold water and
warm water fisheries), then appropriate criteria should be  set  to
reflect the varying needs of such subcategories.

Agricultural  and Industrial Uses

     The "Green Book" and "Blue Book" provide information for certain
parameters on protecting agricultural and industrial uses, although
section 304(a)(l) criteria for protecting these uses have not been
specifically developed for numerous other parameters, including most

     Where criteria have not been specifically developed for these
uses, the criteria developed for human health and aquatic life are
usually sufficiently stringent to protect these uses.  States may also
establish criteria specifically designed to protect these uses.

Public Water Supply

     The drinking water exposure component of the section 304(a)(l)
criteria based on human health effects can apply directly to this use
classification or may be appropriately modified depending upon whether
the specific water supply system falls within the auspices of the Safe
Drinking Water Act's (SDWA) regulatory control, and the type and level
of treatment imposed upon the supply before delivery to the consumer.
The SDWA controls the presence of toxic pollutants  in finished
("end-of-tap") drinking water.  A brief description of relevant
sections of this Act is necessary to explain how the SDWA will work in
conjunction with section 304(a)(l) criteria in protecting human health
from the effects of toxics due to consumption of water.

     Pursuant to section 1412 of the SDWA, EPA has  promulgated
"National Interim Primary Drinking Water Standards" for certain organic
and inorganic substances.  These standards establish "maximum
contaminant levels" ("MCLs") which specify the maximum permissible
level of a contaminant in water which may be delivered to a user of a
public water system now defined as serving a minimum of 25 people.
MCLs are established based on consideration of a range of factors
including not only the health effects of the contaminants but also
technological and economic feasibility of the contaminants' removal
from the supply.  EPA is required to establish revised primary drinking
water regulations based on the effects of contaminant on human health,
and include treatment capability, monitoring availability, and costs.
Under Section 1401(1)(D)(i) of the SDWA, EPA is also allowed to
establish the minimum quality criteria for water which may be taken
into a public water supply system.

     Section 304(a)(l) criteria provide estimates of pollutant
concentrations protective of human health, but do not consider
treatment technology, costs, and other feasibility  factors.  The
section 304(a)(l) criteria also include fish bioaccumulation and
consumption factors in addition to direct human drinking water intake.
These numbers were not developed to serve as "end of tap" drinking
water standards., and they have no regulatory significance under the
SDWA.  Drinking water standards are established based on
considerations, including technological and economic feasibility, not
relevant to section 304(a)(l) criteria.  Section 304(a)(l) criteria may
be analogous to the recommended maximum contaminant levels (RMCLs)
under section 1412(b)(l)(B) of the SDWA in which, based upon a report
from the National Academy of Sciences, the Administrator should set
target levels for contaminants in drinking water at which "no known or


anticipated adverse effects occur and which allows an adequate margin
of safety."  RMCLs do not take treatment, cost, and other feasibility
factors into consideration.  Section 304(a)(l) criteria  are,  in
concept, related to the health-based goals specified in  the RMCLs.
Specific mandates of the SDWA such as the consideration  of multi-media
exposure, as well as different methods for setting maximum contaminant
levels under the two Acts, may result in differences between  the  two

     MCLs of the SDWA, where they exist, control toxic chemicals  in
finished drinking water.  However, because of variations in treatment
and the fact that only a relatively small number of MCLs have been
developed, ambient water criteria may be used by the States as a
supplement to SDWA regulations.  States will have the option  of
applying MCLs, section 304(a)(l) human health effects criteria,
modified section 304(a)(l) criteria, or controls more stringent than
these three to protect against the effects of toxic pollutants by
ingestion from drinking water.

     For untreated drinking water supplies, States may control toxics
in the ambient water through either use of MCLs (if they exist for the
pollutants of concern), section 304(a)(l) human health effects
criteria, or a more stringent contaminant level than the former two

     For treated drinking water supplies serving less than 25 people,
States may choose toxics control  through application of  MCLs  (if  they
exist for the pollutants of concern and are attainable by the type of
treatment) in the finished drinking water.  States also  have  the
options to control  toxics in the ambient water by choosing section
304(a)(l) criteria, adjusted section 304(a)(l) criteria  resulting from
the reduction of the direct drinking water exposure component in  the
criteria calculation to the extent that the treatment procedure reduces
the level of pollutants, or a more stringent contaminant level than the
former three options.

     For treated drinking water supplies serving 25 people or greater,
States must control  toxics down to levels at least as stringent as
MCLs (where they exist for the pollutants of concern) in the  finished
drinking water.  However, States  also have the options to control
toxics in the ambient water by choosing section 304(a)(l) criteria,
adjusted section 304(a)(l) criteria resulting from the reduction  of the
direct drinking water exposure component in the criteria calculation to
the extent that the treatment process reduces the level   of pollutants,
or a more stringent contaminant level  than the former three options.

                               CHAPTER 3




Purpose and Application  	 3-1

Physical Evaluations 	 3-4

Chemical Evaluations 	 3-6

Biological Evaluations 	 3-8

Approaches to Conducting the Physical,

   Chemical, and Biological  Evaluations  	 3-13

References	3-17




             REFERENCES	C-l

Appendix D:  CASE STUDIES	D-l

             Assabet River,  Massachusetts  	 D-3

             Blackwater River, Virginia  	 D-10

             Cuckels Brook,  New Jersey 	 D-18

             Deep Creek and Canal Creek, North Carolina.  . D-25

             Malheur River,  Oregon 	 D-30

             Pecan Bayou, Texas	D-37

             Salt Creek, Nebraska	D-44

             South Fork Crow River, Minnesota	D-49

             South Platte River, Colorado  	 D-53

Purpose and Application

     The purpose of this guidance is to identify the  physical,
chemical and biological factors that may be examined  to determine  if  an
aquatic life protection use is attainable for a given water  body.   The
use attainability analysis is an important environmental  analysis  to
improve the scientific and technical basis of setting site-specific
water quality standards.  The specific analyses included  in  this
guidance are optional.  However, they represent the type  of  analyses
EPA believes are sufficient for States to justify changes in  uses
designated in a water quality standard and to show in Advanced
Treatment Project justifications that the uses are attainable.  States
may use alternative analyses as long as they are scientifically and
technically supportable.  This guidance specifically  addresses streams
and river systems.  EPA is presently developing guidance  for  estuarine
and marine systems and plans to issue such guidance in  1984.

     Several approaches for analyzing the aquatic life  protection  uses
to determine if such uses are appropriate for a given water  body are
discussed.  States are encouraged to use existing data to perform  the
physical, chemical, and biological  evaluations presented  in  this
guidance document.  Not all  of these evaluations are  necessarily
applicable.  For example, if a physical  assessment reveals that the
physical habitat is the limiting factor precluding a  use, a  chemical
evaluation would not be required.  In addition wherever possible,
States also should consider grouping together water bodies having
similar physical, chemical, and biological  characteristics to either
treat several  water bodies or stream segments as a single unit or  to
establish representative conditions which are applicable to  other
similar water bodies or stream segments within a river  basin.  Using
existing data and establishing representative conditions applicable to
a number of water bodies or segments should conserve the limited
resources available to the States.

     The evaluations presented in this guidance document should be
sufficiently detailed to answer:

     - What are the aquatic use(s)  currently being achieved  in the
       water body?

     - What are the causes of any impairment in the aquatic  uses?

     - What are the aquatic use(s)  which can be attained based on  the
       physical, chemical, and biological  characteristics of the water

     Questions addressing the evaluation of control  options are
discussed in the Wasteload Allocation Guidance (EPA,  1983).

     Table 1 summarizes the types of physical, chemical, and biological
evaluations which may be conducted.  The guidance document presents




















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several approaches for conducting the  physical,  chemical,  and
biological evaluations depending on the complexity  of  the  situation.
Details on the various evaluations can be  found  in  the Technical
Support Manual for Conducting Use Attainability  Analyses,  available
from the person listed in the Foreword of  this Handbook.   A  survey  need
not consider all  of the parameters listed  but  rather the survey  should
be designed on the basis of the stream characteristics and other
considerations relevant to a particular survey.   Case  studies  showing
how the analyses were used in evaluating the attainability of  uses  and
in setting appropriate uses for a site-specific  water  quality  standard
are contained in Appendix D.

     These approaches may be adapted to the water body being examined.
Therefore, a close working relationship between  EPA and the  States  is
essential so that EPA can assist States in determining the appropriate
analyses to be used in support of any water quality standards  revisions
or Advanced Treatment Project justifications.  These analyses  should  be
made available to all interested parties before  any public forums on
the water quality standards to allow for full  discussion of  the  data
and analyses.

Physical Evaluations

     Section 101(a) of the Clean Water Act  recognizes the  importance  of
preserving the physical integrity of the Nation's water bodies.
Physical habitat plays an important role in the overall aquatic
ecosystem and impacts the types and number  of species present  in  a
particular body of water.  Physical parameters of a water  body are
examined to identify any non-water quality  related factors which
impair the propagation and protection of aquatic life and  to determine
what uses could be obtained in the water body given such limitations.
In general, physical parameters such as flow, temperature, water  depth,
velocity, substrate, reaeration rates and other factors are used  to
identify any physical limitations that may  preclude the attainment of
the designated use.  Depending on the water body in question any  of the
following physical parameters may be appropriately examined.   A State
may utilize any of these parameters for identifying physical
limitations and characteristics of a water  body.  Once a State has
identified any physical limitations based on evaluating the parameters
listed, careful consideration of "reversibility" or the ability to
restore the physical integrity of the water body should be made.

     Such considerations may include whether it would cause more
environmental  damage to correct the problem than to leave  the  waterbody
as is, or whether physical impediments such as dams can be operated or
modified in a way that would allow attainment of the use.

     I.  Channel  and instream characteristics including:
          0 mean stream width and depth
          0 total  volume
          0 flow and water velocity
          0 reaeration rates
          0 gradient
          0 pools
          0 riffles
          0 seasonal changes
          0 turbidity
          0 suspended solids
          0 temperature
          0 sedimentation
          0 channel  stability
          0 channel  obstructions:
              - dams
              - waterfalls, log jams, steep gradient
              - other impoundments and channel  obstructions
          0 channel  changes:
              - road construction
              - dredging activities
              - clearing areas (culverts, bridges, etc.)
              - channelization
          0 instream cover:
              - undercut banks
              - overhanging brush
          0 snags  and woody debris
          0 downstream characteristics


     II. Substrate composition and
          0 organic debris/muck
          0 clay
          0 silt
          0 sand
                              characteristics including:
                                        ° gravel
                                        0 cobble
                                        0 boulder
                                        0 bedrock
                                                       cobble, sand,
III.  Riparian  characteristics  including:
     0 bank cover
         - forested
         - brush
         - grass and herbaceous vegetation
         - non-vegetated areas
     0 bank stability
     0 soil composition (percent boulder, gravel
       silt, clay)
     0 land gradients
     0 bank width
     Several  assessment techniques have been developed which correlate
physical habitat characteristics to fishery resources (Stalnacker,
1978; Dunham and Cooper, 1975; Collotz and Dunham, 1978).  The
identification of physical  factors limiting a fishery is a critical
assessment that provides important data for the management of the water
body.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has developed habitat
evaluation procedures (HEP) and habitat suitability indices  (HSI).
Several States have begun developing their own models and procedures
for habitat assessments.  Parameters generally included in habitat
assessment procedures are:   temperature, turbidity, velocity, depth,
cover, pool and riffle sizes, riparian vegetation, bank stability,
siltation, etc.  These parameters are correlated to fish species by
evaluating the habitat variables important to the life cycle of the
species.  The value of habitat for other groups of aquatic organisms
such as macroinvertebrates  and periphyton may also be considered.
Continued research and refinement of habitat evaluation procedures
reflects the importance of  physical habitat.

     If physical limitations of a stream restrict the use, there are a
variety of habitat modification techniques which might restore a
habitat so that a species could thrive where it could not before.  Some
of the techniques which have been used include:  bank stabilization,
flow control, current deflectors, check dams, artificial meanders,
isolated oxbows, snag clearing when determined not to be detrimental to
the life cycle or reproduction of a species, and installation of
spawning beds and artificial spawning channels (U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, 1978).  If the habitat is a limiting factor to the  propagation
and/or survival of aquatic  life, the feasibility of modifications might
be examined prior to imposing additional controls on dischargers.

Chemical Evaluations

     The chemical characteristics of a water  body  are  examined  to
determine why a designated use is not being met  and to determine the
potential of a particular species to survive  in  the water  body  if  the
concentration of particular chemicals were modified.   The  following  is
a partial list of the parameters that may be  evaluated.  The  State has
the discretion to determine the parameters required to perform  an
adequate water chemistry evaluation.

                 ° toxicants
                 0 nutrients e.g. nitrogen and phosphorus
                 ° sediment oxygen demand
                 0 salinity
                 ° hardness
                 0 pH
                 0 alkalinity
                 0 dissolved solids
                 0 suspended solids

     As part of the evaluation of the water chemistry  composition, a
natural background evaluation is useful in determining the  relative
contribution of natural background contaminants  to the water  body  as
this may be a legitimate factor which effectively  prevents  a  designated
use from being met.  To determine whether the natural  background
concentration of a pollutant is adversely impacting the  survival of
species, the concentration may be compared to one  of the following:

     0  304(a) criteria guidance documents; or
     0  site-specific criteria; or
     0  State-derived criteria.

     Another way to get an indication of the  potential  for  the  species
to survive is to determine if the species are found in other  waterways
with similar chemical concentrations.  However,  this is  not a precise

     In determining whether man-induced pollution  is irreversible,
consideration needs to be given to the permanence  of the damage, the
feasibility of abating the pollution, or the  additional  environmental
damage that may result from removing the pollutants.   If nonpoint
source pollution cannot be abated with application of  best  management
practices (RMPs^ and the activity causing the nonpoint source pollution
problem is determined to be essential, States may  consider  the
pollution irreversible.  EPA's policy is that feasible BMPs which
reduce nonpoint source pollution must be developed in  accordance with
priorities for developing control  programs for all nonpoint sources
identified in areawide and State planning areas.   Site specific
conditions are to be taken into account during BMP design and

     In addition, if instream toxicants cannot be  removed by  natural
processes and cannot be removed by man without severe  long-term
environmental impacts, the pollution may be considered irretrievable.


     In some areas the water's chemical characteristics may have to be
calculated, using predictive water quality models, rather than
determined empirically.  This will be true if the receiving water is to
be impacted by new dischargers, changes in land use, or improved
treatment facilities.  Guidance is available on the selection and use
of receiving water models for biochemical  oxygen demand, dissolved
oxygen and ammonia for instream systems (EPA, 1983) and dissolved
oxygen, nitrogen and phosphorus for lake systems, reservoirs and
impoundments (EPA, 1981).

     Once a State identifies the chemical  or water quality
characteristics which are limiting the attainment of the use, differing
levels of remedial control measures may be explored.

Biological Evaluations

     In evaluating what aquatic life protection  uses  are  attainable,
the biology of the water body should be evaluated.  The
interrelationships between the physical, chemical and  biological
characteristics are complex and alterations in the physical  and/or
chemical parameters result in biological changes.  The biological
evaluation described in this section encourages  States to  (1)  provide  a
more precise statement of which species exist in the  water  body  and
should be protected; (2) determine the biological health  in  the  water
body and; (3) determine the species that could potentially  exist  in the
water body if the physical and chemical factors  impairing a  use  were
corrected.  This section of the guidance will present  the conceptual
framework for making these evaluations.  States  have  the discretion to
use other scientifically and technically supportable  assessment
methodologies deemed appropriate for specific water bodies  on  a  case by
case basis.  Further details on each of the analyses  presented can be
found in the Technical Support Manual for Conducting  Use  Attainability

     ° Biological Inventory (Existing Use Analysis)

     The identification of which species are in  the water body and
should be protected serves several purposes:

     (a) By knowing what species are present, the biologist  can
     analyze, in general terms, the health of the water body.  For
     example, if the fish species present are principally carnivores,
     the quality of the water is generally higher than in a  water body
     dominated by omnivores.  It also allows the biologist  to  assess
     the presence or absence of intolerant species.

     (b) Identification of the species enables the State to  develop
     baseline conditions against which to evaluate any remedial
     actions.  The development of a regional baseline  based  upon
     several  site-specific species lists increases an  understanding of
     the regional fauna.  This allows for easier grouping of water
     bodies based on the biological regime of the area.

     (c) By identifying the species, the decision-maker has  the  data
     needed to explain the present condition of  the water body to the
     public and the uses which must be maintained.

     The evaluation of the existing biota may be simple or  complex
depending on  the availability of data.  As much  information  as possible
should be gathered on the following categories of organisms:

     0 fish
     0 macroinvertebrates
     0 microinvertebrates
     0 phytoplankton
     0 periphyton
     0 macrophytes


It is not necessary to obtain complete data for all six categories.
However, it is recommended that whichever combination of categories  is
chosen, fish should be included.  The reasons for this  recommendation
are: (1) the general public can relate better to statements about the
condition of the fish community; (2) fish are typically present  even in
the smallest streams and in all but the most polluted waters;  (3) fish
are relatively easy to identify and samples can be  sorted  and
identified at the field site; (4) life-history information is  extensive
for many fish species so that stress effects can be evaluted  (Karr,
1981).  Since fish are mobile, States are encouraged to evaluate other
categories of organisms also.

     Prior to conducting any field work, existing data  should  be
collected.  EPA can provide data from intensive monitoring surveys  and
special studies.  Data, especially for fish, may be available  from
State fish and game departments, recreation agencies, and  local
governments or through environmental impact statements, permit reviews,
surveys, and university and other studies.

     ° Biological Condition/Biological Health Assessment

     The biological inventory can be used to gain insight  into the
biological health of the water body by evaluating:

     (a) species richness or the number of species
     (b) presence of intolerant species
     (c) proportion of omnivores and carnivores
      d) biomass or production
      e) number of individuals per species

The role of the biologist becomes critical in evaluating the  health of
the biota as the knowledge of expected richness or  expected species
comes only from understanding the general biological traits and regimes
of the area.  Best professional judgments by local  biologists  are
important.  These judgments are based on many years of  experience  and
on observations of the physical and chemical changes that  have occurred
over time.

     There are many mechanisms to evaluate biotic communities  that  have
been and are continuing to be developed.  The following briefly
describes mechanisms that States may want to consider  using in their
biological evaluations:

     - Diversity Indices - Diversity indices permit large  amounts  of
information about the numbers and kinds of organisms to be summarized
in a single value.  Diversity  indices have been applied to ascertain
quantitative relationships between the health of the population and
waste discharges.  However, as  summaries, diversity indices  lose

information concerning the  identity  of  particular  species  involved and
thus may obscure major changes in species composition.   These  changes
are often indicative of changed conditions.  The information  on  species
composition can be retained by developing a  species  list in  rank  order
of abundance such as the biological  inventory  discussed  previously.
References on diversity indices may  be  found in the  bibliography  of
this guidance.

     - Habitat Suitability  Index (HSI)  Models  - The  U.S. Fish  and
Wildlife Service Habitat Suitability  Index models  relate habitat
requirements to specific fish species by  identifying key habitat
variables and the range and optimums  for  such  variables.  These  index
models are hypotheses of species-habitat  relationships which may  be
helpful in identifying the  physical  habitat  characteristics  that  are
crucial to the species and  defines the  ranges  and  optimums to  allow
species survival and propagation.

     - Tissue Analyses - Tissue analyses  may be conducted  to assess the
effects of heavy metals and pesticides  on the  biota  present.   This
chemical analysis of tissue for bioaccumulation is especially  important
if the water body is used for recreational or  commercial fishing  as
high hioconcentration of metals and  pesticides by  the  organisms  may
create a human health problem.

     - Recovery Index - Estimating the  elasticity  of an  ecosystem, or
its ability to recover after displacement of structure and/or  function
to a steady state closely approximating the  original, may  be an
interesting quantitative evaluation  to  make  to answer  the  question of
what is the potential for recovery in this water body.   Cairns et a!.
(1977) developed an index of elasticity based  on the following

     (a) existence of nearby epicenters for  reinvading organisms
     (b) transportability or mobility of  disseminules
     (c) presence of residual toxicants following  pollutional  stress
     (d) general present condition of habitat  following  pollutional
     (e) management or organizational capabilities for immediate  or
         direct control of  damaged area.

Stauffer and Hocutt (1980)  applied the  above index to  the  Conowingo
Creek in Pennsylvania.  They believe that this concept may form  the
foundation for a stream classification  system  based  upon the structure
and function of fish communities.

     - Intolerant Species Analysis - The  evaluation  of the presence or
absence of intolerant species refers  to those  species  readily
identified as declining because of water  quality degradation,  habitat
degradation or a combination of the  two.  For  example  in midwestern
streams, species such as blacknose shiner, southern  redbelly dace,
banded darter and others have been found  to  be intolerant.  The

application of the intolerant species analysis can  be  used  on
macroinvertebrates and periphyton as well as  fish to indicate the
degree of degradation.

     - Omnivore-Carnivore Analysis - The  proportion of top  carnivores
and omnivores may give an indication of the  relative health  of  the
community.  Karr  (1980) found that as a site  declines  in  quality, the
proportion of individuals that are omnivores  increases.   Viable and
healthy populations of top carnivore species  such as walleye,
smallmouth bass,  rock bass and others indicate a  relatively  healthy,
diverse community.

     A number of  other methods have been  and  are  being developed to
evaluate the health of biological components  of the aquatic  ecosystem
including short term in situ or  laboratory  bioassays and  partial or
full life-cycle toxicity tests.  These methods are  discussed in several
EPA publications  including:  Basic Water  Monitoring Programs (1978),
Model State Water Monitoring "pTogram (1975)  and the Biological  Methods
Manual (1972).Again, it is not the intent  of this document to specify
tests to be conducted by the States.  This  will depend on the
information available, the predictive accuracy required,  site-specific
conditions of the water body being examined,  and  the cooperation and
assistance the State receives from the affected municipalities  and

     0 Biological Potential Analysis

     A significant step in the use attainability  analysis is the
evaluation of what communities could potentially  exist in a particular
water body if pollution were abated or the  physical habitat  modified.
The approach presented is to compare the  water body in question to
reference reaches within a region.  This  approach includes  the
development of baseline conditions to facilitate  the comparison of
several water bodies at less cost.  As with  the other  analyses
mentioned previously, available  data should  be used so as to minimize
resource impacts.

     The biological potential analysis involves:

          0 defining boundaries  of fish  faunal regions;
          0 selecting control sampling sites  in the reference  reaches
            of each area;
          0 sampling fish and recording  observations at each reference
            sampling site;
          0 establishing the community characteristics for  the
            reference reaches of each area;  and
          0 comparing the water  body in  question  to the reference

     In establishing faunal  regions and  sites,  it is  important  to
select reference  areas for sampling sites that have conditions  typical
of  the region.  The establishment  of reference areas may be based  on


physical and hydrological characteristics.   The  number of reference
reaches needed will be determined by the  State depending  on  the
variability of the waterways within the State and  the  number of  classes
that the State may wish to establish.  For  example,  the State may  want
to use size, flow and substrate as the defining  characteristics  and may
consequently desire to establish classes  such as small, fast running
streams with sandy substrate or large, slow rivers  with cobble bottom.
It is at the option of the State to: (1)  choose  the  parameters to  be
used in classifying and establishing reference reaches and  (2)
determine the number of classes (and thus the refinement) within the
faunal region.  This approach can also be applied  to other  aquatic
organisms such as macroinvertebrates (particularly  freshwater mussels)
and algae.

     Selection of the reference reaches is  of critical  importance
because the characteristics of the aquatic  community will be used  to
establish baseline conditions against which similar  reaches  (based on
physical and hydrological characteristics)  are compared.  Once the
reference reaches are established, the water body  in question can  be
compared to the reference reach.  The results of this  analysis will
reveal if the water body in question has  the typical biota  for that
class or a less desirable community and will provide an indication of
what species may potentially exist if pollution  were abated  or the
physical habitat limitations were remedied.

Approaches to Conducting the Physical,
Chemical, and Biological Evaluations

     Several measurements and experimental techniques  have  been
described for collecting and evaluating the  chemical,  physical,  and
biological data to identify and define:

     0 What aquatic protection uses are currently  being  achieved  in  the
       water body,

     0 What the causes are of any  impairment  in  the  aquatic  protection
       uses, and

     0 What aquatic protection uses could  be  attained  based  on the
       physical, chemical and biological characteristics  of  the  water

     States that assess the status of their  aquatic  resources, in some
cases will have relatively simple  situations  not requiring  extensive
data collection and evaluation.  In other  water  bodies,  however,  the
complexity resulting from variable environmental conditions  and  the
stress from multiple uses of the resource  will  require  both  intensive
and extensive studies to produce a sound evaluation  of  the  system.
Thus procedures that a State may develop for  conducting  a water  body
assessment should be flexible enough to be adaptable to  a variety of
site-specific conditions.

     A common experimental approach used in  biological  assessments has
been a hierarchical approach to the analyses.  This  can  be a  rigidly
tiered approach.  An alternative is presented  in Figure  1.

     The flowchart is a general illustration  of a  thought process used
to conduct a use attainability analysis.   The  process  illustrates
several alternate approaches which can be  pursued  separately, or  to
varying degrees, simultaneously depending  on:

     0  the amount of data available on the  site;
     0  the degree of accuracy and precision  required;
     0  the importance of the resource;
     0  the site-specific conditions of the  study  area;  and
     0  the controversy associated with the  site.

     The degree of sophistication  is necessarily variable for each
approach.  Emphasis is placed on evaluating  available  data  first. If
this information is found to be lacking or incomplete,  then  field
testing or field surveys should be conducted.  A brief  description of
the major elements of the process  is given below.

     Steps 1 and 2:  These are the basic organizing  steps in the
evaluation process.  By carefully  defining the objectives and scope  of
the evaluation, there will be some indication  of the level  of
sophistication required in subsequent surveys  and  testing.   States and




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the  regulated community  can  then  adequately  plan  and  allocate resources
to the analyses.  The designated  use  of  the  water  body  in  question
should be identified as  well  as the minimum  chemical,  physical,  and
biological requirements  for  maintaining  the  use.   Minimum  requirements
may  include, for example, dissolved oxygen levels,  flow rates,
temperature, and other factors.   All  relevent  information  on  the water
body should be  collected to  determine if the available  information is
adequate for conducting  an appropriate level  of analysis.   It is
assumed that all water body  evaluations  based  on  existing  data,  will
either formally or informally be  conducted through  Steps 1 and  2.

     Step 3:  If the available information proves  inadequate, then
decisions regarding the  degree of sophistication  required  in  the
evaluation process will  need  to be made.  These decisions  will,  most
likely, be based on the  5 criteria listed in Figure 1.   Based on these
decisions, reference areas should be  chosen  (Step  4)  and one  or  more  of
the testing approaches followed.

     Steps 5A,  R, C, D:  These approaches are  presented to illustrate,
in a general way, several possible ways  of analyzing  the water  body.
For example, in some cases chemical data  may be readily available  for a
water body but  little or no  biological information  is  known.   In this
case, extensive chemical sampling may not be required  but  enough
samples should  be taken  to confirm the accuracy of  the  available data
set.  Thus, in  order to  accurately define the  biological  condition of
the resource, 5C may be  chosen, but ISA may be  pursued  in a less
intensive way to supplement  the chemical  data  already  available.

     Step 5A is a general survey  to establish  relatively coarse  ranges
for physical and chemical variables,  and  the numbers  and relative
abundances of the biological  components  (fishes,  invertebrates,  primary
producers) in the water  body.  Reference  areas may  or  may  not need to
be evaluated here, depending on the types of questions  being  asked and
the degree of accuracy required.

     Step 5B focuses more narrowly on site-specific problem areas  with
the intent of separating, where possible, biological  impacts  due to
physical habitat alteration  versus those  due to changes in water
quality.  These categories are not mutually  exclusive  but  some  attempt
should be made  to define the causal factors  in a  stressed  area  so  that
appropriate control  measures can  be implemented if  necessary.

     Step 5C would be conducted to evaluate  possibly  important  trends
in the spatial   and/or temporal changes associated with  the physical,
chemical, and biological variables of interest.   In general,  more
rigorous quantification  of these  variables would  be needed to allow for
more sophisticated statistical analyses  between reference  and study
areas which would, in turn, increase  the degree of  accuracy and
confidence in the predictions based on this  evaluation.  Additional
laboratory testing may be included, such as  tissue  analyses,  behavioral
tests, algal assays, or  tests for flesh  tainting.   Also,  high level

chemical analyses may be needed, particularly if the presence  of  toxic
compounds is suspected.

     Step 5D is, in some respects, the most detailed level of  study.
Emphasis is placed on refining cause-effect relationships between
physical-chemical alterations and the biological responses previously
established from available data or steps 5A-5C.  In many cases, state-
of-the-art techniques will be used.  This pathway would only be
conducted by the States where it may be necessary to establish, with a
high degree of confidence, the cause-effect relationships that are
producing the biological community characteristics of those areas.
Habitat requirements or tolerance limits for representative or
important species may have to be determined for those factors  limiting
the potential of the ecosystem.  For these evaluations, partial or  full
life-cycle toxicity tests, algal assays, and sediment bioassays may  be
needed along with the shorter term bioassays designed to elucidate
sublethal effects not readily apparent in toxicity tests (e.g.,
preference-avoidance responses, production-respiration estimates, and
biconcentration estimates).

     Steps 6 and 7:  After field sampling is completed, all data  must
be integrated and summarized.  If this information is still not
adequate, then further testing may be required and a more detailed
pathway chosen.  With adequate data, States should be able to  make
reasonably specific recommendations concerning the natural potential of
the water body, levels of attainability consistent with this potential,
and appropriate use designations.

     The evaluation procedure outlined here allows States a significant
degree of latitude for designing assessments to meet their specific
goals in water quality and water use.

Cairns, Dickson and Herricks (1977) Recovery and Restoration of Damaged
  Ecosystems (University Press of Virginia: Charlottesville) 531 pp.

Collotzi, A.M. and D.K. Dunham 1978.  Inventory and display of aquatic
  habitat p. 533-542 In: Classification, Inventory, and Analysis of
  Fish and Wildlife Habitat.  Proc. Nat. Symp., U.S. Fish and Wildl.
  Ser., FWS/ORS-78/76.

Karr, J.R. 1981.  Assessment of Biotic Integrity Using Fish
  Communities.  Fisheries Vol 6 No. 6 p. 21-27.

Stalnacher, C.B. 1978.  The IFH incremental methodology for physical
  stream habitat evaluation p. 126-135 _In_:  Samuel, D.E., J.R. Stauffer,
  C. Hocutt and W.T. Mason, eds.  Surface Mining and Fish/Wildlife
  Needs in the Eastern United States.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ser,

Stauffer, J. R. and C. Hocutt 1980. Inertia and Recovery: An Approach
  to Stream Classification and Stress Evaluation.  Water Resources
  Bulletin Vol. Ifi no. 1 p. 72-78

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 1983.   Technical Guidance Manual
  for Performing Wasteload Allocations.  Lakes and Impoundments,
  Futrophication, Streams and Rivers, BOD/DO.  U.S. EPA Monitoring and
  Data Support Division (WH-553).

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 1972.   Biological Field and
  Laboratory Methods for Measuring the Quality of Surface Waters and
  Effluents.  U.S. Env. Pro. Agen. EPA-670/4-73-001

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 1975.   Model State Water
  Monitoring Program.  U.S. Env. Pro. Agen. EPA-440/9-74-002

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 1978.   Basic Water Monitoring
  Program.  U.S. Env. Pro. Agen. EPA-440/9-76-025

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1978. "Western Reservoir and Stream
   Habitat Improvements Handbook"  U.S. Dept. of Interior Contract
   No. 14-16-0008-2151 FWS

     States have the responsibility for the development  and  refinement
of use classification systems.  The methodology,  number  of  classes  and
factors to be included in such systems are at the  discretion  of  the
States.  During the development of this guidance  document,  several
requests were made to include a sample State classification  system
which is based on a ecosystem evaluation  approach.   In  response  to  such
requests attached is the stream classification  guidelines for Wisconsin
which includes a stream habitat evaluation.  The  inclusion  of this
classification system does not constitute an endorsement or  that  this
system should be adopted in other States.  It is  provided as
information which may be of interest to other States.

            Joe Ball
     Technical  Bulletin No.
       Madison, Wisconsin

The objective of this classification system  is to describe  potential
stream uses and provide a basis for making and supporting water  quality
resource management decisions.  Only those uses which  can be  described
in terms of biological communities are discussed.   "Use" is defined  by
a class or organisms capable of inhabiting a stream.   The "use classes"
are: A - cold water sport fish, B - warm water sport fish,  C  -
intolerant forage fish, intolerant macroinvertebrates,  or a valuable
population of tolerant forage fish, D - tolerant or very tolerant
forage or rough fish, or tolerant macroinvertebrates,  and E - very
tolerant macroinvertebrates or no aquatic life.

The appropriate use class for a stream is determined by comparing the
ecological needs of use class organisms with the natural ecological
characteristics of a stream system.  A set of procedures to evaluate
stream system characteristics is presented.  Stream system  habitat
evaluation is stressed.  A matrix is used to numerically rank habitat
characteristics from excellent to poor.  Twelve habitat rating items
are listed and include characteristics of the watershed, banks,  stream
substrate, stream morphology and hydrology,  and aesthetics.   Other
factors used to determine appropriate use classes are  background
dissolved oxygen, temperature, pH, toxics, and existing biota.   A range
of values for all of these stream system characteristics is provided
which correlated with criteria required to support a specific use
class.  Although the intent of the system is to provide more
objectivity to the classification process, professional judgment of a
stream's potential use is still important.

Procedures for classifying Wisconsin streams have been developed to
provide a scientific method for designating uses according to  a
stream's natural ability to support a certain biological community.   A
specific biological community is termed a  "use class."  The  objective
of the classification system is to provide a basis for making  and
supporting water quality management systems.  The need for classifying
surface waters is based on the recognition that all surface  waters will
not support the same level of use, and that different use classes may
require different levels of water quality to survive.

To classify streams, and meet both scientific and management
objectives, two basic assumptions are necessary:   (1) stream systems
with similar characteristics will support  similar biological
communities and can be described as a use class, and  (2) if  streams
within a use class are managed in a similar way they will support a
similar use.

Stream classification systems have generally been based on existing
conditions; e.g., fish populations, trophic state.  The problem with
these types of systems is that existing biological communities or
trophic state may be a function of controllable pollution, not a
function of stream system potential.  According to Warren  (1979)
"classification of stream systems ought not to be based directly on
just measurement of stream performance, for then it would have little
value for prediction, explanation, understanding and management."  He
recommended that stream classification systems should be based on
"watershed-environment and stream habitat-capacity," not on  just
biological communities inhabiting a stream when it is classified.

A stream is an ecosystem made up of climate, watershed, banks, bed,
water volume, water quality, and biota.  A stream's use is dependent
upon the natural characteristics of the entire stream ecosystem, and  on
the cultural alterations or impacts which  have occurred or are
occurring.  Present stream uses are always affected by both  natural
characteristics and cultural impacts.  Potential uses are always
affected by natural characteristics, and may be affected by  cultural
impacts.  Since the management goal is to  control the cultural impacts
affecting stream use, it is logical to base classification on  a
stream's potential to support a given use  in the absence of
controllable impacts, not on the present state of the biological

To determine the biological community a stream can support,  it is
necessary to relate the natural characteristics of the whole system to
the ecological  requirements of use class organisms.  A stream
classification system structured in this way will  predict the  potential
use of a stream and will also serve to indicate the management
necessary to attain the use.


Published stream classification systems based on  stream  system
potential are rare.  A few systems include parameters which  affect  use
(Pennak 1971, Platt 1974, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency 1979).
However, these systems do not include a method for quantifying  data  and
observations to arrive at an objective classification.   Perhaps  the
reason for this is a lack of information on all the ecological
requirements of specific organisms.  There is a good data  base  on  how
temperature, dissolved oxygen, and other chemical parameters  affect
aquatic organisms, but not on the influence of habitat.  The U.S.
Forest Service comes close to providing an adequate stream
classification system (U.S. Department of Agriculture 1975).   It was
developed to quantitatively assess the stability  of mountain  streams
and to identify streams needing intensive management.  Some  of  the
parameters in the Forest Service system are not applicable to Wisconsin
streams, but the concept is sound, and has been adapted  for  part of
this classification system.

The set of guidelines described in this report is not intended  to  be a
rigid assessment technique.  Streams cannot always be realistically
classified by a totally objective system.  Because of their  dynamic
nature, biological communities are perhaps the most difficult objects
we have chosen to study.  Similar stream systems  should  support  similar
uses, but each stream is an individual ecosystem  and must  be  classified
individually.  A stream classification comes down to a final  judgment
-- a judgment based on measurable factors, and perhaps just  as
important, on intuition gained from experience and past  observation.


A variety of factors affect the ability of a surface water to  support
certain uses (Table 1).  Some are  "natural" and are a  function  of  the
watershed system in which the stream is embedded.  Some are  "cultural"
and are a function of societal use of the stream system.  These  natural
and cultural factors are characterized as either physical or chemical,
and further, they may be controllable or uncontrollable.  For  the
purpose of classification the uncontrollable factors,  whether  they are
natural or cultural, ultimately determine a stream's potential  or
attainable use.  Controllable factors such as point source discharges,
which have an impact on stream use, should not influence  a stream's
classified use.  Controllable factors are considered temporary,

TABLE 1.  Example of common factors affecting stream uses.	

Factor	Comments	

Uncontrollable Natural Factors

1)  Flow regime
2)  Habitat structure                              Habitat development
                                                   may be considered  in
                                                   high quality streams
3)  Water quality

Uncontrollable Cultural Factors

1)  Land use
2)  Existing hydrologic modification
    a.  Dam                                        Some management may
    b.  Straightening                              be  possible
    c.  Wetland drainage

Controllable Cultural Factors

1)  Point sources                                  These  factors are
    a.  Municipal                                  controllable within
    b.  Industrial                                 bounds

2)  Nonpoint sources
    a.  Agricultural  runoff
    b.  Urban runoff
    c.  Construction  site  runoff

3)  Other factors
    a.  Water withdrawal
    b.  Septic system drainage
    c.  Proposed hydrological alterations

pending implementation of  control  measures.   The  effects  of  some
cultural factors may  be uncontrollable because they  cannot  be  changed


with the application of  "reasonable" management.   In  many  cases  these
cultural factors, and impacts, have become the  "natural"
characteristics of a stream.

Natural Factors
Since most streams in Wisconsin have been  disturbed,  it  is  difficult  to
define a totally natural factor.  For classification,  natural  factors
are defined as the characteristics of a stream  system  in  the  absence  of
direct cultural impacts, such as dams, flow  reduction  by  withdrawal,
and point source discharges.  Natural factors which affect  stream  uses
are flow, habitat, and  "natural" physical  or chemical  characteristics
of water.

Flow Regime

The flow or quantity of water available to support aquatic  organisms  is
of primary importance.  It's an obvious fact that large  fish  species
require a higher level of flow than small  fish  species to survive  in  a
stream.  Without adequate flow, large fish would not  have room to  move,
feed or reproduce.  Stream flow is directly correlated to the  classes
of organisms, or uses, a stream is capable of supporting.   Flow
stability or frequency also becomes an important factor  in  some
streams.  Flow stability or frequency also becomes an  important factor
in some streams.  Flow extremes, especially in  streams running through
altered watershed, can be a major factor in determining  appropriate

Habitat Structure

The physical  structure and flow of water in a stream  interact  to create
an environment suitable to support various classes of  organisms.
Substrate, pools and riffles, water depth, erosion and deposition
areas, and cover provide necessary habitat.  Studies  by  Gorman and Karr
(1978), and Hunt (1971) clearly show that more  diverse habitats support
more abundant and diverse aquatic communities.  A stream  with  poor
habitat structure will support fewer organisms, to the extent  that the
life support requirements of only very tolerant fish  or  insects may be
met.  An analysis of habitat structure is an important factor  in the
stream classification process.

Water Quality

The natural  physico-chemical characteristics of general  importance in
streams include dissolved oxygen, temperature,  suspended  solids, and
dissolved ions.  These parameters are of major  concern in determining
the ability of a stream to support certain classes of  organisms.   Water
quality extremes are of particular importance.  Deviations  from water
quality criteria levels, even for a short time, may stress  aquatic
communities  beyond recovery.


Natural water quality is influenced by watershed geology,  soils,  and
surface features.  Flow regime and instream habitat structure may  also
have an influence on water quality.  To classify a stream  into an
appropriate use class it's important to determine the natural water
quality of a stream system.

Natural factors are generally not controllable.  They are  the most
significant factors in determining the potential uses of a  stream.


Culturally induced conditions are those that have been  caused by
certain actions on the land and in the water.   Nearly all  waters  of the
state have been disturbed, in some cases more significantly  than
others.  Cultural factors are broadly defined as point  and  nonpoint
sources of pollution.  These factors have an impact on  habitat and
water quality, and on the uses that may occur in a surface  water.

Culturally induced conditions can be further subdivided  into
controllable and uncontrollable types, or similarly,  reversible and
irreversible impacts.  Theoretically, if cultural impacts  are properly
managed or removed, an altered environment will  revert  to  its natural
state.  Grass and trees could be planted instead of corn,  and all  dams
could be dismantled.  However, in some cases, actions to control  or
reserve cultural  impacts may not be reasonable.

Uncontrollable Cultural Factors

Uncontrollable cultural factors are those activities  over  which
regulatory agencies have little or no control,  or prefer to  exercise  no
control.  For purpose of stream classification,  two major  factors  are
of concern -- existing land use and hydrologic  modifications.  These  in
place activities are generally uncontrollable and may have  significant
impacts on stream use.  When the cause of an impact is  uncontrollable,
the impact must be considered a normal characteristic of a  stream for
the purpose of classification.

The present use of land for agriculture and urban development will,  in
most cases, not change.  The impacts of land use on a stream system  are
not always obvious because they have occurred gradually.   For example,
removal of native vegetation, destruction of wetlands and  paving  of
streets increases runoff and reduced groundwater recharge.   This
removal of water may alter the flow regime and  water  quality of a
stream, and affect uses.  Such actions may also increase peak flows,
resulting in long term and irreversible changes  in habitat  structure.

A more obvious cultural factor affecting stream use is  hydrologic
alteration.  Existing dams, straightened portions of  streams, and
wetland drainage are examples of stream alterations which  can affect
uses and appropriate classifications.  The question of  controllability
of these factors is technically and legally complex,  but assuming no
regulatory measure can be taken to revert back  to an  original


condition, then these alterations and their  impacts  must  be  considered

Controllable Cultural Factors

Sources of pollution in this category are those that  can  be  controlled
by a reasonable level of management.  The primary  controllable  factors
are the point sources of wastewater discharge.  Programs  are  in  place
to regulate what, how, when, and where point  sources  discharge  wastes.
Point sources are, within certain bounds, always controllable.   The
impact of point sources on water quality and  stream  uses  should  not be
factored into the classification process, assuming the  impact can  be

Also possibly controllable are activities on  the land --  nonpoint
sources.  Although Wisconsin does not have a  program  to  regulate
nonpoint sources* its does have a grant and management  program  to
encourage nonpoint source control.  Controllable nonpoint sources,  as
envisioned here, are those associated with the application of  "best
management practices" on agricultural and urban lands.

In situations where application of best management practices  are likely
to result in stream use improvements, the impacts  from  nonpoint  sources
should be disregarded in the classification process.  However,  it  may
be difficult to show a direct cause and effect relationship  between
nonpoint sources and water quality.  It may be equally  difficult to
show a direct relationship between nonpoint sources  and  habitat
deterioration except in extreme situations.   For instance, even  if
better land management was applied to a watershed, it may be  difficult
to predict how long it may take an impacted stream to recover.
Classifying a stream to a higher use, based on an  anticipated natural
improvement, which may or may not take place, may  not be  logical.   In
some situations the impact of nonpoint sources on  habitat should
probably be considered uncontrollable for current  actions.

According to Karr and Dudley (1981) nonpoint  control  efforts  that
improve water quality may fail  to improve the biota  of  a  stream  if
suitable physical  habitats are absent.  This  does  not imply,  however,
that nonpoint source control efforts are not  worthwhile.   Over  a long
time period stream uses will improve, and the effect  of  nonpoint
sources on downstream uses must also be considered.

There are other cultural  factors with immediate and  direct effects  on
stream uses which can generally be controlled by regulation.  For
example, a flow management scheme that results in witholding  or
diversion of water on a routine basis may preclude certain uses  and
aquatic populations.  Such actions are almost always  controllable.
Sources of pollution, such as rural septic systems,  are  controllable.
Proposed stream alterations, such as dams and straightening,  are
*Wisconsin does have regulatory authority for construction  site  runoff.


controllable because these are regulated activities.  Even an existing
dam, already discussed as being uncontrollable, may be managed in
certain ways to reduce impacts on stream uses.

Determining the factors affecting stream uses and their status of
controllability are the most important parts of this classification
procedure.  The process of identifying factors and determining
controllability serves two important functions:   (1) it supplies much
of the information required to designate appropriate stream uses,  and
(2) it identifies the specific management required to achieve
designated uses.  The most difficult task is determining
controllability, especially for nonpoint sources.  Another related
problem is anticipating the response of a stream  to management of
pollution sources.  To classify streams, subjective judgments regarding
the status of these problems will likely have to  be made for individual

                          STREAM  USE  CLASSES
Stream use classes are listed in Table  2.   Stream  use  is  described  by
the fish species or other aquatic organisms  capable  of being  supported
by a natural stream system.  Use classes  in  Table  2  are  listed  from the
most sensitive to the most tolerant use.  Common fish  species  and their
representative classification categories  are  listed  in Table  3.   The
designation of an appropriate use class  is  based on  the  ability  of  a
stream to supply habitat and water quality  requirements  of  use  class
organisms.  Sections or  "reaches" of a  stream may  be assigned  different
use classes, and the same stream or stream  reach may be  assigned
different use classes based on seasonal  differences.   This  concept,
termed "seasonal classification," is used to  describe  variations in
stream conditions.  For  example, a stream may serve  as a  fish  spawning
area in the spring, but  natural changes  in  flow or water  quality may
preclude the existence of fish in other  seasons.   Following are
descriptions of the use  classes for classifying Wisconsin  streams:

Class A, Cold Water Sport Fish:  Streams  capable of  supporting  a cold
water sport fishery, or  serving as a spawning area for salmonid
species.  The presence of an occasional  salmonid in  a  stream  does not
justify a Class A designation (e.g., trout  are occassionally  taken  from
the Mississippi River but that fact alone does not justify  a  cold water
sport fish designation).

Class B, Warm Water Sport Fish:  Streams  capable of  supporting  a warm
water sport fishery, or  serving as a spawning area for warm water sport

TABLE 2.  Stream use classes for aquatic  life

Use Class                       Description

    A   Capable of supporting cold water  sport fish
    B   Capable of supporting warm water  sport fish
    C   Capable of supporting intolerant  forage fish*,  intolerant
        macroinvertebrates, or a valuable population of tolerant forage
    D   Capable of supporting tolerant or very tolerant forage  or rough
        fish*, or tolerant macroinvertebrates
    E   Capable of supporting very tolerant macroinvertebrates  or no
        aquatic life
*Refer to Table 3.
Although warm water sport fish are occasionally found  in many  small
streams, a stream should be capable of supporting a  "common" designated
population to rate a "B" classification.

Class C, Intolerant Forage Fish,  Intolerant Macroinvertebrates,  or  a
Valuable Population of Tolerant Forage Fish:
                                Streams capable  of
abundant, and usually diverse, population  of  forage  fish
macroinvertebrates.  These streams are generally too
   cold or warm water sport fish, but have  natural water
      sufficient to support forage fish or
       Streams capable of supporting valuable  populations
           should also be included in Class C.   This type
                   uses, such as a food source  for a
supporting an
or intolerant
small to support
quality and habitat
of tolerant forgage fish
of stream may provide beneficial
downstream sport fishery, or a sucker
Class D, Tolerant or Very Tolerant Fish, or  Tolerant
Macroinyertebrates:  Streams capable of supporting  only  a  small
population of tolerant forage fish, very tolerant fish  or  tolerant
macroinvertebrates.  The aquatic community in  such  a  stream  is  usually
limited due to naturally poor water quality  or habitat  deficiencies.

Class E, Very Tolerant Macroinvertebrates or No Aquatic  Life:
          supporting very tolerant macroinvertebrates,  or
                     Such streams are  usually  small  and
                                 Marshy  ditches  and
only capable at best of
an occasional very tolerant fish.
severely limited by water quality or  habitat.
intermittent streams are examples of  Class  E  streams.
TABLE 3.  Common fish species and classification  categories
Sport Fish
     Intolerant Forage    Tolerant  Forage
                    Very Tolerant
                    Forage or Rough
Trout (sp)
Salmon  (sp)
Northern Pike
Small mouth Bass
Largemouth Bass
Yellow  Bass
White Bass
Rock Bass
White Crappie
Black Crappie
Sunfish  (sp)
Yellow  Perch
Bullhead (sp)
Catfish  (sp)
Sturgeon (sp)
     Rosyface Shiner
     Spottail Shiner
     Blacknose Shiner
     Blackchin Shiner
     Dace  (sp)
     Hornyhead Chub
     Tadpole Madtom
     Redhorse (sp)
     Darter  (sp)-(except
     Johnny  Darter)
     Sculpin (sp)
Golden Shiner
Common Shiner
Sand Shiner
Emerald Shiner
Spotfin Shiner
Bluntnose Minnow
Creek Chub
Johnny Darter
Sucker (sp)
Brook Stickleback
Fathead Minnow
Carp Sucker  (sp)
Gar (sp)


The objective of stream classification  is  to  designate  logical  uses by
evaluating and describing stream ecosystems.   The  classification
procedure includes a list of  important  factors  which  need  to be
evaluated, and suggests how to merge data  and  perceptions  into  a  final
decision about appropriate use.  Designated uses are  based on the
relationship and overall quality of all  ecosystem  components.

The stream classification procedure combines  objective  and subjective
analysis.  Objectivity in the procedure  comes  from pointing out the
major individual factors one  needs to evaluate, and by  placing  bounds
on ecological "criteria" which separate  streams into  use classes.
However, because ecosystems are extremely  complex, professional
judgment must also be part of the classification process.   This
flexibility is needed to allow for logical decisions  about stream use.

The following guidelines do not cover all  potential situations  and
should be viewed as starting  points from which  experience  will  dictate
the scope of an investigation, including what  needs to  be  added or what
can be deleted.  The classification process requires  five  basic steps
-- study design, data collection, data  evaluation,  impact
controllability analysis, and appropriate  use  designation:

Study Design

Because of the management objective of  this classification procedure,
water quality evaluation staff have major  responsibility.   However, the
process should be a "team" effort and,  at  minimum,  should  be a
cooperative project with fisheries staff.  Staff with expertise in
other areas may also be required.  The  team should determine the  detail
and scope of analysis required to classify any  given  stream. In  some
cases, file information coupled with a  desk top evaluation may  suffice.
In complex situations, detailed studies  may be  needed to reach  a
credible decision.

Data Collection

Data located in files, studies, reports, etc.  should  be  reviewed.   If
sufficient current data exist they may  be  adequate  to form the  basis
for a classification.  However, in all  cases,  a site  visit is necessary
to verify the evaluation.  If current data are  insufficient, a  stream
evaluation must be conducted.

Stream biota are generally dependent upon  extreme  conditions which
normally occur during periods of low flow.  Thus,  samples, measurements
and observations will  give a more reliable indication of appropriate
use if taken when the stream is at a low or at  least  normal  flow.   In
situations where seasonal use changes are  possible, additional  data at
higher flows may be needed.

The following data may be required to determine and justify a use class


1.  Stream Flow -- The flow of a stream can vary over a wide  range  and
can be expressed in a number of ways.Stream use is often  limited  by
annual low flow which is expressed here as representative  low flow.
Flow data for many streams are available from the U.S. Geological
Survey (USGS), and can be used as points of reference for  determining
representative low flow.  If flow data are not available,  it  may  be
necessary to gauge the present flow and obtain a low flow  estimate  from

2.  Water Quality -- Natural, or background water quality  should
generally be used as the basis for classification.  Daily,  and
sometimes seasonal water quality extremes determine the class  of
organisms a stream is capable of supporting.  The most extreme  water
quality conditions normally occur during low flow periods.  Thus,  an
attempt should be made to collect data at that time.

Water samples and instream data should be collected upstream  from
controllable sources of pollution.  In situations were this is
impossible, water quality may be a function of the controllable source
and can't generally be used as a basis for classification.  Many  forms
of water quality can have an impact on stream use.  However,  the
parameters most directly related to use include dissolved  oxygen,
temperature and pH.  Toxics and other parameters should be  measured if
a problem is suspected.

3.  Habitat Structure -- Habitat evaluation is considered  the most
important factor in the stream classification process.  In  situations
where water quality data can't be used, habitat may be the  only basis
for classification.  The habitat rating is based on an evalution  of
watershed, stream banks, and stream bed characteristics.   The habitat
evaluation and rating procedure is detailed in a separate  section.

4.  Stream Biota -- The biological communities presently  inhabiting a
stream including fish, benthic organisms, rooted vegetation,  algae,
etc. should be determined.  This need not be an exhaustive  sample
collection effort since designation of attainable use will  rarely  be
based totally on biological data.  Knowing what organisms  are present
in a stream helps determine what the appropriate use class  should  be.
Many biological sampling and analysis methods are available.   The
methods are left to the discretion of the evaluator, but  should be
described in the classification report.

Data Evaluation

The use class a stream is capable of attaining is determined  by
comparing stream system data to the life support needs of  use class
organisms.  Table 4 lists a set of stream system parameters and values
for each which correspond to the five use classes.  The table is  used
to estimate appropriate stream use based on the quality of  individual

Table 4.  Physical and chemical criteria  guidelines  for  aquatic  life
          use classes
Low Flow


Use Class


and Criteria

. 2



>. 1




parameters.  Parameter values and use classes are  listed  from  high  to
low quality and are intended to be mutually exclusive.  Therefore,  the
lowest class indicated by the lowest quality parameter  is  the  estimated
appropriate use of a stream.  The values shown  in  Table 4 are  not water
quality standards criteria.  Rather, values at  the  extremes  are
conditions which the particular biota may be able  to tolerate  for a
short time.  Criteria in water quality standards are developed to
assure protection for sensitive species throughout  their  life  history
of exposure.  Table 4 values are guides to determine if tolerable
conditions exist in a surface water.  Even these values should be used
with care because observed conditions outside the  noted bounds do not
necessarily preclude the existence of a use class.  The values in Table
4 should be used to evaluate stream system data and be  a  major factor
in the stream clasification process.  Following is  a description of the
parameters in Table 4, and other stream characteristics used in the
evaluation procedure.

1.  Flow Characteristics -- In this classification  system
representative low flow most nearly reflects the long-term ability  of a
stream to support certain organisms.  Representative low  flow  values in
Table 4 are based on a review of fish community data from  various
Wisconsin streams.

Streams receiving an effluent, or are proposed  to  receive  an effluent,
should be evaluated as two representative low flows.  One  based on
natural flow, and one based on natural flow plus design effluent flow
adds significantly to a stream base flow.  For  example, an effluent
going to an otherwise dry drainage way creates  a stream.   This
procedure involves interpolation of stream conditions at a higher or
lower flow, and relies heavily on professional  judgement.  The purpose
is to provide a more complete evaluation and consideration of
alternatives upon which to base a logical designation of  appropriate
use.  The procedures also provides more complete information needed by
resource managers to base subsequent decisions  regarding  effluent
limits or other management practices.


2.  Hater Quality Characteristics -- Criteria in Table 4 are maximum  or
minimum values at which use class biota may be expected to  survive
during critical periods.  If these extreme values were common  in  a
stream, the corresponding biota would probably not be maintained  in a
healthy state.  However, natural short-term fluctuations in water
quality are expected in some streams, and values exceeding  "standards"
do not necessarily preclude associated uses.  If water quality  is a use
limiting factor due to a controllable impact, and natural water quality
cannot be determined, appropriate uses should be based on a flow  and

3.  Habitat Rating -- The rating values in Table 4 are a numerical
ranking of the overall quality of a stream's watershed, banks  and bed
characteristics.  The rating procedure is described  in the  final
section of the classification guidelines.  Rating values can  range  from
56 to 210 and  lower number values indicate higher quality habitat.
High quality use usually requires high quality habitat.  The  range  of
values within  a specific use class also gives an indication of  the
quality of use.  For example, a trout stream with a  rating  of  60  would
be expected to support more fish than a trout stream with a rating  of

4.  Biological Data Evaluation -- The biological community  inhabiting a
stream may be  used as an indication of attainable use, but  should
generally not  form the only basis for use class designation.   Most
streams are disturbed in some way, and their present biota  may  be a
function of that impact.  Thus, present biological communities  may  not
indicate realistic attainable uses under proper management  of  the
sources of impact.  Even in streams with no obvious  problems,  the
present organisms may not reflect what otherwise may be a higher
quality use.   For example, a stream with trout stream  characteristics
may not contain trout because they were never introduced.   The
classification of such a stream, if based only on its  present  community
of organisms,  may not indicate its true potential use.

The most important use of a biological evaluation is to determine if  a
water quality  problem exists.  For example, a stream with flow  and
habitat characteristic of a high use class, but not  supporting  that
class of organisms, most likely has a water quality  problem.   It  is
then necessary to determine the source to the problem  and judge if  it
is controllable or not.  If the problem is controllable the
classification should be based on flow and habitat.   If the problem is
uncontrollable the classification may be based on the  biological

Impact Controllability Analysis

A major objective of the data evaluation process was to  identify  the
factors limiting stream use.  The objective of controllability
analysis is to determine if those limiting factors can be managed in
some way to improve stream use.  That is, are the causes  of impacts
limiting stream use controllable, and further, are the impacts


reversible?  Controllability was  discussed  in  the  factors  affecting
stream uses section of these guidelines.  Table  1  suggested  what  may or
may not be controllable, but no further  guidelines  are  provided.
Determining controllability of sources and  impacts  can  be  a  complex
decision point and it may be necessary to obtain help  from other  staff
with experience in the problem area.

Appropriate Use Designation

The use class designated for a stream should be  based  on Table  4, any
other data which may be available, and the  professional judgement of
the evaluators.  There will always be cases that do not conform to a
rigid analysis process, and this  system  is  intended to  be  flexible
enough to account for those situations.

The evaluation of small streams receiving or proposed  to receive  waste
dishcarges may result in two possible use designations.  When this
occurs it will be necessary to recommend one use class  as  more
appropriate.  This is one point where the classification process  may,
and perhaps should, digress from  a purely scientific endeavor.  Many
factors, such as resource value,  downstream uses,  effluent
characteristics and size, and even economics should be  considered
before recommending a use class designation.   As a  final consideration,
the biological data can serve as  a check on the  results of the
evaluation as follows:

1.  If the biological community conforms to the  indicated  use class
    report that classification.

2.  If the biological community is better than the  indicated use  class
    base the classification on the biological  evaluation.

3.  If the biological community is lower than  the  indicated  use,
    determine the factors affecting use  and if they are controllable or
    uncontrollable.  If the factors are  controllable,  base the
    classification on the use indicated  by  background water  quality,
    flow, and habitat.  If the factors are  uncontrollable, the
    classification can be based on the biological  evaluation.

To complete the classification process,  the evaluators  should file a
report which recommends a use class, and outlines  why the  use class is
appropriate.  A number of management and administrative decisions may
be based on the use class.  These decisions may  be  made by people
without first-hand knowledge of the stream.  Thus,  it  is important to
document all factors, both objective and subjective, which entered into
the classification process.  In most situations, there  are key  factors
influencing the use class recommendation, and  those should be
highlighted in the report.



Stream system habitat is defined as watershed, stream bank, and
instream habitat characteristics.  Watershed and stream  bank
characteristics are included because they directly affect instream
characteristics -- e.g., flow, depth, substrate, and pool-to-riffle
ratio.  Stream system habitat is one of the most important  factors
determining attainable use, and therefore habitat evalution is stressed
in this classification procedure.  A detailed discussion of stream
system habitat evaluation is presented here to insure that, where
practical, uniform evaluation procedures are followed.

The purpose of this evaluation procedure is to integrate and  rate
stream system habitat characteristics in relation to the various use
classifications.  The final product is a numerical rank  or  score of
habitat quality which is used to help identify the use  (Table 4).  The
evaluation process used here is similar to one developed by the U.S.
Forest Service (1975) to assess the stability of mountain streams.
Some of the rating characteristics for stream habitats  in that system
have been adapted and some new parameters added to fit  the  character  of
Wisconsin streams.

Following is a description of stream system habitat characteristics  and
an excel!ent-to-poor rating scale for each.  The evalution  form in
Appendix 1 provides a method to integrate data and observations of
individual characteristics into an overall habitat rating for a

Watershed - The total area of land above the extreme high water line
that contributes runoff to a surface water.  The character  and
condition of a watershed affects the character of a stream  and stream
bed.  The portion of a watershed draining directly to a  surface water
is usually of greatest concern.

   1.  Erosion - The existing or potential detachment of soil and
   movement into a stream.  Mass movement of soil into  a stream results
   in destruction of habitat and a reduced potential to suppport
   aquatic life.  This item can be rated by observation  of  watershed
   and stream characteristics.

   a.  Excellent:  No evidence of mass erosion that has  reached or
       could reach the stream.  The water shed is well  managed and
       usually characterized by mature vegetation.  The  stream shows  no
       evidence of siltation.

   b.  Good:  May be some erosion evident but few "raw"  areas.  There
       may be well-managed agricultural fields in the area.   Areas that
       may have eroded in the past are revegetated and  stable.  The
       stream shows little evidence of siltation.

   c.  Fair:  Erosion from fields and some raw areas are evident.
       Heavy storm events are likely to erode soil resulting  in


    periodic high suspended  solids  in  the  stream.   Some siltation is
    evident in the stream, and  has  resulted  in  destruction  of some
    habitat.  Vegetative cover  may  be  sparse  and  does  not  appear
    stable in all areas.  There is  moderate  potential  for  mass

d.  Poor:  Erosion sources are  obvious.  Almost any runoff  will
    result in detachment of  soil  from  raw  areas and cause  suspended
    solids and siltation problems in the stream.   Instream  habitat
    may be poor due to siltation.   Stream  flow may  fluctuate  widely
    ("flashy stream").

2.  Nonpoint Source Pollution and Other Compromising Factors  -  This
item refers to problems and  potential  problems  other than  siltation.
Nonpoint source pollution is defined as diffuse agricultural  and
urban runoff.  Other compromising factors  in  a watershed which  may
affect attainable use are feedlots, wetlands, septic systems, dams
and impoundments, mine seepage,  etc.   Nonpoint  sources  and  other
compromising factors can be  a major source of pollutants,  or  create
problems which affect stream use.   Examples  of  potential problems
from these sources include pesticides, heavy  metals, nutrients,
bacteria, temperature, low dissolved oxygen,  etc.   If  these types of
problems are suspected, it may  be necessary  to  conduct  an  intensive
study to determine the problem.   It is also  important  to determine
if the problem is controllable  or not.  If the  problem  is
controllable it should not be factored into  the habitat evaluation

a.  Excellent:  No evidence  of  sources or  potential  sources.

b.  Good:  No obvious problems,  but there may be  potential  sources
    such as agricultural fields,  farms, etc.  The watershed should
    be well managed to fit this  category.

c.  Fair:  Potential problems evident.  Some  runoff from farm
    fields, watershed intensively cultivated, urban area,  small
    wetland area draining to stream, potential for  barnyard runoff,
    small impoundment, etc.

d.  Poor:  Sources of pollution  which may  be  affecting  stream use
    are evident.  Examples of sources  are  runoff  due to poor  land
    management, high use urban  or industrial  areas,  feed lots,
    impoundments, drainage from  large wetlands, mine seepage, tile
    field drainage, etc.  An absence of intolerant  organisms  in
    streams with excellent to good  habitat may be an indication of
    the problems.

Stream Banks - The stream channel is composed of  an  upper and lower
bank,  and a bottom (Figure 1).   The upper band is the  land  area from
the break in the general slope  of the surrounding land  to the normal


                               Extreme High Water
                                Normal  High Water	
         Lower Bank
    Figure 1.  Stream Cross Section
                                                              Lower Bank
   high water line.  It is normally vegetated and  is  covered  by  water
   in only extreme high water periods.   Land forms  vary  from  wide,  flat
   flood plains to narrow, steep slopes.

   The lower bank is the intermittently  submerged  portion  of  the stream
   cross section from the normal high water line to the  low water line.
   The lower channel banks define the stream width.   This  area  varies
   from bare soil to rock, and the land  form may vary from flat  to

   Stream banks are important in rating  stream  system habitats  because
   their character and stability directly  affect instream
   characteristics and uses.  The evaluation and rating  is based on
   observation of bank characteristics combined with  observation of
   resultant instream characteristics.   Habitat rating items  3  and  4
   refer to both upper and lower banks because  it  is  sometimes
   difficult to distinguish a line between the  two.   Also, the  effect
   on a stream is similar in situations  where either  bank  area  is a

3.  Bank Erosion, Failure - Existing or  potential  detachment  of  soil
and movement into a stream.  Steeper banks are  generally more subject
to erosion and failure, and may not support stable  vegetation.   Streams
with poor banks will often have poor instream habitat.
       Excellent:  No evidence of  significant  erosion  or  bank
       failure.  Side slopes are generally  less  than  30%  and  are
       stable.  Little potential for  future  problem.

       Good:   Infrequent, small areas  of  erosion  or bank  slumping.
       Most areas are stable with  only slight  potential for  erosion at
       flood stages.  Side slopes  up  to 40% on one bank.   Little
       potential for major problem.


   c.  Fair:  Frequency and  size  of  raw  areas  are  such that normal  high
       water has eroded some  banks.   High  erosion  and  failure potential
       at extreme high stream flows.   Side slopes  up to 60% on some

   d.  Poor:  Mass erosion and  bank  failure is  evident.  Many raw areas
       are present and are subject to  erosion  at above normal  flow.
       Erosion and undercutting is evident on  bends and some straight
       channel areas.  Side  slopes greater than 60% are common and
       provide large volumes  of soil  for downstream sedimentation when
       banks are laterally cut.

4.  Bank Vegetative Protection  -  Bank  soil  is  generally held in place
by plant root systems.The  density  and  health  of  bank vegetation is  an
indication of bank stability  and  potential  instream sedimentation.
Trees and shrubs usually have  deeper  root  systems  than grasses and
forbs and are, therefore, more  efficient in reducing erosion (Khonke
and Bertrand 1959).  Bank vegetation  also  helps reduce the velocity of
flood flows.  Greater density  of  vegetation is  more efficient in
reducing lateral cutting and  erosion.  A variety of vegetation is more
desirable than a monotypic plant  community.

Vegetative protection is important in  evaluating the long term
potential for erosion, and stability  of  the stream system.  The
evaluation and rating is based on observation  of existing vegetation,
erosion, and instream conditions.

a.  Excellent:  A variety of  vegetation  is  present and covers more  than
    90% of the bank surface.   Any bare or  sparsely vegetated areas  are
    small and evenly dispersed.   Growth  is  vigorous and reproduction  of
    species is proceeding at a  rate to insure  continued ground cover.
    A deep, dense root mat is  inferred.

b.  Good:  A variety of vegetation is  present  and  covers 70-90% of  the
    bank surface.  Some open  areas with  unstable vegetation are
    evident.  Growth vigor is  good for all  species but reproduction may
    be sparse.  A deep root mass  is  not  continuous and erosion is
    possible in openings.

c.  Fair:  Vegetative cover  ranges from  50-70%  and is  composed of
    scattered shrubs, grasses  and forbs.   A few bare or sparsely
    vegetated areas are evident.  Lack of  vigor and reproduction is
    evident in some individuals or species.  This  condition is ranked a
    fair due to the percent of area  not  covered by vegetation  with  a
    deep root system.

d.  Poor:  Less than 50% of the banks  covered  by vegetation.
    Vegetation is composed of grasses and  forbs.   Any  shrubs  or trees
    exist as individuals or widely scattered clumps.   Many bare or
    sparsely vegetated area are obvious.   Growth and reproduction vigor
    is generally poor.  Root mats are  discontinuous and shallow.


5.  Channel Capacity - Channel width, depth,  gradient,  and  roughness
determine the volume of water which can  be transmitted.   Over  time,
channel capacity adjusts to the size of  watershed,  climate,  and  changes
in vegetation (stability).  When channel capacity is  exceeded, unstable
areas are likely to erode resulting in habitat  destruction.   Indicators
of this problem are deposits of soil on  the  lower banks  and  organic
debris found hung up in bank vegetation.  The objective  in  rating  this
item is to estimate normal peak flow and if  the  present  lower  bank
cross section is adequate to carry the load  without  bank

The ability of a stream channel to contain flood flows  can  be  estimated
by calculating the width-to-depth ratio  (W/D ratio).   The W/D  ratio is
calculated by dividing the the average top width of  the  lower  bank by
the height of the lower bank.  This item is  rated by  the W/D ratio, and
by observing the condition of banks, position of debris, and instream

a.  Excellent:  The stream channel is adequate  to contain peak flow
    volumes plus some additional flow.   Overbank floods  are  rare.   W/D
    ratio less than 7; i.e., 36 ft. wide divided by  6 ft. deep = 6.
b.  Good:  The stream channel is adequate to  contain most  peak  flows.
    W'TiTratio of 8 - 15.

           The channel can barely contain normal  peak  flows  in  average
            W/D ratio of 15 - 25.

d.  Poor:  The channel capacity  is obviously  inadequate.   Overbank flow
    are common as indicated by condition of banks  and  accumulation of
    debris.  W/D ratio greater than  25.

6.  Bank Deposition - The character  of above  water  deposits  is  an
indication of the severity of watershed and bank  erosion,  and  stability
of the stream system.  Deposits  are  generally found on  the lee  side of
rocks and other objects which deflect flow.   These  deposits  tend to be
short and narrow.  On flat lower banks, deposition  during  recesssion
from peak flows may be quiet large.  The growth,  or appearance  of  bars
where they did not previously exist  is an indication of upstream
erosion.  These bars tend to grow in depth and  length  with continued
watershed disturbance.  Deposition may also occur  on the  inside of
bends, below channel constrictions,  and where stream gradient  flattens
out.  This item is evaluated and rated by observation.

a.  Excel 1ent:  Little or no fresh deposition on  point  bars  or  on  the
    lee side of obstructions.  Point bars appear  stable.
b.  Good:  Some fresh deposits on  old  bars  and  behind  obstructions.
    Sizes tend to be of larger sized coarse  gravel  and  some  sand,  very
    little silt.


c.  Fair:  Deposits of  fresh,  fine  gravel,  sand  and silt observed on
    most point bars and behind  obstructions.   Formation  of a  few new
    bars is evident, and old bars are  deep  and wide.   Some pools are
    partially filled with fine  material.

d.  Poor:  Extensive deposits  of  fine  sand  or  silt  on  bars and along
    banks in straight channels.   Accelerated bar development.  Most
    pool areas are filled with  silt.

Stream Bottom - The portion of  the  stream channel cross  section which
is totally on aquatic environment (Fig.  1).  The character and
stability of bottom material is important in determining stream use
because this area provides habitat  necessary to  support  aquatic life.
A variety of stable habitat, which  provides area for  feeding, resting
and reproduction, will  generally  support a  higher class  of organisms.
Stream bottom characteristics  are evaluated and  rated  by observation.
The evaluation should be conducted  when  the stream  is  free of suspended
material to enhance observation.

7.  Scouring and Deposition -  This  item  relates  to  the destruction of
instream habitat resulting from most of  the problems  defined  under 1
through 6 above.  Deposition material  comes from watershed and bank
erosion.  Scouring results from high velocity  flows and  is a  function
of watershed characteristics,  stream hydrology,  and stream morphology.
Characteristics to look for are stable habitat and  degree  of  siltation
in pools and riffles.   Shallow, uniform  stream stetches  ("flat areas")
may be considered either scoured  or silted, depending  on stream
velocity.  The rating is based  on an estimate  of the  percent  of an
evaluated reach that is scoured or  silted;  i.e., 50 ft.  silted in a 100
ft. stream length equals 50%.

a.  Excellent:  No significant  scouring  or  deposition  is evident.  Up
    to 5% of the stream reach evaluated may be scoured or  silted; i.e.,
    0-5 ft. in a 100 ft. stream reach.

b.  Good:  Some scouring or deposition is evident but  a  variety of good
    habitat is still present.   Scouring  is  evident  at  channel
    constriction or where the  gradient steepens.  Deposition  is in
    pools and backwater areas.  Sediment in pools tend to  move on
    through so pools change only  slightly in depth.   The affected area
    ranges from 5 to 30% of the evaluated reach.

c.  Fair:  Scoured or silted area covers 30 to 50%  of  the  evaluated
    stream reach.  Scouring is  evident below obstructions, at
    constrictions, and on steep grades.  Deposits tend to  fill  and
    decrease the size of some  pools.   Riffles  areas  are  not
    significantly silted.

d.  Poor:  Scouring or deposition is common.   More  than  50% of
    evaluated stream reach is affected.  Few deep pools  are present due
    to siltation.  Only the larger  rocks in riffle  areas remain
    exposed.  Bottom silt may move with  almost any  flow  above normal.


8.  Bottom Substrate - This item refers to the availability of habitat
for support of aquatic organisms.  A variety of substrate material  and
habitat types is desirable.  Different organisms are adapted to
different habitats; thus, a variety of habitat is necessary for
development of a diverse community.  The presence of rock and gravel  in
flowing streams is generally considered more desirable habitat,
However, other forms of habitat may provide the niches required  for
community support.  For example, trees, tree roots, vegetation,
undercut banks, etc., may provide excellent habitat for a variety  of
organisms.  This item is evaluated and rated by observation.  The
evaluation should be conducted when stream flow is at a normal or  lower
stage to enhance observation.

a.  Excellent:  Greater than 50% stable habitat.  Rocks, logs, etc.
    provide shelter.  Gravel, debris, riffle areas provide habitat  for
    insects and feeding areas for fish.

b.  Good:  Stable habitat in 30 to 50% of the stream reach evaluated.
    Habitat is adequate for development and maintenance of fish  and
    insects communities.

c.  Fair:  10-30% stable habitat.  Habitat is approaching a monotypic
    type and may have a limiting effect on fish and insect populations.
    Habitat is less than desirable.

d.  Poor:  Less than 10% stable habitat.  Almost no habitat available
    for shelter or development of a desirable insect or fish community.
    Lack of habitat is obvious.

Stream Morphology and Flow - The rating items in this category include
depth, flow, and run-to-riffle or pool-to-bend ratio.  These stream
characteristics are closely related to previous rating items.   Stream
depth, morphology and flow are a function of watershed characteristics
and climate.  They may be the most important evaluation parameters
because they relate to the volume of water and habitat available to
provide life support requirements i.e., shelter, food and reproduction
needs.  Low stream flow and shallow depth can be major limiting  factors
preventing a certain use.  Stream morphology relates to habitat  and can
also become a limiting factor.

In situations where effluent flow significantly adds to or subtracts
from natural stream flow, the stream should be evaluated under both
flow conditions.  This procedure applies to the Average Depth and
Stream Flow rating items.

9.  Average Depth at Representative Low Flow - Average stream depth is
estimated by measuring the maximum depth in riffles and pools, adding
those depths and dividing by the total number of riffles and pools.
This rough estimate should be adequate because it relates to the
ability of a stream to provide a medium for shelter and movement.   It
may not be practical to measure depth at a representative low flow.
However, if a stream is evaluated at average or lower flow, a


representative  low  flow  depth  can  be  reasonable  estimated.   The
representative  low  flow  depth  is  rated  because  it  is  a  better
expression of prevailing conditions and the  uses possible in a stream
most of the time.   The following  rating depths  are based on depths of
streams in southern Wisconsin  known to  support  various  communities.
The rating depths are general  guidelines  only.   For example, a cold
water stream with an average depth less than 24  inches  may  deserve an
excellent rating if otherwise  excellent habitat  is available.

a.  Excellent:  Average  depth  greater than 24 inches.   Riffle depths
    allow for free  passage of  fish and  shelter when feeding.  Pool
    depths provide  security and ample space  for  several  fish, even at
    a very low  flow.

b.  Good:  Average  depth  12-24 inches.   Most riffles  allow  free passage
    and shelter at  normal flow conditions.   Most pools  provide adequate
    shelter under all but very low flow conditions.

c.  Fair:  Average  depth  6-12  inches.   Many  riffles are  too shallow for
    free passage of fish  at normal flow.  Some habitat  is provided by
    pools but only  at normal or higher  flow.  Depth may  be  sufficient
    to support  forage species  and macroinvertebrates.

d.  Poor:  Average  depth  less  than 6 inches.  Riffles are shallow, even
    at normal flow.  Pools and flat area  are shallow  and uniform in
    depth.  Little  cover  available for  any fish  species.  Stream may
    cease to flow in very dry  periods.

10.  Stream Flow, at a Representative Low Flow - Stream  flow relates to
the ability of  a stream  to provide and  maintain  a  stable aquatic
environment.  The rating  flows are based  on  a review  of  Surface Water
Resources of Wisconsin Counties publications, Wisconsin  Department of
Natural Resources.  Flows were compared to species of fish  known to
inhabit streams.

a.  Excel 1ent:  Stream flow greater than  5 cfs for warm  water streams,
    and greater than 2 cfs for cold water streams. These values are
    based on the potential of  a stream  to support  warm  or cold water
    sport fish.

b.  Good:   Stream flow 2 to 5  cfs for warm water streams, and 1 to 2
    cfs for cold water streams.  Surface  water resources data for
    Wisconsin indicates many warm water streams, with good  habitat, in
    this flow range support sport fish.   Other streams,  with good water
    quality, support diverse forage fish  populations.  Many cold water
    streams in this flow  range will support  trout, if habitat is good.

c.  Fair:   Stream flow 0.5 to  2 cfs for warm water streams,  and 0.5 to
    1 cfs  for cold water streams.  These  stream  flows are sufficient
    to support forage species  in warm water.  Cold water streams in
    this flow range may  support a few trout.  Streams with  exceptional
    habitat may support a fishable trout  population.  Many  cold water


    streams in this range will support diverse forage  fish  and
    macroinvertebrate populations.

d-  Poor•  Stream flow less than 0.5 cfs  for  both warm and  cold  water
    streams.  Streams in this category may become intermittent in  dry
    periods.  Streams with exceptional water  quality and  habitat may
    support forage fish, or even serve as spawning  or  nursery areas  for

11.  Pool/Riffle or Run/Bend Ratio - This rating  item  assumes a  stream
with a mixture of riffles or bends contains better  habitat  for
community development than a straight or  uniform  depth stream.   "Bends"
refer to a meandering stream.  Bends are  included because some low
gradient streams may not have riffle ares, but excellent  habitat can be
provided by the cutting action of water at bends.   The ratio  is
calculated by dividing the average distance between riffles or bends by
the averge stream width.  If a stream contains both riffles and  bends,
the most dominant feature which provides  the  best habitat should be

a.  Excellent:  Pool-to-riffle or run-to-bend ratio to 5-7.  Pools are
    deep and provde good habitat.  Riffles are deep enough  for free
    passage of fish.

b.  Good:  Pool-to-riffle or run-to-bend  ratio of 7-15.   Adequate  depth
    in pools and riffles.

c.  Fair:  Pool-to-riffle- or run-to-bend ratio of  15-25.  Occasional
    riffle or bend.  Variable bottom contours may provide some habitat.

d.  Poor:  Pool-to-riffle or run-to-bend  ration greater than  25.
    Essentially a straight and uniform depth  stream.   Little  habitat of
    any kind.

12.  Aesthetics - This rating item does not necessarily relate to  the
ability of a stream to support aquatic life.   However, people's
perception of what constitutes a desirable surface  water  is important.
Even though a stream may not be capable of supporting  high-use-class
orgnaisma, it may have desirable aesthetic qualities which  deserve
protection.  It is not possible to guide  everyone to a uniform
aesthetic rating decision.  However, various  studies have been
conducted on what most people consider as aesthetics when viewing  a
a setting.  The various factors important in  this evaluation  include:

1.  Visual pattern quality                5.   Naturalness
2.  Land husbandry                        6.   Geological  values
3.  Degree of change                      7.   Historical  values
4.  Recovery potential                    8.   Flora and fauna diversity

a.  Excellent:  The stream or  stream  section  has  wilderness
    characteristics, outstanding  natural  beauty,  or  flows  through  a
    wooded or unpastured  corridor.

b.  Good:  High natural beauty  -- trees,  historic site.   Some watershed
    development may be visible  such as  agricultural  fields,  pastures,
    some dwellings.  Land in use  is well  managed.

c.  Fair:  Common setting, but  not offensive.   May be  a  developed  but
    uncluttered area.

d.  Poor:  Stream does not enhance aesthetics.  Condition  of stream is
    offensive, and recovery without extensive  renovation  of  watershed
    and stream is unlikely.

Habitat Rating Procedure  - The  habitat  characteristics described  are
rated from excellent to poor on the form  provided at the  end of this
section.  The habitat score obtained  from the  rating form  is used  in
Table 4 to assist in determining  attainable stream use.   The rating
numbers are relative to one another from  excellent to  poor,  and number
values are weighted to give more  important  rating items  (depth, flow,
substrate) more significance in the total  score.   It is  the  proportion
of the rating values to one another that  is important, not the actual
number value.

The rating form is completed using field  measurements, observations,
maps, aerial  photos, etc.  If a stream  is  divided into segments,  a
separate form is used for each  one.   One  of the numbers  best describing
the condition of the rating item  is circled.   If  the actual  conditions
fall somewhere between the conditions described,  the number  is crossed
out and an intermediate number  that better  describes the  situation is
written TruWhen all items have  been rated the total  score  in each
column is added up and the column scores  totalled for  a  final  ranking

The rating items are interrelated so  do not dwell  on any  one item  for
long.  Avoid keying in on a single indicator  unless  it has significant
impact on the stream's potential to support aquatic  life.  The weight
given to more important items is  intended  to  account for this. In this
system a stream with excellent  characteristics will  receive  a lower
number score than one with poor characteristics,  i.e., the lower  the
score, the better the stream system habitat.

The rating form should be completed in the  field  to  insure all items
are rated at the site.  The descriptions  are  intended  to  stimulate
mental images of indicator conditions which lead  to  consistent,
reproducible habitat ratings by different  evaluators.

                           LITERATURE CITED
Alabaster, J.S. and R. Lloyd. 1980. Water quality criteria for fresh
water fish.  Food and Agricultural Org., United Nations.

Gorman, O.T. and J.R. Karr.  1978.  Habitat structure and stream fish
communities.  Ecology, 59(3).  pp. 507-515.

Kohnke, H. and A.R. Bertrand.  1959.  Soil Conservation.  McGraw-Hill
Book Co. 298 p.

Lotspeich, F.B.  1980.  Water sheds as the basic ecosystem:  This
conceptual framework provides a basis for a natural classification
system.  Water Resources Bulletin Vol. 16, No. 4, August 1980.

Nemetz, P.N. and H.D. Drechsler.  1980.  The use of biological criteria
in environmental  policy.  Water Resources Bulletin. Vol. 16, No. 6.

Platt, W.S. 1974.  Geomorphic and aquatic conditions influencing
salmonids and stream classification.  U.S. For. Serv. SEAM Program, 199

Schuettpelz, D.H.  1980.  Evaluating the attainability of water quality
goals.  Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Water Quality
Evaluation Section; May 1980.

Smith, P.W.  1971.  Illinois Streams:  A classification based on their
fishes and an analysis of factors responsible for disappearance of
native species.  Biol. Note No. 76, Illinois Natural Fish Survey,
Urbana, Illinois, November 1971.

Thurston, R.V., R.C. Russo, C.M.  Fetteralf, T.A. Edsall, and Y.M.
Barber (Eds.).  1979.  A review of the EPA red book:  quality criteria
for water.  Water Quality Section, Am. Fish Soc., Bethesda, MD. 313 p.

Tramer, E.J. and P.M. Rogers.  1973.  Diversity and longitudinal
zonation in fish populations of two streams entering a metropolitan
area.  Am. Midland Nat., 90(2):   366-374.

U.S. Department of Agriculture.   1975.  Stream reach inventory and
channel stability evaluation.  USDA; Forest service; Northern Reg.

US EPA.  1977.  Quality criteria  for water.  Office of Water and
Hazardous Materials, US EPA; Washington, D.C. 256 p.

US EPA, Reg V. 1980.  Environmental evaluation guidance.  US EPA,  Draft
Copy, December 1980.

Warren, C.E.  1979.  Toward classification and rationale for watershed
management and stream protection.  US EPA, EPA-600/3-79-059, June  1979.

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Fishes - General References

Allen, G.H., A.C. Delcay, and S.W. Goshall. (1960). Quantitative
 sampling of marine fishes - A problem in fish behavior and fish gear.
 In: Waste Disposal in the Marine Environment.  Pergamon Press, pp

American Public Health Association et al_. (1971). Standard methods for
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Calhoun, A., ed. (1966) Inland fisheries management. Calif. Dept. Fish
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Carlander, K.D. (1969). Handbook of freshwater fishery;Life history
 data on freshwater of the U.S. and Canada, exclusive of the
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Curits, B. (1948). The Life Story of the Fish. Harcourt, Brace and
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Cushing, D.H. (1968).  Fisheries biology. A study in population
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Green, J. (1968). The  biology of estuarine animals. Univ. Washington,
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Hocutt, C.H. and J.R.  Stauffer. (1980). Biology Monitoring of Fish.
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Hynes, H.B.N. (1960).  The biology of polluted water. Liverpool Univ.
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Hynes, H.B.N. (1970).  The ecology of running waters. Univ. Toronto
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Jones, J.R.E. (1964).  Fish and river pollution. Butterworth, London.
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Lagler, K. F. (1966).  Freshwater fisheries biology. William C. Brown
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Lagler, K.F., J.D. Bardach, andR.R. Miller. (1962). Ichthyology. The
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Lee, D.S., C.R. Gillbert, C.H. Hocutt, R. Jenkins, D. McAllister and J.
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1980-12 North Carolina State Museum of Natural History, Raleigh. 845

Macan, T.T. (1963) Freshwater ecology. John Wiley and Sons, New Yor.
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Marshall, N.B. (1966). Life of fishes. The World Publ. Co., Cleveland
 and New York. 402 pp.

Moore, H.B. (1965). Marine ecology. John Wiley and Sons,  Inc., New
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Reid, G.K. (1961). Ecology of inland waters and estuaries. Reinhold
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Ricker, W.E. (1958). Handbook of computations for biological  statistics
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Ricker, W.E. (1968) Methods for the assessment of fish production in
 fresh water.  International Biological Program Handbook  No.  3.
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Rounsefell, G.A., and W.H. Everhart. (1953). Fishery science, its
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Rutter, F. (1953). Fundamentals of limnology. Univ. Toronto Press,
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Warren, C.E. (1971). Biology and water pollution control. W.B. Saunders
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Welch, P.S. (1948). Limnological methods. McGraw-Hill, New York. 381
General Fish Identification

Bailey, R.M., et al.  (1970). A list of common  and  scientific  names  of
 fishes from the United States and Canada. 3rd ed. Spec.  Publ. Amer.
 Fish. Soc. No. 6.  149 pp.

Blair, W.F. and G.A.  Moore.  (1968). Vertebrates  of the United  States.
 McGraw Hill, New York. pp.  22-165

Eddy,  S.  (1957). How  to know the  fresh-water fishes.  Wm.  C.  Brown  Co.,
 Dubuque. 253 pp.

Jordan, D.S., B.W.  Evermann, and  H.W. Clark, (1955).  Check  list  of  the
 fishes and fish like vertebrates of North and Middle America  north of
 the northern boundary of Venezuela and Colombia.  U.S. Fish  Wildl.
 Ser., Washington,  D.C. 670  pp.


LaMonte, F. (1958). North American game  fishes. Doubleday,  Garden  City,
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Morita, C.M. (1953). Freshwater fishing  in Hawaii. Div.  Fish Game.
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Perlmutter, A. (1961). Guide to marine fishes. New York  Univ.  Press,
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Scott, W.B. and E.J. Grossman. (1969). Checklist of Canadian freshwater
 fishes with keys of identification.  Misc. Publ. Life Sci. Div.
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Thompson, J.R., and S. Springer. (1961). Sharks, skates,  rays,  and
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Marine -  Coastal Pacific

Baxter, J.L. (1966). Inshore fishes of California. 3rd  rev.  Calif.
 Dept.  Fish Game, Sacramento. 80 pp.

Clemens, W.A., and G.V. Wilby. (1961). Fishes of the Pacific  coast  of
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McAllister, D.E. (1960). List of the marine fishes of Canada.  Bull.
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McHugh, J.L. and J.E. Fitch. (1951). Annotated  list of  the clupeoid
 fishes of the Pacific Coast from Alaska to Cape San Lucas,  Baja,
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Rass, T.S., ed.  (1966). Fishes of the Pacific and  Indian  Oceans;
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Roedel, P.M. (1948). Common marine fishes of Calif. Div.  Fish  Game  Fish
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Wolford, L.A. (1937). Marine game fishes of the Pacific Coast  from
 Alaska to the Equator.  Univ. Calif. Press, Berkeley.  205 pp.
Marine - Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico

Ackerman, B. (1951). Handbook of fishes of the Atlantic  seaboard.
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Bearden, C.M. (1961). Common marine fishes of South Carolina. Bears
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-•frige-Vow,-  H.B.,  and W.C.  Schroeder.  (1953). Fishes of the gulf'of Maine.
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  Bigelow,  H.B.  and W.C.  Schroeder.  (1954).  Deep water elasmobranchs and
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  Bohlke, J.E.,  and C.6.  Chaplin. (1968). Fishes of the Bahamas and
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   Publishing Co.,  Wynnewood. Pa.

  Breder, C.M.,  Jr. (1948). Field book of marine fishes of the Atlantic
   Coast  from Labrador to Texas. G.P. Putnam and Sons, New York. 332 pp.

  Casey,  J.G. (1964). Angler's  guide  to sharks of the northeastern United
   States,  Maine to Chesapeake  Bay,  Bur. Sport Fish. Wildl. Cir. No. 179,
   Washington,  D.C.

  Hildebrand, S.R., and W.C.  Scott.  (1966).  Fishes of the Atlantic Coast
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  Leim, A.M., and W.B. Scott. (1966). Fishes of the Atlantic Coast of
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  Pew, P. (1954). Food and game fishes of the Texas Coast. Texas Game
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  Randall,  J.E., (1968).  Caribbean reef fishes. T.F.H. Publications,
   Inc.,  Jersey City.

  Robins, C.R.  (1958). Check list of the Florida game and commercial
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  Schwartz, F.J. (1970).  Marine fishes common to North Carolina. North
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   Univ.   North Car.  Press, Chapel  Hill.

  Freshwater - Northeast

  Bailey, R.M.  (1938). Key to the fresh-water fishes of New Hampshire.
   In:The fishes of the Merrimack Watershe.  Biol. Surv. of  the Merrimack
   Watershed. N.H.  Fish Game Dept., Biol. Surv. Rept. 3. pp. 149-185.

  Bean, T.H. (1903). Catalogue of the fishes of  New York. N.Y. State Mus.
   Bull.  60.784 pp.


Carpenter, R.G. and H.R. Siegler. (1947) Fishes  of  New  Hampshire.  N.H.
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Elser, H.O. (1950). The common fishes of Maryland -  How to  tell  them
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McCabe, B.C. (1945). Fishes. In: Fish.  Fur. Rept. 1942.  Mass. Oept.
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Van Meter, H.  (1950). Identifying fifty prominent fishes  of West
 Virginia. W.Va. Cons.  Comm. Div. Fish Mgt. No. 3.  45  pp.

Whiteworth, W.R., R. L. Berrieu, and W.T. Keller. (1968).   Freshwater
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Freshwater - Southeast

Black, J.D. (1940). The distribution of the fishes  of  Arkansas.  Univ.
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Briggs, J.C. (1958). A list of Florida fishes and their  distribution.
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Cam, A.F., Jr. (1937). A key to the freshwater fishes of  Florida.
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Clay, W.M. (1962). A field manual of Kentucky fishes.  Ky.  Dept.  Fish
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Clay, W.M. (1975). The Fishes of Kentucky. Dept. Fish. Wildl. Res.  416

Fowler, H.W. (1945). A study of the fishes of the southern Piedmont and
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Gowanlock, J.N. (1933). Fishes and fishing in Louisiana. Bull. La.
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Heemstra, P.C. (1965). A field key to the Florida sharks.  Tech.  Ser.
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King, W.  (1947). Important food and game fishes of  North Carolina.  N.C.
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Kuhne, E.R. (1939). A guide to the fishes of Tennessee and the
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Smith, H. (1970). The fihes of North Carolina. N.C. Geol. Econ. Surv.
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Smith-Vaniz, W.F. (1968). Freshwater fishes of Alabama. Auburn Univ.
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Freshwater - Midwest

Bailey, R.M., and M.O. All urn. (1962). Fishes of South Dakota. Misc.
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Eddy, S., and T. Suber. (1961). Northern fishes with special reference
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Evermann, B.W., and H.W. Clark. (1920). Lake Maxinjuckee, a  physical
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Forbes, S.A., and R.E. Richardson. (1920).  The  fishes of  Illinois.  111.
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Gerking, S.D. (1945). The distribution of the fishes of Indiana.
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Greene, C.W. (1935). The distribution of Wisconsin  Fishes. Wis.  Cons.
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Harlan, J.R., and E.B. Speaker. (1956). Iowa fishes and fishing. 3rd
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Hubbs, C.L., and G.P. Cooper. (1936). Minnow of Michigan. Cranbrook
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Hubbs, C.L., and K.F. Lagler. (1964). Fishes of the Great Lakes  Region.
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Johnson, R.E.  (1942). The distribution of Nebraska  fishes. Univ. Mich.
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Pfieger, W.L.  (1975) the Fishes of Missouri. Dept.  of Cons.  343  pp.

Phillips, G.L., W.D. Schmid and J. Ludhill.  (1982). Fishes of the
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Smith, P.M.  (1979). the Fishes  of  Illinois.  Univ. of  Illinois Press,
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Trautman, M.B. (1957). The fishes of Ohio. Ohio State Univ.  Press,
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Traumlan, M.B. (1981) The Fishes of Ohio. Ohio State Univ. Press.
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Van Ooosten, J. (1957). Great Lakes fauna, flora, and their
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Freshwater - Southwest

Beckman, W.C. (1952). Guide to the fishes of Colorado. Univ.  Colo. Mus.
 Leafl. 11. 110 pp.

Burr, J.G. (1932). Fishes of Texas; Handbook of the more important game
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Dill, W.A. (1944). The fishery of the Lower Colorado River.  Calif. Fish
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LaRivers, I., and T.J. Trelease. (1952). An annotated check  list of the
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Miller, R.R. (1952). Bait fishes of the Lower Colorado River  from Lake
 Mead, Nevada, to Yuma, Arizona, with a key identification.  Calif. Fish
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Sigler, W.F., and R.R. Miller, (1963). Fishes of Utah. Utah  St. Dept.
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Walford, L.A. (1931). Handbook of common commercial and game  fishes of
 California. Calif.  Div. Fish Game Fish Bull. No. 28

Ward, H.C. (1953). Know your Oklahoma fishes. Okla. Game Fish Dept,
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Freshwater - Northwest

Baxter, G.T., and J.R. Simon. (1970). Wyoming fishes. Bull.  Wyo. Game
 Fish Dept. No. 4. 168 pp.

Bond, C.E. (1961). Keys to Oregon freshwater fishes. Tech. Bull. Ore.
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Hankinson, T.L. (1929). Fishes of North Dakota. Pop. Mich. Acad. Sci.
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McPhail, J.D., and C.C. Lindsey. (1970). Freshwater fishes of
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Schultz, L.P. (1936). Keys to the fishes of Washington, Oregon and
 closely adjoining regions. Univ. Wash. Publ. Biol. 2(4):103-270

Schultz, L.P. (19)41. Fishes of Glacier National park, Montana. USDI,
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Wilimovsky, N.J. (1954). List of the fishes of Alaska. Stanford
 Ichthyol.  Bull.  4:279-294.



Macroi nvertebrates

Chutter, P.M. and R.G. Noble. (1966). The reliability of a method of
 sampling stream invertebrates. Arch.  Hydrobiol., 62(1):95-l03.

Dickson, K.L., J. Cairns, Jr., and J.C. Arnold. (197)1. An evaluation
 of the use of a basket-type artificial substrate for sampling
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Elliott, J.M. (1970). Methods of sampling invertebrate drift in running
 water. Ann. Limnol. 6(2):133-159.

Elliott, J.M. (1971). Some methods for the statistical analysis of
 samples of benthic invertebrates. Freshwater Biological  Association,
 U.K. Ferry House, Ambleside, Westmorland, England. 144 pp.

Flannagan, J.F. (1970). Efficiencies of various grabs and corers in
 sampling freshwater benthos. J. Fish. Res. Pdg. Canada,

Fullner, R.W. (1971). A comparison of macroinvertebrates  collected by
 basket and modified multiple-plate samples.   JWPCF, 43(3):494-499.

Gaufin, A.R., and C.M. Tarzwell. (1956). Aquatic macroinvertebrate
 communities as indicators of organic pollution in Lytle  Creek. Sewate
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Hamilton, A.L., W. Burton, and J. Flannagan.  (1970). A multiple corer
 for sampling profundal benthos. J.Fish Res.  Bdg. Canada,

Henson, E.B. (1965). A cage sampler for collecting aquatic fauna.
 Turtox News, 43(12):298-299.

Henson, E.B. (1958). Description of a bottom fauna concentrating bag.
 Turtox News, 361(1):34-36.

Hester, F.E., and J.S. Dendy. (1962). A multiple-plate sampler for
 aquatic macroinvertebrates. Trans.  Amer. Fish. Soc. 91(4):420-421.

Hilsenhoff, W.L. (1969).  An artificial substrate device for sampling
 benthic stream invertebrates. Limnol. Oceanogr. 14(3):465-471.

Hynes, H.B.N. (1970). The ecology of running waters. Liverpool Univ.

Ingram, W.M., and A.F. Bartsch. (i960). Graphic expression of
 biological  data in water pollution reports. JWPCF, 32(3):297-3lO.

Ingram, W.M. (1957). Use and value of biological indicators of
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Lewis, P.A., W.T. Mason, Jr., and C.I. Weber. A comparison of Petersen,
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Mason, W.T., Jr., J.B. Anderson, and G.E. Morrison. (1967). A
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Mason, W.T., Jr., P.A. Lewis, and J.B. Anderson. (1971).
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Mason, W.T., Jr., C.I. Weber, P.A. Lewis, and E.G. Julian. (1973).
 Factors affecting the performance of basket and multiplate
 macroinvertebrate samples. Freshwater Biol. (U.K.) 3: In press.

Paterson, C.G., and C.H. Fernando. (1971). A comparison of a simple
 corer and an Ekman grab for sampling shallow-water benthos. J. Fish.
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Patrick, R.  (1950). Biological measure of stream conditions. Sewage
 Ind.  Wastes, 22(7 ) :926-938.

Pennak, R.W. (1953).  Freshwater  invertebrates of the United States.
 Ronald Press Co., New York. 769 pp.

Richardson, R.E.  (1928). The bottom fauna of the middle  Illinois River,
 1913-1925:  Its distribution, abundance, valuation, and index value in
 the  study of stream  pollution.  Bull.  111.  Nat. Hist.  Surv.

Scott, D.C.  (1958). Biological balance in streams.  Sewage  Ind. Wastes,

Waters, T.F. (1962).  Diurnal periodicity  in  the drift  of Stream
 invertebrates. Ecology, 43(2):316-320.

waters, T.F. (1969). Invertebrate drift-ecology and significance to
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Welch, P.S. (1948). Limnological methods. The Blakiston Co.,
 Philadelphia, Pa. 381  pp.

Wilhm, J.L. (1970). Range of diversity index in benthic
 macroinvertebrate populations. JWPCF, 42(5):R221-R224.

Wurtz, C.B. (1955). Stream biota and stream pollution. Sewage Ind.
 Wastes, 27(11 ):1270-1278.
Mi croi nvertebrates

Arnon, W., et al. (1965). Towing characteristics of plankton sampling
 gear. Limnol. Oceanogr.  10(3):333-340.

Barlow, J.P. (1955). Physical and biological processes determining the
 distribution of zooplankton in a tidal estuary. Biological Bull.

Barnes, H., and D.J. Tranter. (1964). A statistical examination of the
 catches, numbers, and biomass taken by three commonly used plankton
 nets. Aut. J. Mar. Freshwater Res. 16(3):293-306.

Curl, H., Jr. (1962). Analysis of carbon in marine plankton organisms.
 J.  Mar. Res. 30(3):181-188.

Dovel, W.L. (1964). An approach to sampling estuarine macroplankton.
 Chesapeake Sci.  5(l-3):77-90.

Frolander, H.F. (1957). A plankton volume indicator. J. Cons. Perm.
 int.  explor. Mer. 22(3):278-283.

Frolander, H.F. (1968). Statistical variation in zooplankton numbers
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McGowan, J.A., and V.J. Fraundorf. (1966). The relationship between
 size of net used and estimates of zooplankton diversity. Limnol.
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National Academy of Sci. (1969). Recommended procedures for measuring
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     The Water  Body  Survey and Assessment Guidance  for  Conducting Use
Attainability Analyses  provides guidance  on  the  factors  that  may be
examined to determine  if  an aquatic life  protection  use is attainable
in a given stream  or  river system.  The  guidance  proposed  that States
perform  physical,  chemical  and  biological   evaluations in  order  to
determine  the  existing  and  potential   uses  of  a  water   body.    The
analyses suggested within  this  guidance  represent  the type  of analyses
EPA  believes  are  sufficient  for  States  to  justify  changes  in  uses
designated  in  a  water   quality   standard and  to   show  in  Advanced
Treatment Project Justifications that the  uses  are attainable.   States
are  also  encouraged  to use  alternative  analyses  as  long  as  they are
scientifically and technically  supportable.   Furthermore,  the guidance
also  encourages the  use   of  existing data  to  perform the  physical,
chemical and biological evaluations and whenever possible States should
consider  grouping  water  bodies having  simiTar  physical and  chemical
characteristics to treat  several  water bodies or  segments  as  a single

     Using  the  framework  provided  by  this  guidance,  studies  were
conducted  to   (1)   test   the  applicability  of  the   guidance,   (2)
familiarize State  and  Regional personnel  with  the procedures  and (3)
identify situations  where  additional  guidance is  needed.   The results
of these  case  studies,  which are  summarized  in  this  Handbook, pointed
out the following:

(1) The Water Body  Surveys and Assessment guidance  can  be  applied and
    provides  a  good   framework   for   conducting  use  attainability
(2)  The guidance  provides  sufficient  flexibility  to  the  States  in
    conducting such analyses; and,
(3) The case  studies  show that EPA and  States  can cooperatively agree
    to  the data  and  analyses needed  to  evaluate  the existing  and
    potential  uses.

     Upon completion of the case studies,  several  States requested that
EPA  provide additional  technical  guidance on the  techniques  mentioned
in the guidance document.    In  order to fulfill  these requests, EPA has
developed  a  technical  support  manual   on  conducting  attainability
analyses and is continuing research to develop new cost effective tools
for conducting such analyses.   EPA is striving to develop a partnership
with States to  improve the scientific  and  technical  bases  of  the water
quality standards decision-making  process  and will  continue to provide
technical assistance.

     The  summaries  of  the  case  studies  provided   in  this  Handbook
illustrate  the  different  methods  States  used  in  determining  the
existing  and  potential  uses.   As  can be  seen, the  specific analyses
used  were  dictated by  (1) the characteristics  of  the  site,  (2) the


States capabilities  and  technical  expertise  using  certain methods  and
(3) the availability of data.  EPA is providing these  summaries  to  show
how  use  attainability  analyses  can  be conducted.    States  will  find
these  case  studies  informative  on   the  technical   aspects   of   use
attainability  analyses  and will  provide  them with  alternate views  on
how such analyses may be conducted.

                     Assabet River, Massachusetts
A.   Site Description

     The drainage basin of the Assabet River  comprises  175  square  miles
located  in  twenty  towns  in  East-Central  Massachusetts.   The  Assabet
River  begins  as   the  outflow  from  a   small  wildlife   preservation
impoundment in the  Town  of  Westborough and flows northeast through  the
urban  centers of   Northborough,  Hudson,   Maynard  and  Concord  to  its
confluence with  the Sudbury  River,  forming the Concord River.   Between
these  urbanized  centers,  the  river  is bordered by  stretches of  rural
and  undeveloped  land.   Similarly,  the  vast  majority  of  the drainage
basin  is characterized  by  rural  development.    Figure 1  presents  a
schematic diagram of the drainage basin.

     The Assabet River provides the  opportunity to  study  a  repeating
sequence of water quality degradation  and  recovery.   One industrial  and
six  domestic  wastewater  treatment   plants   (WWTP)  discharge   their
effluents into this 31-mile  long river.   All of  the treatment plants
presently provide  secondary  or  advanced  secondary treatment, although
many of  them  are not performing to their  design specifications.  Most
of  the  treatment   plants are  scheduled  to  be  upgraded  in  the  near

     Interspersed among  the  WWTP discharges  are six  low dams,  all  but
one  of  which  were built  at   least   a  half  century  ago.   All   are
"run-of-the-river"  structures  varying in  height from  three  to eleven
feet.  The  last  dam built on  the  river was  a  flood control  structure
completed in 1980.

     The headwaters of the  Assabet River  are formed  by the  discharge
from a wildlife  preservation  impoundment, and  are  relatively  "clean"
except for low dissolved oxygen  (DO) and high biochemical oxygen demand
(BOP) during winter and summer.   Water is  discharged from the preserve
through the foot of the dam  that forms the impoundment, and  therefore,
tends to  be  low in DO.   DO and BOD  problems  in  the  impoundment  are
attributed to winter ice cover  and  peak  algal  growth in summer.  After
the  discharge   of   effluents   from   the   Westborough  and   Shrewsbury
municipal  wastewater  treatment  plants,  the  river   enters  its  first
degradation/recovery  cycle.     The  cycle   is repeated  as   the  river
receives  effluent  from the  four remaining domestic  treatment  plants.
Water  quality  problems in the  river  are  magnified  when the  effluents
are discharged into the head of an  impoundment.   However,  the  flow  of
water over the dams also serves  as a primary means of reaeration in  the
river,  and thus, the dams also  become  a  major  factor  in  the recovery
segment of the cycle.   Water quality  surveys  performed  in 1979 showed
violations of  the  fecal  coliform,  phosphorus, and dissolved  oxygen
criteria  throughout the river.

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i	''v.

     At  present,  the entire length  of  the Assabet River  is  classified
B,  which is  designated for  the  protection  and  propagation  of  fish,
other  aquatic  life  and  wildlife,  and   for   primary   and   secondary
recreation.   Two different  uses  have been designated  for the  Assabet
River--from  river mile  31.8 to  12.4 the designated use is  "aquatic
life" and from river mile  12.4 to  the confluence with the Sudbury  River
the designated use is a  "warm  water fishery".   The difference  in  these
designated  uses   is  that  maintenance  of  a  warm  water   fishery  has  a
maximum  temperature  criterion  of 83 degrees  F,  and a minimum DO of  5
mg/1.   There are no temperature  or DO  criteria   associated  with  the
aquatic  life use.   These  designations  seem  contrary to the  existing
data, which  document violations  of  both  criteria  in  the  lower  reaches
of the river where warm water fishery is the designated  use.

B.  Problem Definition

     The  Assabet  River  was  managed as  a  put  and take  trout  fishery
prior to the early 1970s when the  practice was stopped on advisement  of
the MDWPC because of poor  water quality conditions  in the river.   While
the  majority of  the water  quality problems  are   attributable  to  the
wastewater treatment plant discharges,  the naturally  low  velocities  in
the river, compounded by its  impoundment  in several places, led to  the
examination  of   both factors  as  contributors  to the   impairment   of
aquatic  life  uses.   This  combination of  irreversible physical  factors
and wastewater  treatment  plant-induced  water  quality problems  led  to
the selection of  the Assabet River  for this water  body survey.

C.  Approach to Use Attainability  Analysis

     Assessment   of  the Assabet   River  is  based on   the  previously
mentioned  site  visits  and  discussions  among  representatives  of the
Massachusetts Division  of  Water   Pollution  Control  (MDWPC);  the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency  (EPA);  and the  Massachusetts  Fish  and
Wildlife Division.  This assessment  is also based  in part  upon  findings
reported in the  field  and  laboratory analyses on  the Assabet River  in
early June,  1979, and again  in  early August, 1979.   These surveys are
part of  the  on-going MDWPC monitoring  program,  which  included  similar
water quality assessments  of  the  Assabet  in 1969  and  1974.   The  water
quality  monitoring  includes  extensive   information  on   the  chemical
characteristics  of the Assabet River.

Analyses Conducted

     A  review  of  physical,  chemical  and  biological  information was
conducted to  determine   which  aquatic  life  use  designations  would  be

A.  Physical Factors

     The low flow condition  of  the  river  during the  summer months may
have  an  impact   on  the  ability  of  certain fish  species  to  survive.
Various  percentages  of  average  annual   flow  (AAF) have  been  used  to
describe stream  regimens for critical  fisheries flow.   As reported  in

Cortell  (1977),  studies  conducted  by  Tennant  indicate that  10%, 30%,
and  60%  of AAF  describe the  range of  fisheries  flows  from absolute
minimum  (10% AAF) to optimum  (60% of  AAF).   The average annual flow of
the  Assabet River,  as  calculated from 39 years of  record  at the USGS
gauge  at  river  mile 7.7, is  183 cfs.   Flow measurements  taken  at the
USGS gauge on four consecutive days in early August, 1979, were 43, 34,
27,  and  33 cfs.    These flows  average  about  19  percent  of the AAF
indicating that  some  impairment  of the  protection  of  fish species may
occur  due  to  low flow in  the river.  The  7-day  10-year  low flow for
this reach of the river  is approximately 18 to 20 cfs.

     The  outstanding  physical features  of  the  Assabet River  are the
dams,  which  have a significant  influence  on  the  aquatic  life  of the
river.  Most fish are incapable of  migrating upstream  of the  dams, thus
limiting  their   ability  to  find  suitable  (sufficient)  habitats when
critical   water   quality  conditions  occur.    The  low  flow  conditions
downstream of  the dams  during  dry periods  also result  in  high  water
temperatures, further limiting fish survival in  the  river.

B.   Biological Factors

     As  with  data  on  the physical  parameters  for  the Assabet   River,
biological data are sparse.   The  last fish  survey  of  the Assabet  River
was  conducted by  the Massachusetts  Fish  and Wildlife Division in  1952.
Yellow perch, bluegills, pickerel,  sunfish, and  bass were  all  observed.
The  Assabet  River was sampled  by  the MDWPC  for macroinvertebrates at
five  locations  in June,  1979,  as   part  of  an  intensive  water  quality

     The data were  reviewed and analyses performed to  determine  whether
conditions  preclude  macroinvertebrate  habitats.    The   results were
i nconclusive.

C.   Chemical Factors

     Of  all the  chemical  constituents measured  in  the June and August,
1979,  water  quality surveys,  dissolved  oxygen, ammonia  nitrogen, and
temperature  have  the  greatest  potential  to   limit  the  survival  of
aquatic  life.    Ammonia  toxicity was  investigated  using  the criteria
outlined in Water Quality  Cnteria  1972.   The results  of  this analysis
indicate that the  concentration  of un-ionized ammonia would  need  to be
increased  approximately  three  times  before  acute  mortality  in the
species  of fish  listed  would  occur.   Therefore,  ammonia  is   not   a

     Temperatures in the  lower reaches of the  Assabet  frequently  exceed
the  maximum  temperature criteria  (83 degrees F)  for  maintenance of  a
warm water fishery.   However, temperature  readings were taken in  early
and  late afternoon  and  are believed  to  be  surface water  measurements.
They are short-term localized observations  and  should  not  preclude the
maintenance of a warm water fishery in those  reaches.   Dissolved  oxygen
concentrations above Maynard  are unsuitable  for  supporting  cold  or warm
water  fisheries, but  are  sufficient  to  support a  fishery below this

     The impoundments may exhibit water  quality  problems  in  the  form  of
high surface temperatures and  low bottom DO.   Surface  temperatures  have
been found  to  be similar to those in the  remainder  of the river.  The
only depth  sample was at 13 feet in  the  wildlife  impoundment,  where the
temperature was  63 degrees  F,  while  83 degrees F  at  the  surface.  While
such bottom temperatures are  likely  to  be sufficient to  support  a  cold
water  fishery,  it  is  likely  that  the  DO at the  bottom  of  the
impoundments  will  be  near  zero  due to  benthic  demands and  lack  of
surface aeration, which would  preclude the  survival  of any fish.


     The data,  observations,  and analyses  as  presented  herein lead  to
the  conclusion  that  there  are four  possible  uses  for  the Assabet:
aquatic life, warm water fishery, cold water  fishery,  and  seasonal  cold
water  fishery.   The  seasonal   fishery would  be managed by stocking the
river  during the spring.

     These  uses were  analyzed under  three water  quality  conditions:
existing, existing without  the wastewater discharges,  and inclusion  of
the  wastewater  effluent  discharges  with  treatment  at   the   levels
stipulated  in the 1981 Suasco  Basin  Water Quality Management Plan.  The
no  discharge  condition  is  included  as  a  baseline that  represents the
quality under "natural" conditions.

A.  Existing Uses

     A  limited  number of  warm water  fish species  predominate  in the
Assabet River  under  existing  conditions.    The  species  should  not  be
different from  those  observed  during the 1952 survey.   The  combination
of  numerous low-level dams  and wastewater  treatment  plants  with  low
flow   conditions   in  the   summer   results   in   dissolved   oxygen
concentrations  and  temperatures  which   place  severe  stress  on  the
metabolism  of the fish.

     The observed temperatures  are most conducive to support the  growth
of  coarse  fish,  including   pike,   perch,  walleye,   smallmouth  and
largemouth  bass, sauger, bluegill and crappie.

     The minimum  observed  DO  concentrations  are unacceptable for  the
protection  of any fish.  Water Quality  Criteria  establishes the  values
6.8, 5.6,  and  4.2 mg/1  of DO  for   high,  moderate,  and  low  levels  of
protection  of  fish  for  rivers with  the  temperature  characteristics  of
the  Assabet.    The Draft  National   Criteria  for  Dissolved  Oxygen  in
Freshwater  establishes criteria as 3.0 mg/1  for  survival, 4.0 mg/1  for
moderate production impairment, 5.0 mg/1  for slight  impairment, and 6.0
for no production impairment.   The  upper reaches will  not even support
a warm water  fishery at the  survival level,  except  in  the  uppermost
reach.   On  the  other  hand,  the lower reaches  can  support  a  warm water
fishery under existing conditions.

B.  Potential Uses

     The  potential  aquatic  life  uses  of  the  Assabet  River  would  be
restricted by temperature  and  low flow, and  by  physical  barriers that
would  exist   even  if  water  quality  (measured  in  terms  of  DO  and
bacteria) is significantly improved.  Despite an overall improvement in
treated effluent quality, the river would be suitable for aquatic life,
as it is currently, and would continue to be too warm to support a cold
water fishery  in  the summertime.   The possibility  of  maintaining  the
cold water species  in  tributaries during the summer  was  investigated,
but there  are no  data  on which  to draw  conclusions.    Water  quality
observations  in  the only  tributary  indicate temperatures  similar  to
those in  the mainstem.   Therefore,  the  maintenance of  a  cold  water
fishery in the Assabet  is considered unfeasible.

     The attainable uses in  the  river  without discharges  or at planned
levels  of  treatment are  warm water  fishery and  seasonal  cold  water
fishery.  These uses are both  attainable throughout  the basin, but  may
be impaired  in  Reach 1,  as  the  water  naturally entering  Reach  1  from
the wildlife preservation impoundment  is low  in  DO.   The  seasonal  cold
water   fishery  is   attainable   because   the  discharge   limits   are
established to maintain a DO of  5 mg/1 under 7Q10 conditions.   If  the
DO is 5 mg/1  under  summer  low  flow conditions,  it will certainly be 6
mg/1  or greater during the colder,  higher  flow  spring  stocking period,
and a seasonal cold water fishery would be attainable.

     According to the  Fish  and Wildlife Division, the  impoundments  of
the  Assabet  River  have  the potential to  be  a  valuable warm  water
fishery.   The  reaches  of  the  river that  have  a  non-vegetated  gravel
bottom  also  have a high potential  to support  a significant  fishery
because these  habitats  allow  the  benthic  invertebrates  that  comprise
the food  supply  for the fish  to flourish.   It was further  suggested
that if the  dissolved oxygen concentration  could  be  maintained above 5
mg/1, the river could again  be stocked  as a  put  and  take  trout fishery
in the spring.

Summary and Conclusions

     The  low   flow  conditions   of   the   Assabet  River   have   been
exacerbated  by  the  low  dams  which  span its  course.   In the  summer
months, the flow in the river is  slowed as the river passes through its
impoundments and  flow  below the  dams  is often  reduced to  a  relative
trickle.   When  flow is  reduced,  temperatures  in  the  shallow  river
(easily walkable  in many  places) can  exceed the maximum temperature
criterion  for  protection  and  propagation  of  a  warm  water  fishery.
Additionally, the dams  limit  the  mobility of fish.  At present, most of
the  river  reaches   also   undergo extensive  degradation  due  to  the
discharge of wastewater treatment plant effluent which is  manifest  in
low dissolved oxygen concentrations.   All  of these  factors  impair  the
aquatic life potential  of the Assabet River.

     Three  use  levels  corresponding  with  three  alternative  actions
related to the wastewater  discharges  are  possible in the Assabet.  The
no  action  alternative  would  result  in   very   low dissolved  oxygen
concentrations in  many  reaches which are  appropriate  only for the use
designation of aquatic  life  and  warm  water fishery.  In this scenario,
fish would only  survive in the  lowest  river  reaches,  and aquatic life
would be limited to sludge worms and  similar invertebrates in the upper
reaches.   The  remaining  two alternatives  are  related  to  upgrading
treatment  plants  in  the  basin.     If the  discharges   are  improved
sufficiently  to  raise  the  instream  DO   to  5  mg/1  throughout,  as
stipulated  in the 1981  Water  Quality Management  Plan,  it will  be
suitable as a warm water or  seasonal  cold water fishery.   Should the
discharge be  eliminted  altogether, the  same uses would be  attainable.

     The  treatment   plant  discharges  inhibit  the   protection  and
propagation   of  aquatic  life.    Most  of the   treatment plants  are
scheduled to  be  upgraded  in  the near future, which would relieve the
existing dissolved oxygen  problems.   Even if the  river  is returned to
relatively pristine conditions,  the type  of  fish  that  would be able to
propagate  there  would  not  change,  due  to  the  existing  physical
conditions.    However,  the  extent   of   their   distribution,   their
abundance, and the health of the biota would be likely to  increase.

     The present  use  designations  of the  Assabet River  are sufficient
to characterize the aquatic  life use  it is capable of supporting, while
physical  barriers prevent   the  year-round  attainment   of a  "higher"
aquatic  life   use.    The  potential   aquatic  life  uses   could  include
extension  of  the  warm  water  and  seasonal   cold   water  fishery
classifications to the  entire length of the  river,  should the planned
improvements  to the wastewater treatment plants be implemented.

                      WATER  BODY  SURVEY  AND  ASSESSMENT
                              Blackwater River
                             Franklin , Virginia


A.  Site Description

The area  of  the Blackwater River  which was chosen for  this study  extends
from Joyner's Bridge  (Southampton  County, Route 611)  to Cobb's Wharf  near
its confluence with the Nottoway River  (Table 1 and Figure 1).  In  addition,
data from the USGS gaging station  near  Burdette (river mile  24.57) provided
information on some physical  characteristics of  the  system.

                                 TABLE  1

      Sampling Locations for  Blackwater  River Use Attainability  Survey

        Station                                                      River
          No.      	Location	   Mi 1e

           1       Vicinity  Joyner's  Bridge, Route  611                20.90
           2       Below Franklin Sewage Treatment  Plant  Discharge    13.77
           3       Vicinity  Cobb's  Wharf, Route  687                     2.59
The mean annual  rainfall  is  48 inches, much of which occurs in the  summer
in the  form of  thunderstorms. The  SCS has  concluded  that approximately
41,000  tons  of  soil  are  transported to  streams  in the  watershed due  to
rainfall induced  erosion. Seventy  (70) percent  of this  originates  from
croplands, causing  a  potential pollution  problem from pesticides  and  from
fertilizer based nutrients. In addition, 114,000 pounds  of animal  waste are
produced annually,  constituting  the only  other major  source of  non-point

There are two primary point source discharges on  the Blackwater River. The
Franklin Sewage Treatment  Plant  at  Station 2 discharges an average  of 1.9
mgd of municipal effluent. The discharge volume  exceeds  NPDES permit  levels
due  to   inflow  and  infiltration  problems.  The  plant  has applied  for  a
federal  grant to upgrade treatment.  The second discharge  is from Union  Camp
Corporation, an  integrated  kraft  mill  that produces  bleached  paper  and
bleached board  products.  The  primary  by-products are crude tall oil  and
crude sulfate turpentine.  Union  Camp operates at 36.6 mgd  but retains its
treated  waste in lagoons until the  winter months when  it  is discharged. The

                                                          USGS Gaging
                                                     Station  1
                                                     Joyners  Bridge
                                                     (Rt.  611)
                                                      Station 2
                                                      Fran k1i n
Figure 1.   Map of Study Area
           Southampton Co.,  VA
           Scale 1:5000
                                                      Station 3
                                                      Cobb's Wharf
                                                      (Rt. 687)
                  North Carolina

Union  Camp  discharge point  is downstream  from Station  3  just above  the
North Carolina State line at river mile 0.70.

The topography surrounding the Blackwater River is  essentially  flat  and  the
riparian zone is primarily hardwood wetlands.  There is a good  surface  water
supply  from  several  swamps.  At  the  USGS  gaging   station  near Burdette,
Virginia, the discharge for calendar year 1980 averaged 430  cfs.

The Blackwater River from Joyner's  Bridge  (Station  1)  to Franklin  is  clas-
sified by the State Water Control Board  (SWCB)  as  a Class III  free  flowing
stream. This  classification requires a minimum dissolved oxygen concentra-
tion of 4.0  mg/1  and a daily average  of 5.0  mg/1. Other applicable  stan-
dards  are maintenance  of pH from  6.0  to 8.5  and a maximum temperature of
32°C.  The  riparian  zone is heavily  wooded wetlands with numerous  channel
obstructions. Near  Franklin the  canopy begins to open  and there is an  in-
creasing presence of lily pads and other macrophytes.  The water is  dark, as
is characteristic of tannic acid water  found"in swamplands.

Below  Franklin  the  Blackwater River is  dredged and channelized to permit
barge  traffic to  reach  Union Camp.  The channel is approximately 40m wide
and from 5m to 8m in depth. This reach  of  stream is classified  by  the SVICB
as a Class  II  estuarine system requiring the  same  dissolved oxygen and pH
limitation as in Class III but without  a temperature requirement.

B.  Problem Definition

The study area  on  the Blackwater River  includes a Class III  free-flowing
stream and a  Class  II  estuarine river.  Part of the Class III  section is a
freshwater  cypress   swamp.  The  water   is  turbid,  nutrient  enriched  and
slightly acidic due to tannins.

In response to the EPA  request for  Virginia's  involvement in the pilot  Use
Attainability studies,  the  State  Water Control Board  chose to  examine  the
Blackwater River in the vicinity of  Franklin,  Virginia.  There  were  several
reasons for this choice. First, the  major  stress to the system is  low dis-
solved oxygen  (DO)  concentrations which  occur  from May through November.
Surveys conducted by SWCB staff, and officials jfrom Union Camp  in Franklin,
found  that  during  certain  periods  "natural"  Background  concentrations  of
dissolved oxygen fell  below the water quality standard of 4.0 mg/1. This
has  raised  questions as  to whether the current  standard is  appropriate.
Virginia's water quality standards  contain  a  swamp  water designation  which
recognizes that  DO and  pH  may be  substantially  different  in some  swamp
waters  and  provides for  specific  standards to  be set  on  a  case by case
basis. However, no  site specific  standards  have been  developed  in  Virginia
to date. One  of  the goals of this  project  was  to  gather information  which
could  lead  to possible  development of  a  site specific standard  for  the
Blackwater River. Second, the Franklin STP  has  applied  for  a  federal  grant
to provide for improved BOD removals from its  effluent.

C.  Approach to Use Attainability

On  20  April, 1982, staff  of  the SWCB met  with  several EPA officials  and
their consultant. After visiting the study area on the Blackwater River  and
reviewing the  available  information, it was  determined that further data
should be collected, primarily  a description  of  the  aquatic  community.  The
SWCB  staff  has scheduled  four  quarterly surveys  from June 1982,  through
March 1983,  to  collect physical, chemical,  and biological  information.  In-
terim results are reported herein to  summarize data  from the first  collec-
tion. Final  conclusions will  not be  drawn until  the  data  has been compiled
for all four quarters.

A.  Physical Analysis

Data on  the  physical  characteristics  of the Blackwater River  were  derived
primarily from existing information and from general  observations.  The  en-
tire reach of the Blackwater River from Joyner's Bridge to Cobb's Wharf  was
traveled by  boat  to  observe channel and riparian characteristics.  A  sedi-
ment sample was collected  at each station  for partical size analysis.

B.  Chemical Analysis

Water samples were collected at Stations 1-3 for  analysis  of  pH , alkalini-
ty,  solids, hardness,  nutrients,  five-day  BOD, chemical  oxygen  demand,
total organic  carbon,  phenols,  pesticides, and heavy metals.  In  addition,
previous data on dissolved  oxygen concentrations  collected  by  the SWCB  and
Union Camp  were  used  to  examine oxygen  profiles in the  river. The USGS
Water Resources  Data  for  Virginia  (1981)  provided  some chemical data  for
the Blackwater River near  Burdette.

C.  Biological Analysis

Periphyton sampling for chlorophyll-a,  biomass, and autotrophic index  de-
termination was conducted using floating plexiglass samplers  anchored by  a
cement weight. The samplers were placed in the  field  in triplicate  and  re-
mained  in  the river for  14 days.  They  were  located  in  run  areas  in  the
stream.  At the end of this two-week  period, the samplers were  retrieved  and
the slides removed for  biomass  determinations and  chlorophyll  analysis.

Both a  cursory and a quantitative  survey  of macroinvertebrates were con-
ducted  at  each station.  The purpose  of the cursory  study was to  rapidly
identify the general water  quality  of  each station  by surveying the  pres-
ence of  aquatic  insects, molluscs, crustaceans  and worms  and classifying
them according  to their  pollution  tolerance.  A  record  was   kept  of  all
organisms found and these were classified  to the  family level  as dominant,
abundant, common, few or  present. The  cursory  survey was  completed with  a
qualitative evaluation of  the  density  and diversity of aquatic  organisms.

General knowledge of the pollution tolerance of various genera was  used to
classify the water  quality  at  each station. The  benthic  macroinvertebrate
samples were collected with  Hester-Dendy  multiplate  artificial substrates.
The substrates were  attached  to metal fence posts  and held vertically  at
least 15 cm above the stream bottom.  The  substrates  were  left  in  place  for
six weeks to allow  for colonization by macroinvertebrate  organisms.  In  the
laboratory the organisms  were identified  to the generic level whenever pos-
sible. Counts were made  of the number of  tax a  identified  and the  number of
individuals within each taxon.

Fish populations were surveyed at each station  by  electrofishing.  Each  sta-
tion was  shocked  for 1,000  seconds:  BOO  seconds  at the  shoreline  and  200
seconds  at  midstream.  Fish  collected were identified to species and  the
total  length of each fish  was recorded.   In addition,  general  observations
were made about the  health status  of  the  fish  by  observing  lesions, hemor-
rhaging, and the presence of external  parasites.

Diversity of species was  calculated  using the Shannon-Weaver  index.  Addi-
tionally, the  fish  communities were  evaluated  using an   index proposed  by
Karr (1981) which classifies biotic integrity  based on 12  parameters of  the
fish community.

There are few  physical  factors  which limit aquatic  life  uses.  The habitat
is  characteristic  of a  hardwood  wetland with  few alterations. The  major
alteration is  dredging  and  channelization below Franklin  which eliminates
much  of  the macrophyte community  and  the habitat  it  provides for  other
organisms. The substrate at each station was composed mostly of sand with a
high moisture  content.  This  is  characteristic of  a  swamp  but  is  not  ideal
habitat for colonization by periphyton and macroinvertebrates.

DO  concentrations  are typically below the Virginia water  quality  standards
during the months of May through November. This is true upstream as well as
downstream from the  Franklin STP  and  appears  to  occur even without the im-
pact of BOD  loadings from Franklin.  This phenomenon may be typical  of en-
riched freshwater  wetlands.  However, during the winter months, DO concen-
trations may exceed  10  mg/1.  Another survey conducted by  SWCB  showed that
there were only small changes in DO concentration with depth.

Representatives from 17 families of macroinvertebrates were observed during
a cursory investigation. These included mayflies, scuds, midges, operculate
and  non-operculate  snails, crayfish,  flatworms,
The majority of these  organisms were  facultative  at
ever, there were a few pollution  sensitive  forms  at
3 was dominated by pollution sensitive varieties.
and a  freshwater  sponge.
   Stations 1 and 2. How-
   Station 1, and Station
Twelve  (12)  species  from seven families  of  fish were observed  during  the
June 1982  study.  Several top predators were present  including  the bowfin,

chain pickerel, largemouth bass and longnose gar. Other fish collected were
the American eel, shiners, pirate  perch, yellow  perch, and five species of
sunfish. None of the species are especially pollution sensitive. Results of
the fish population survey are presented in Table 2.

                                    TABLE 2

       Results of Fish Population Survey in Blackwater River, 9 June 1982


Joyner's Bridge
Franklin STP
Cobb's Wharf
No. of
on of
Based on the  EPA 304(a)  criteria, low seasonal  DO concentrations measured
in the  river  should  present  a significant stress  to  the biotic community.
Large fish  tend  to be less  resistant  to  low DO yet  large  species  such as
the  largemouth  bass, American eel  and some  sunfishes  were present  in an
apparently healthy condition. The explanation  for  this  is  unclear.  The low
dissolved oxygen  concentrations  are  near the  physiological  limit  for many
species. Fish may be able to acclimate to low DO to a limited extent if the
change  in  oxygen concentration  occurs gradually.  The  fact that fish are
present in a  healthy condition suggests  that  there is a lack of other sig-
nificant stressors in the  system which might  interact with  low DO  stress.
It is worth noting that  spawning  probably occurs in most species before the
summer months when dissolved oxygen concentration become critically low.

The autotrophic  index determinations  show the Joyner's  Bridge  and Franklin
STP stations  as  having  relatively healthy periphyton communities.  In each
case over 80 percent of  the periphytic community was autotrophic in  nature.
Based on the  autotrophic index ,  both  of  these stations  were in better bio-
logical health than  the  most downstream  station, Cobb's Wharf.  At Cobb's
Wharf the  autotrophic  index  characterized  an autotrophic  community  which
was experiencing a slight decline in biological integrity (74 percent auto-
trophic as compared to greater than 80 percent upstream).

Chemical analyses  conducted  on  water from  the Blackwater  River  did  not
reveal any alarming  concentration  of toxicants when  compared  to  EPA  Water
Quality Criteria  Documents, although  the zinc concentration at  Station  1
was slightly above the 24-hour average recommended  by EPA.  One sample col-
lected by the USGS had   a  zinc  concentration which was  twice  this  number.
The source of this zinc  is unknown. Any impact which  exists  from  this pro-
blem  should  be  sublethal, affecting  growth  and reproduction  of  primarily

the most  sensitive species.  The  actual impact  of zinc  concentrations  at
Joyner's Bridge is unknown.

Analyses of the periphyton data as  well as the water  chemistry  data indi-
cate that the Blackwater River is nutrient  enriched.  Some of this nutrient
load comes from inadequately  protected  crop  lands  and  from domestic animal
wastes. The  Franklin  STP  also contributes  to higher  nutrient  concentra-
tions. Additionally, an SWCB  report  estimated  that between river mile 20.0
and 6.0, 1,600  Ib  per  day  of  non-point  source carbonaceous BOD  (ultimate)
are added  to the  river.  Consequently, these  point and  non-point  sources
appear to  be  contributing  to both  organic enrichment  and  lower dissolved
oxygen concentrations.


The Blackwater River  from  river mile 2.59 to  20.90 has been characterized
as a nutrient enriched  coastal river much  of which is bordered by hardwood
wetlands. Periphytic,  macroinvertebrate,  and  fish  communities  are  healthy
with fair to good  abundance and diversity.  The major  limitation to aquatic
life appears to  be low DO concentrations  which  are enhanced by point  and
non-point sources of nutrients and BOD. A  secondary limitation  may be ele-
vated zinc concentrations at Joyner's Bridge.

The primary difficulty  in  assessing  the attainability  of aquatic life uses
is locating a suitable  reference  reach  to  serve as an  example  of an unaf-
fected  aquatic  community. Originally, Joyner's  Bridge  (Station   1)  was
selected for this  purpose, but few major  differences  occur between popula-
tions at all three stations. However, the widespread non-point pollution in
Southeastern Virginia makes the location of  an undisturbed reference reach
impossible. The only  alternative, then, is  to  make the best possible judg-
ment  as  to  what  organisms might  reasonably  be  expected  to  inhabit  the

In reference to the Blackwater River, it is probable that most fish species
are present  that  should reasonably  be  expected to inhabit  the river,  al-
though possibly in  lower numbers.  (No attempt has yet  been  made to assess
this with regard to  algal  and invertebrate  communities.) However, based on
the  304(a)  criteria,  the  low DO  concentrations  represent  a   significant
stress of the ecosystem and the introduction of additional stressors could
be destructive. It  is  also probable  that  higher oxygen concentrations dur-
ing winter months  play  a major role  in  reducing the impact of this stress.
Removal of  point  and non-point source  inputs  may  alleviate some problems.
However, DO  concentrations may still remain low.  The  increased effect of
oxygen concentrations should be an increase in fish abundance and increased
size of  individuals.  Diversity would probably be unaffected. Nevertheless,
no attempt has been made to estimate the magnitude of these changes.

Cairns (1977) has suggested a method for estimating the potential of a body
of water to recover from pollutional stress. Although this analysis  is only

semi-quantitative  and  subjective,  it  suggests that  the chances of  rapid
recovery following a disturbance in the Blackwater River are poor.

The absence of  an undisturbed reference reach and  the  difficulty in  quan-
tifying changes  in  dissolved  oxygen, population  structure,  and  population
abundance make a definite statement regarding attainability of aquatic life
uses difficult. However, to summarize, several points stand out.  First, the
aquatic communities in the Blackwater River are generally healthy with fair
to good abundance and distribution. Dissolved oxygen concentrations are low
for about  half of  the  year which  causes  a significant stress  to  aquatic
organisms. Oxygen concentrations are higher during the reproductive periods
of many fishes. Because  of  these  stresses  and the physical characteristics
of the river, the system does not have much resiliency or capacity to with-
stand  additional  stress. Although  a  quantitative statement of  changes  in
the aquatic community with the amelioration of DO stress has not  been made,
it is  probable  that  additional  stresses would degrade  the  present  aquatic

The occurrence  of low dissolved  oxygen  concentrations  throughout much  of
the Blackwater  is, in part,  a  "natural"  phenomenon and could argue  for  a
reduction in the  DO standard. However,  if  this standard were  reduced  on  a
year round basis  it  is  probable that the  aquatic community  would steadily
degrade. This  may result  in  a contravention  of  the  General Standard  of
Virginia State  Law which requires that all waters  support the propagation
and growth of all aquatic  life which can reasonably be  expected  to inhabit
these waters. Because of the lack of resiliency in the system, a  year round
standards change could irreversibly alter the aquatic community.

                               Cuckels Brook
                      Bridgewater Township, New Jersey


A.  Site Description

Cuckels Brook, a small tributary of the Raritan River,  is  located  entirely
within Bridgewater Township in Somerset County, New Jersey.  It  is  a  peren-
nial stream approximately  four miles  long, having a watershed  area  of  ap-
proximately three square miles. The entire brook is  classified as FW-2 Non-
trout in current New Jersey Department of Environmental  Protection  (NJDEP)
Surface Water Quality Standards.

Decades  ago,  the downstream  section  of  Cuckels  Brook  (below  the  Raritan
Valley Line Railroad, Figure  1), was  relocated  into an  artificial  channel.
This channelized section  of  Cuckels Brook consists of  an  upstream  subsec-
tion approximately 2,000 feet in length and a downstream subsection  approx-
imately  6,000  feet  in  length, with  the  Somerset-Raritan  Valley  Sewerage
Authority  (SRVSA) municipal  discharge being  the  point  of demarcation  be-
tween the two. The  downstream  channelized subsection  (hereinafter  referred
to as "Lower Cuckels Brook")  is  used  primarily  to convey wastewater  to  the
Raritan  River  from  SRVSA  and the  American  Cyanamid Company, which dis-
charges approximately 200  feet downstream of  SRVSA. At  its confluence with
the Raritan River, flow in Lower Cuckels  Brook  is conveyed into Calco Dam,
a dispersion dam which  distributes  the flow  across the  Raritan River.  Ex-
cept  for railroad  and  pipeline  rights-of-way,  all  the  land  along Lower
Cuckels  Brook  is  owned by the  American  Cyanamid Company.  Land use  in  the
Cuckels Brook watershed above the SRVSA discharge is  primarily suburban  but
includes major highways.

B.  Problem Definition

Lower Cuckels  Brook receives two  of  the  major  discharges  in  the  Raritan
River  Basin.  SRVSA  is a  municipal  secondary  wastewater  treatment plant
which had  an  average  flow in 1982  of  8.8 mgd (design capacity = 10 mgd).
The American Cyanamid  wastewater discharge  is  a  mixture of  process water
from organic chemical manufacturing,  cooling  water, storm water, and sani-
tary  wastes.  This  mixed   waste  receives  secondary  treatment  followed  by
activated carbon  treatment.  In 1982  American Cyanamid1s average  flow  was
7.0 mgd (design capacity 20 mgd). These two discharges totally dominate  the
character of Lower Cuckels Brook.

Over 90  percent  of  the flow in  Cuckels  Brook is wastewater  (except after
heavy  rainfall).  The  mean depth is estimated to  be  between   1  and  2 feet,
and the  channel  bottom at observed  locations is  covered with  deposits  of

          < -i
          CO <
 * 2
       :  /-.
 • • t. -if
 ».• - 
     //' »
              w o
              e 5
CO s_



black sludge, apparently derived  from solids  in  the  SRVSA and  Cyanamid  dis-
charges (primarily the SRVSA discharge). In contrast, the channelized  sub-
section of  Cuckels  Brook above  the SRVSA discharge  is  often only  inches
deep with a bottom of bedrock, rubble, gravel  and silt.

Cuckels Brook  (including  Lower Cuckels Brook)  is  classified  as FW-2  Non-
trout in the NJDEP Surface Water  Quality Standards.  The FW-2 classification
provides for the following uses:

    1.  Potable water supply  after  such treatment as shall be  required  by
        law or regulation;

    2.  Maintenance, migration, and propagation of  natural and  established
        biota (not including  trout);

    3.  Primary contact  recreation;

    4.  Industrial and agricultural  water supply; and

    5.  Any other reasonable  uses.

The  attainment  of these uses  is  currently prevented by the  strength  and
volume  of  wastewaters currently  discharged to  Cuckels  Brook. The size  of
the stream also limits primary contact recreation and other water uses , and
physical barriers currently  prevent the migration of fish between Cuckels
Brook and the Raritan River.

C.  Approach to Use Attainability

In  response  to  an inquiry from EPA,  Criteria and Standards  Division,  the
State of  New Jersey offered to  participate  in a demonstration  Water  Body
Survey  and Assessment. The water  body survey  of Cuckels  Brook  was conducted
by the  New Jersey Department  of Environmental  Protection, Bureau of Systems
Analysis and Wasteload  Allocation;  with assistance  from the  EPA Region  II
Edison  Laboratory.

The assessment  is based  primarily on  the results of a field  sampling  pro-
gram  designed  and  conducted  jointly  by  NJDEP  and  EPA-Edison   in October
1982.  Additional  sources of   information  include  self-monitoring  reports
furnished by the dischargers, and earlier studies conducted by the NJDEP on
Cuckels Brook and the Raritan  River.  Based on this  assessment,  NJDEP deve-
loped  a report  entitled  "Lower   Cuckels  Brook Water Body  Survey and  Use
Attainability Analysis, 1983."


A.  Chemical Analysis

The major  impact of the  SRVSA discharge is attributed to  un-ionized  ammonia
and TRC levels, whose concentrations  at  Station  4,  100  feet below the dis-
charge  point  were 0.173 and  1.8  mg/1  respectively,  which are 3.5 and  600

times higher than the  State  criteria.  The  un-ionized  ammonia concentration
of the Cyanamid effluent  was low, but stream concentrations  at  Stations  6
and 7 were relatively high (though below the State criterion of 0.05 mg/1).

The Cyanamid discharge contained  0.8 mg/1  TRC.  Concentrations at both Sta-
tions 6  and 7 were  0.3 mg/1 TRC,  lower than  at  Station 4  but  still  100
times the State criterion of 0.003 mg/1. The  other  major  impact  of the  Cy-
anamid effluent was  on instream  filterable  residue levels. Concentrations
at Stations 6 and  7 exceeded 1,100 mg/1, over three times the State crite-
rion (133 percent  of background).

The effluents apparently  buffered the  pH of Lower  Cuckels  Brook which  was
approximately  pH  7  at Stations  4,  6 and  7, and  the  pH of  the  upstream
reference stations was markedly  alkaline.   Dissolved  oxygen concentrations
decreased in the downstream  direction  despite low BODS  concentrations both
in the effluents and instream.  This  suggests an  appreciable sediment oxygen
demand in Lower Cuckels Brook.  Dissolved oxygen levels  were greater in  the
two effluents than in the stream  at Stations  6  and  7. The dissolved oxygen
concentration at Station 7 of 4.1 mg/1  nearly violated  the State criterion
of 4.0 mg/1; this suggests the  potential for  unsatisfactory dissolved oxy-
gen conditions during the summer.

The results of the water  body  survey  are generally in  good agreement with
other available data sources. Recent  self-monitoring data for both American
Cyanamid and SRVSA  agree  well  with  the  data  collected  in  this  survey.  In
particular  they show  consistantly high  TRC concentrations  in  both efflu-
ents. High average dissolved solids  (filterable  residue) concentrations  are
reported for  the  Cyanamid effluent. Total  ammonia  levels  as  high as 33.5
mg/1 NH3 (27.6 mg/1 N) were  reported for the  SRVSA  effluent.  The pH of  the
Cyanamid and SRVSA effluents is sometimes more alkaline  than the water body
survey values  indicating  that  toxic  un-ionized  ammonia  concentrations  may
sometimes be higher than measured during the water body  survey.

B.  Biological Analysis

Fish and macroinvertebrate  surveys were conducted  in the  channelized sub-
section of Cuckels Brook above  the SRVSA discharge.  Only three fish species
were found: the banded killifish, the  creek  chub and the  blacknose dace.
One hundred and eighty-six  (186) out  of the  total  194  specimens collected
were banded killifish. KiHi fish  are very  hardy and are  common in both  es-
tuarine and freshwater  systems.  The  largest fish found,  a  creek chub,  was
146 mm long.

The results of  the  macroinvertebrate  survey  are  discussed in detail in  a
separate report (NJDEP, 1982).  Four  replicate surber samples were collected
at Stations 1 and 2  above the  SRVSA discharge. Diversity indices  indicate
the presence of similar well-balanced  communities  at both stations. Species
diversity and equitability were  3.9 and 0.7  respectively  at Station 1,  and
4.3 and 0.7 respectively at Station  2. Productivity at Stations 1 and 2  was

low, with mean densities of 59 and  89  individuals  per  square foot, respec-
tively. The majority of species found  at  both  stations  have  organic pollu-
tion tolerance classifications of tolerant  (dominant at  Station  1)  or fac-
ultative (dominant at Station  2).

Overall, the biological data indicate that the upstream channelized subsec-
tion of Cuckels Brook  supports a  limited  fish  community and  a limited mac-
roinvertebrate community of generally  tolerant species. The  water  quality
data indicates nothing  that would limit the community.  One  possible limi-
ting factor is that, as a  result  of  channelization,  the substrate consists
of unconsolidated gravel and rubble  on  bedrock, which  might  easily be dis-
turbed by high flow conditions.

Both the chemical data and visual  observations at  various locations suggest
that virtually no  aquatic  life exists along Lower Cuckels Brook: not even
algae were seen. The discharges have seriously degraded water quality. Un-
ionized  ammonia  concentrations at  Station 4  were  close  to acute  lethal
levels, while concentrations of TRC  were  above acute levels  at  Stations 4,
6 and 7 (EPA, 1976). The sludge deposits which apparently cover most of the
bottom of  lower Cuckels Brook  could  exert negative physical  (i.e. smother-
ing) and chemical  (i.e. possible  toxics)  effects on  any benthic organisms.
No biological survey of the  lower brook was made  because  of concern about
potential hazards to sampling  personnel. Supplemental sampling of the sedi-
ments is planned to ascertain  levels of toxics accumulation.

As part  of their self-monitoring requirements, American Cyanamid performs
weekly 96-hour modified flow-through bioassays with fathead  minnows using
unchlorinated effluent. Of  63  bioassays conducted  between 1  May, 1981 and
31 August, 1982,  results  from eight  bioassays had 96-hour  LC50  values at
concentrations of effluent  less than  100  percent  (i.e.  26 percent, 58 per-
cent, 77 percent, 83.5 percent, 88  percent, 92 percent, and  95.5 percent).
These results suggest  that  the American Cyanamid effluent would not be ex-
tremely toxic if it were reasonably diluted by its  receiving  waters. Within
Lower Cuckels  Brook, however, the effluent receives only approximately 50
percent dilution and the potential  exists  for  toxic  effects  on  any aquatic
life that may be present.  These effects would be in addition  to the toxici-
ty anticipated from  the TRC concentrations  which  result from the chlorina-
tion of the effluent.


Practically none of the currently designated uses  are now being achieved in
Lower Cuckels  Brook. The  principal  current use  of  Lower  Cuckels Brook is
the  conveyance  of treated  wastewater and  upstream  runoff  to  the  Raritan
River. Judging from  the indirect  evidence  of  chemical  data  and visual ob-
servations, virtually  no aquatic  life  is  maintained  or propagated in Lower
Cuckels  Brook.  It  has been well documented  that fish  avoid  chlorinated
waters  (Cherry  and Cairns, 1982;  Fava and Tsai ,  1976). Any  aquatic  life
that does  reside  in  Lower  Cuckels Brook would be  sparse and stressed. Mig-
ration of  aquatic  life through Lower Cuckels  Brook would probably only oc-
cur during periods of  high  storm  water flow when  some flow occurs over the

un-named dam  (Figure 1)  which  is designed to  direct  the flow  of  Cuckels
Brook toward Calco Dam. Calco Dam and  its  associated structures, including
the un-named  dam, normally prevent the  migration of fish  between  Cuckels
Brook and the Raritan River.

Lower Cuckels  Brook  currently  does  not support  any primary  or secondary
contact recreation. No water is currently diverted from Lower Cuckels Brook
for potable water  supply, industrial  or agricultural water  supply,  or any
other purpose.

Because Lower  Cuckels  Brook receives  large  volumes  of wastewater and be-
cause there  is  practically no dilution,  water  quality  in Lower  Cuckels
Brook has been degraded to  the  quality  of  wastewater.  Moreover,  the  bottom
of Lower Cuckels  Brook  has been  covered at observed locations with  waste-
water solids. As a result, Lower Cuckels Brook is currently unfit for aqua-
tic life, recreation,  and most  other water uses. The  technology-based ef-
fluent  limits  required by  the Clean  Water  Act are not  adequate  to  protect
the currently  designated  water  uses  in Lower Cuckels  Brook.  SRVSA  already
provides secondary treatment  (except  for  bypassed  flows  in wet weather) ,
and American  Cyanamid  already  provides  advanced treatment  with activated
carbon.   Because  the  Raritan  River provides  far more  dilution  than  does
Cuckels  Brook, effluent limits which may be developed  to  protect the Rari-
tan River would  not  be  adequate to protect the  currently  designated water
uses in Lower  Cuckels  Brook.  The only practical  way to restore  water qua-
lity in Lower  Cuckels  Brook would be to remove  the  wastewater discharges.
However, there are several factors that would  limit  the achievement  of cur-
rently  designated  uses  even if the  wastewater  discharges were  completely
separated from natural  flow.

If it were assumed that  the wastewater discharges and  sludge  were  absent,
and that the seepage  of contaminated  groundwater from the  American Cyanamid
property was  insignificant  or  absent,  then the  following  statements could
be made  about attainable uses  in Lower  Cuckels Brook:

    Aquatic  Life - The  restoration of  aquatic life  in  Lower Cuckels Brook
    would be limited  to some extent by  the  small size and  lower flow  of the
    stream,  by channelization, and by contaminants in  suburban and  highway
    runoff  from the upstream watershed.  Lower  Cuckels Brook could support  a
    limited  macroinvertebrate  community of generally tolerant  species, and
    some small fish  as were found in the  reference  channelized  subsection
    above the SRVSA discharge  (Stations 1 and  2). Unless it were  altered or
    removed, the  Calco  Dam complex would  continue  to prevent fish  migra-
    tion .

    Wildlife typical  of narrow stream corridors  could inhabit the generally
    narrow  strips of  land  between Lower Cuckels  Brook  and  nearby  railroad
    tracks  and waste  lagoons. Restoration  of  aquatic life  in Lower  Cuckels
    Brook would  be expected to have  little  impact  on aquatic life  in the
    Raritan  River.

     Recreation - Lower Cuckels Brook would be too shallow for swimming
     or boating,  and  its  small fish  could not support  sport  fishing.
     The  industrial  surroundings  of  Lower   Cuckels  Brook,  including
     waste lagoons and  active manufacturing  facilities  and  railroads,
     severely reduces the  potential  for other  recreational  activities
     such as  streamside trails and  picnic areas,  wading,  and  nature
     appreciation.   As  Lower  Cuckels  Brook  is  on private  industrial
     property, trespassing along this brook and in the surrounding area
     is discouraged.

     It  would appear  unlikely that  any  of  the  landowners,  or  any
     government  agency,  would  develop  recreational  facilities  along
     lower Cuckels Brook or even remove some of the brush which impairs
     access to most of the Brook.   Recreation along Lower Cuckels Brook
     would be limited, occasional, and informal.

     Other Water  Uses  - Although  water quality in  Lower Cuckels Brook
     would generally meet  FW-2 Nontrout criteria,  the volume of natural
     flow  in  Lower  Cuckels  Brook would  be  insufficient for  potable
     water supply or for industrial  or agricultural water use.

In  general,   Lower  Cuckels  Brook would  become   a  small  channelized
tributary segment flowing  through a  heavily  industrialized  area, free
of gross pollution and capable of  supporting a modest aquatic community
and very limited  recreational use.


This use-attainability analysis has discussed the present impairment of
the  currently designated  uses of  Lower  Cuckels Brook,  the  role  of
wastewater discharges   in  such impairment,   and  the  extent to  which
currently  designated  water  uses  might be achieved  if  the  wastewater
discharges were  removed.   Further analysis,  outside the scope  of this
survey, will  be required:   to  document  the  costs  of removing SRVSA and
American  Cyanamid effluent from  Lower  Cuckels  Brook, and  to evaluate
the impact of the SRVSA and American  Cyanamid discharges on the Raritan
River.   These analyses may  lead to the development  of site-specific
water  quality  standards   for  Lower  Cuckels Brook  (designated  uses
limited  to  the  conveyance   of  wastewater   and  the  prevention  of
nuisances), or to the  removal of  the  wastewater  discharges  from Lower
Cuckels Brook.  In either case, effluent limits would be established to
protect water quality in the Raritan  River.

                         Deep Creek And Canal Creek
                       Scotland Neck, North Carolina

A.  Site Description

The Town of Scotland Neck is located in Halifax County in the lower coastal
plain of North Carolina. The Town's wastewater, made  up mostly  of domestic
waste with  a small  amount  of textile  waste, is  treated  in an  oxidation
ditch of 0.6 mgd design capacity. The treatment plant  is located two-tenths
of a mile southwest of Scotland Neck off U.S.  Highway 258,  as  seen in Fig-
ure 1. The effluent  (0.323  mgd average)  is  discharged  to Canal  Creek which
is a tributary to Deep Creek.

Canal Creek  is  a channelized  stream  which  passes through  an  agricultural
watershed, but also receives some urban runoff from the western  sections of
Scotland Neck.  It  is  a Class C  stream  with  a drainage area of  2.4  square
miles, an average stream flow  of 3.3  cfs , and a 7Q10  of 0.0 cfs. The Creek
retains definite banks for  about 900 feet below  the outfall  at  which point
it  splits   into  numerous  shifting channels  and  flows 800 to  1400  feet
through a cypress swamp before reaching Deep  Creek. During  dry  periods the
braided channels of Canal Creek  can be  visually traced  to  Deep  Creek. Dur-
ing wet periods Canal Creek overflows into  the surrounding  wetland and flow
is no longer restricted to the channels.

Deep Creek is a typical tannin colored  Inner  Coastal Plain  stream that has
a  heavily wooded  paludal  flood  plain.  The  main channel is  not  deeply en-
trenched. In  some  sections  streamflow passes through braided channels, or
may be conveyed through  the wetland by sheetflow. During dry weather flow
periods the  main  channel  is  fairly  distinct  and  the  adjacent  wetland  is
saturated, but  not  inundated.  During  wet weather  periods the main channel
is  less  distinct,  adjacent areas  become flooded and  previously  dry areas
become saturated.

B.  Problem Definition

The Town of Scotland  Neck  is  unable  to meet its final  NPDES Permit  limits
and is operating  with a Special  Order by  Consent which specifies interim
limits. The Town is requesting a 201 Step III grant to upgrade  treatment by
increasing hydraulic capacity to 0.675 mgd with an  additional clarifier, an
aerobic digestor, tertiary  filters, a  chlorine  contact  chamber, post aera-
tion and additional sludge  drying  beds. The  treated effluent from Scotland
Neck is discharged  into Canal  Creek.  The  lower  reaches of  Canal  Creek are
part of the swamp through which Deep Creek  passes.

       5556 in
        Figure 1.   Study Area,  Deep Creek
                    and Canal  Creek

Deep Creek carries a "C" classification, but due to naturally low dissolved
oxygen and other  conditions  imposed by  the  surrounding swamp,  it  is  felt
that reclassification to "C-Swamp"  should  be  considered.  Deep Creek should
be classified C-Swamp because its physical characteristics meet the C-Swamp
classification of  the North  Carolina  Administrative Code  for  Classifica-
tions and Water Quality Standards. The Code states: Swamp waters shall  mean
those waters which  are  so  designated by the  Environmental  Management  Com-
mission and which are topographically  located  so  as  to  generally have  very
low  velocities  and  certain other characteristics which  are different  from
adjacent  streams  draining   steeper  topograpy.  The  C-Swamp classification
provides  for  a  minimum  pH  of 4.3 (compared to a  range  of  pH 6.0 to pH 8.5
for C waters) , and allows for low (unspecified) DO values if caused by  nat-
ural  conditions.  DO  concentrations in  Deep  Creek  are  usually  below 4.0

C.  Approach to Use Attainability Analysis

    1. Data Available

       1. Self Monitoring Reports from Scotland Neck.
       2. Plant inspections by the Field Office.
       3. Intensive Water  Quality Survey of Canal Creek and  Deep Creek at
          Scotland  Neck  in  September,  1979.   Study  consisted  of time-of-
          travel dye work and water quality sampling.

    2. Additional Routine Data Collected

       Water quality survey of Canal Creek  and  Deep  Creek  at Scotland  Neck
       in June 1982. Water  quality data was collected to support a biologi-
       cal survey of these  creeks. The study included grab samples and  flow

       Benthic macroinvertebrates were collected  from sites on  Canal Creek
       and Deep  Creek.   Qualitative collection methods  were used. A  two-
       member team spent one hour per site collecting from as many habitats
       as possible.  It is felt that  this collection method is more reliable
       than quantitative collection methods (kicks,  Surbers , ponars , etc.)
       in this  type  of  habitat. Taxa  are recorded  as rare,  common, and


A.  Physical Factors

Sampling sites were chosen  to correspond with  sites previously sampled  in a
water quality survey of Canal and Deep Creeks. Three stations were selected
on Canal  Creek.  SN-1 is located  40 feet  above the  Town of  Scotland  Neck
Wastewater Treatment  Plant  outfall. This  site  serves  as a  reference  sta-
tion. The width  at  SN-1  is 7.0 feet  and the  average discharge  (two flows
were recorded  in  the September 1979 survey and  one flow in  the June  1982


survey) is 0.65  cubic  feet  per second. Canal Creek at  SN-1  has  been  chan-
nelized and has  a substrate  composed  of  sand  and silt. SN-4  is  located  on
Canal Creek 900 feet below the discharge point.  This section of Canal  Creek
has  an  average cross-sectional area  of  11.8  feet  and  an average  flow  of
1.33 cubic feet  per second.  The stream in  this  section is also channelized
and  also  has  a substrate composed of  sand  and  silt.  There is a  canopy  of
large cypress  at  SN-.4  below the plant, while the canopy  above SN-1 is re-
duced to a narrow buffer zone. The potential uses of Deep Creek are limited
by its inaccessability in these areas.

A third station  (SN-5) was  selected on one of the  lower  channels  of  Canal
Creek  at  the  confluence  with Deep Creek  3200  feet  upstream of  the  U.S.
Highway 258  bridge. Discharge measurements  could  not  be  accomplished  at
this  site  during this  survey because of  the  swampy  nature of  the stream
with many  ill-defined, shallow, slow  moving courses.  Benthic macroinverte-
brates were collected  from this site.

Three  stations were chosen  on Deep Creek.  SN-6 is approximately  300  feet
upstream of SN-5  on Canal Creek at  its confluence with Deep Creek and is a
reference site. SN-7 is  located at the U.S. Highway 258 bridge and SN-8  is
located further  downstream  at the SR  1100 bridge.  SN-7 and SN-8 are  below
Canal Creek. There  are  some  differences  in habitat  variability among  these
three  sites.  The substrate  at both SN-6  and  SN-7 is composed mostly  of a
deep  layer of  fine  particulate matter. Usable  and  productive benthic  hab-
itats in this area are reduced because of the  fine particulate layer.  It  is
possible that the source  of this  sediment is from  frequent  overbank  flows
and  from  upstream  sources.  Productive benthic  habitats  include  areas  of
macrophyte growth, snags, and submerged tree trunks. Discharge measurements
were not taken at any  of these three sites during this survey.

B.  Chemical  Factors

Chemical data from two water quality surveys show that the dissolved oxygen
in Canal Creek is depressed  while  BOD_, solids and nutrient levels are ele-
vated. The 1982  study  indicates,  however,  that  the  water  quality is better
than it was during  the  1979  survey. Such  water  quality improvements may  be
due  to  the addition of chlorination equipment  and  other  physical  improve-
ments as well as to the efforts of a new plant operator.

Both above and below its confluence with Canal Creek, Deep Creek shows poor
water quality which may be attributed  to natural conditions, but not to any
influence from the waste load carried  by Canal Creek.  Canal Creek exhibited
higher DO  levels than  Deep Creek.

C.  Biological Factors

The  impact of the effluent on the fauna of Canal  Creek  is clear. A 63 per-
cent  reduction  in taxa richness from  35  at SN-1 to only  13  at  SN-4  indi-
cates severe stress as measured against criteria developed by biologists  of
the Water Quality Section. The overwhelming dominance of Chi ronomus at SN-4

is indicative of a  low  DO  level  and  high concentrations of organic matter.
To what extent this condition is attributable to the effluent or to natural
swamp conditions is  not clear.  No impact to  the  benthos  of  Deep Creek was
discerned which could be attributed to the effluent.


Deep Creek is currently designated as a  class C warm water fishery but due
to naturally low dissolved oxygen concentrations may not be able to satisfy
the class C dissolved oxygen criteria. The DO criterion for  class C waters
stipulates a minimum value of 4  ppm, yet the DO in Deep Creek, in both the
1979 and the 1982 studies, was less than 4 ppm.  Thus from the standpoint of
aquatic life uses, Deep Creek may not be able to support the forms of aqua-
tic  life  which  are intended  for protection  under  the class  C standards.
Because  of  prevailing  natural  conditions, there  are   no  higher potential
uses of Deep Creek than now exist; yet because of prevailing natural condi-
tions and  in light of  the  results of this  water body assessment,  the C-
swamp use  designation  appears to  be a  more  appropriate  designation under
existing North Carolina Water Quality Standards.

Canal Creek  is degraded by  the  effluent from the  Scotland Neck wastewater
treatment plant. The BOD    fecal coliform, solids and  nutrient levels are
elevated while  the DO  concentration is depressed.  The  reach  immediately
below the outfall is affected by an accumulation of organic solids, by dis-
coloration and by odors associated with  the wastewater.


The water body survey of Deep Creek  and Canal Creek included  a considera-
tion of  physical,  chemical  and  biological  factors.  The  focus  of interest
was those  factors  responsible for water  quality  in Deep  Creek, including
possible deliterious effects of  the  Scotland  Neck  wastewater  on this water
body. The  analyses  indicate that  the effluent  does not  appear  to  affect
Deep Creek. Instead, the water quality of Deep  Creek reflects  natural con-
ditions  imposed by seasonal  low  flow  and  high temperature, and reflects the
nutrient and organic contribution of  the surrounding farmland  and wetland.
It is concluded  that  the C-Swamp  designation more correctly  reflects  the
uses of  Deep Creek  than  does the C designation.

In contrast to Deep Creek, Canal  Creek  is  clearly affected by  the treated
effluent. Further examination would be required to determine  the extent of
recovery that might be  expected  in Canal Creek if  the plant were to meet
current  permit requirements  or  if the proposed  changes to the  plant were
incorporated into the treatment  process.

                        Malheur River
                   Malheur County, Oregon
A.  Site Description

    The Malheur River,  in  southeastern Oregon,  flows  eastward to
    the Snake  River which  separates  Oregon  from Idaho.   Most of
    Malheur County  is under  some  form of  agricultural  production.
    With an average annual  precipitation  of less than  10 inches,
    the delivery of  irrigation water  is essential  to maintain the
    high agricultural productivity of the area.

    The Malheur River system serves as a major source of water for
    the area's  irrigation  requirements (out of  basin  transfer of
    water  from Owyhee  Reservoir  augments  the  Malheur  supply).
    Reservoirs,  dams,  and   diversions have  been   built  on  the
    Malheur and its  tributaries to  supply  the  irrigation network.
    The  first   major withdrawal  occurs  at  the Namorf  Dam  and
    Diversion,   at  Malheur River  Mile 69.    Figure 1  presents  a
    schematic of the study area.

    Irrigation   water  is  delivered  to  individual  farms  by  a
    complicated system  of  canals  and  laterals.   Additional  water
    is obtained from drainage  canals  and  groundwater sources.  An
    integral part of the water  distribution  system  is the use and
    reuse  of irrigation  return flows  five or  six  times before it
    is finally discharged to the Snake River.

B.  Problem Definition

    The Malheur River above Namorf  Dam  and Diversion  is managed
    primarily as a  trout fishery,  and from Namorf  to the mouth as
    a warm-water  fishery.   The upper  portion  of the river system
    is appropriately classified.   Relow Namorf  Dam, however, the
    river  is inappropriately classified as supporting a cold-water
    fishery, and  therefore  was selected for review.   This review
    was  conducted   as  part   of  the U.S.  Environmental  Protection
    Agency's  field   test  of the  draft  "Water  Body   Survey  and
    Assessment  Guidance"  for  conducting  a   use  attainability
    analysis.  The  guidance  document  supports  the proposed rule to
    revise  and  consolidate  the existing  regulation governing the
    development,  review,  and approval of  water  quality  standards
    under  Section 303 of the Clean Water Act.

C.  Approach to Use  Attainability Analysis

    Assessment  of the Malheur River is based on  a site  visit which
    included meetings  with   representatives  of the  Malheur County
    Citizen's    Water   Resources    Committee,    the    USDA-Soil
    Conservation  Service,  the  Oregon  Department  of Environmental





                                POLE CREEK
             J-H CANAL
           SNAKE  RIVER
              - FIGURE I -

         Duality  (OOEQ),  the  Oregon  Department  of  Fish  and  Wildlife
         (ODFW),  and  the  U.S.  Environmental  Protection  Agency  (EPA):
         and  upon  the findings  reported  in  two studies:

             Final  Report, Two  Year  Sampling  Program,  Malheur  County
             Mater  Quality  Management  Plan,MaiheurCountyPlanning
             Office,  Vale, Oregon,  1981.

             Bowers,   Hosford  and  Moore,  Stream  Surveys  of the  Lower
             Owyhee and Malheur Rivers,  A Report to the Maiheur  County
             Water  Resources Committee~j  Oregon  Department of  Fish  and
             Wildlife, January,  1979.

         The  first  report, prepared under amendments to Section  208  of
         the  Clean  Water  Act,  contains extensive  information  on  the
         quantity,   quality  and   disposition   of  the   areas'   water
         resources.   The  second  document  gives  the  fish  populations
         found  in  the  lower 69 miles  of the Malheur River  during  June
         and   July,   1978.     Information  in   the   ODFW   report   is
         incorporated  in   the  208   report.     Additional   fisheries
         information  supplied  by  ODFW  was also considered.

         A representative of  OOEO,   Portland,  and  the  Water  Ouality
         Standards  Coordinator,  EPA  Region  X,   Seattle,  Washington,
         agreed that  the   data  and  analyses   contained   in  these  two
         reports  were sufficient  to re-examine existing  designated uses
         of the Malheur River.


     Physical,   chemical,    and   biological    data   were   reviewed   to
     determine:  (1)  whether  the  attainment of  a salmonid  fishery  was
     feasible  in   the  lower  Malheur;   and  (2) whether  some  other
     designated use  would  be  more  appropriate  to  this  reach.   The
     elements of this review follow:

     A.  Physical  Factors

         Historically,  salmonid  fish  probably used  the   lower Malheur
         (lower 50 miles) mainly  as  a migration route, because  of  the
         warm water  and  poor  habitat.   The first barrier  to  upstream
         fish migration was  the  Nevada  Dam near Vale,  constructed  in
         1880.   Construction of the Warm Springs  Dam in  1918, ended the
         anadromous  fish   runs  in  the  Middle   Fork   Malheur.    The
         construction  of  Reulah  Dam  in  1931,  befell  the remainder  of
         anadromous fish  runs on the  North  Fork  Malheur.   Finally,  the
         construction of  Brownlee Reservoir in 1958  completely blocked
         salmonid  migrants destined for  the upper Snake  River System.

    With the  construction  of  the  major irrigation  reservoirs  on
    the  Malheur  River  and   its  tributaries,  the  natural  flow
    characteristics in the  lower  river have changed.   Instead  of
    high early  summer  flows,  low  summer and  fall  flows and steady
    winter flow,  the  peak  flows  may occur in  spring,  if and when
    the upstream  reservoirs  spill.   Also,  a  high  sustained  flow
    exists  all  summer  as  water  is  released  from  the  dams  for
    irrigation.   A significant change  limiting fish  production  in
    the Malheur River below  Namorf  is  the extreme  low flow that
    occurs when  the   reservoirs  store  water during  the  fall  and
    winter for the next irrigation season.

    Two  other  physical   conditions  affect  the  maintenance  of
    salmonids  in  the   lower  Malheur.    One  is  the  high suspended
    solids load carried  to  the river by irrigation  return flows.
    High suspended solids also occur during  wet  weather when high
    flows erode the stream  bank  and re-suspend  bottom sediments.
    The seasonal  range of suspended  solids  content  is   pronounced,
    with the  highest   concentrations  occurring  during irrigation
    season and  during  periods of  wet weather.    Observed peaks  in
    lower reaches of  the  river,  measured during  the two-year  208
    Program,  reached  1300  mg/1,  while  background   levels  rarely
    dropped below 50  mg/1.   A high  suspended  solids  load  in  the
    river adversely affects the ability of sight-feeding salmonids
    to  forage,  and   may  limit   the  size  of  macroinvertebrate
    populations and algae  production which  are   important  to  the
    salmonid  food  chain.   A second factor  is high summer water
    temperature  which severely  stresses  salmonids.    The  high
    temperatures  result  from  the  suspended   particles  absorbing
    solar radiation.

B.  Biological Factors

    The  biological  profile   of  the  river  is  mainly  based  on
    fisheries  information,   with  some  macroinvertebrate  samples
    gathered by the Oregon Department of  Fish  and Wildlife (ODFW)
    in  1978.    During the  site  visit, the   participants  agreed
    additional  information  on macroinvertebrates and periphyton
    would not  be  needed because  the aquatic  insect  numbers  and
    diversity  were  significantly  greater  in   the  intensively
    irrigated  reach of the  river than  for the  upper  river where
    agricultural activity is sparse.

    Although the Malheur  River from Namorf to the mouth is managed
    as a warm water fishery,  OOFW has expended  little time and few
    resources  on  this  stretch of the  river because  it is  not  a
    productive  fish  habitat.  Survey  results  in summer  of  1978
    showed a low  ratio of  game fish to rough  fish  over the lower
    69 miles of the Malheur River.

         In   the  section  between  Namorf  and   the   Gellerman-Froman
         Diversion   Dam  there   was   little  change  in  water  quality
         although  water temperatures  were elevated.   Only three  game
         fish  were   captured   but  non-game   fish  sight-feeders  were
         common.   Low  winter   flows  over a  streambed  having  few  deep
         pools for  overwinter  survival  appears to limit fish production
         in  this  reach  of river.

         In   the  stretch  from  the  Gellerman-Froman Diversion  to  the
         mouth,  the  river  flows   through   a   region   of  intensive
         cultivation.   The river carries  a high silt load which affects
         sight-feeding   fish.      Low  flows   immediately  below   the
         Gellerman-Froman Dam  also limit  fish  production  in  this area.

     C.   Chemical Factors

         A considerable  amount  of chemical data  exist on  the  Malheur
         River.  However, since the existing  and  potential  uses  of the
         river are  dictated largely by physical  constraints,  dissolved
         oxygen was  the  only   chemical   parameter  considered  in  the

         The  Dissolved  Oxygen  Standard   established   for  the  Malheur
         River Basin calls for  a minimum  of 75 percent  of saturation at
         the  seasonal  low and  95 percent  of  saturation  in  spawning
         areas or  during spawning, hatching,  and fry stages of salmonid
         fishes.     One   sample  collected  at  Namorf  fell  below  the
         standard  to 73 percent of saturation  or  8.3 mg/1  in November,
         1978.  All  other samples were above  this content, reaching as
         high  as 170  percent   of  saturation   during  the  summer  due to
         algae.  Data  collected by the ODEO from Malheur  River near the
         mouth  between   1976   and  1979   showed  the  dissolved  oxygen
         content  ranged  from   78  to  174  percent  saturation.    the
         dissolved   oxygen  content   in  the   lower  Malheur  River  is
         adequate  to support  a  warm-water fishery.


     A.   Existing  Uses

         The lower  Malheur River  is  currently designated  as a salmonid
         fishery,  but  it is managed as a  warm  water  fishery.   Due to a
         number of  physical constraints  on the lower  river, conditions
         are  generally  unfavorable  for  game  fish,   so  rough  fish
         predominate.   In practice,  the lower Malheur River serves as a
         source and  a  sink for  irrigation water.   This  type  of use
         contributes to water  quality  conditions  which are unfavorable
         to  salmonids.

     B.   Potential  Uses

         Salmonid  spawning  and  rearing  areas  generally  require  the
         highest criteria of  all  the  established  beneficial  uses.   It
         would  be  impractical,  if  not  impossible  in  some  areas,  to
         improve water quality to  the  level   required  by  salmonids.
         However,  even if  this  could  be  accomplished,  high  summer
         temperatures  and   seasonal  low  flows  would  still  prevail.
         While salmonids historically  moved  through the Malheur River
         to  spawn  in  the   headwater  areas,  year-round  resident  fish
         populations  probably did not  exist  in  some of  these  areas  at
         the time.

         The Malheur  River  basin can be  divided into  areas,  based upon
         differing  major uses.  Suggested divisions  are:   (1) headwater
         areas above  the reservoirs; (2)  reservoirs;  (3)  reaches below
         the reservoirs and above the  intensively irrigated  areas;  (4)
         intensively  irrigated areas;  and (5)  the  Snake River.

         In  intensively  irrigated  areas, criteria  should reflect  the
         primary use  of the water.   Higher levels  of certain  parameters
         (i.e.,  suspended solids,  nutrients, temperature,  etc.)  should
         be  allowed    in   these  areas   since  intensively   irrigated
         agriculture,  even  under  ideal   conditions,  will  unavoidably
         contribute  higher levels  of  these  parameters.    Criteria,
         therefore, should  be based on the conditions  that  exist after
         Rest Management Practices have been  implemented.


     Malheur  River flows  have  been  extensively  altered  through  the
     construction of  several dams and  diversion structures  designed  to
     store and distribute water for agricultural uses.   These  dams,  as
     well  as others  on  the  Snake  River,  to  which  the  Malheur  is
     tributary,  block  natural fish  migrations  in  the  river  and, thus,
     have  permanently  altered  the  river's  fisheries.   In  addition,
     water  quality  below   Namorf  Dam  has   been   affected,   primarily
     through agricultural  practices, in a way which  severely restricts
     the type of  fish  that can  successfully  inhabit  the  water.   One
     important factor  which affects fish populations  below Namorf  is
     the  high  suspended  solids   loading  which   effectively   selects
     against  sight-feeding  species.    Other  conditions  which  could
     affect the  types and survival  of  fish species  below Namorf include
     low flow during  the  fall  and winter  when  reservoirs  are  being
     filled  in  preparation  for  the coming  irrigation  season,  as  well
     as  high suspended solids, and  high  temperatures  during  the  summer
     irrigation  season.

     Realistically, the  Malheur River  could  not  be  returned  to  its
     natural state unless  a large  number of hydraulic  structures  were
     removed.  Removal  of  these structures  would  result in  the  demise
     of   agriculture  in  the  region,   which  is  the  mainstay  of  the

county's economy.  Furthermore, removal of these structures  is out
of  the  question due  to the  legal  water  rights which  have been
established  in  the   region.    These  water  rights  can  only  be
satisfied through  the system of dams,  reservoirs,  and  diversions
which  have   been   constructed  in  the  river  system.    Thus,  the
changes in the Malheur River Basin are  irrevocable.

Physical barriers  to fish migration  coupled  with  the  effects of
hiqh  sediment  loads  and  the  hydraulics  of  the system  have for
years  established  the  uses  of  the  river.    Given  the  existing
conditions  and  uses  of  the  Malheur  River   below  the   Namorf
Diversion,  classification  of  this  river  each  should  be changed
from  a  salmonid  fishery,   a  use  that  cannot  be  achieved,  to
achievable  uses  which  are   based  on   the  existing  resident fish
populations  and  aquatic life  to  reflect  the  present  and highest
future  uses of the river.   Such  a change in designated  beneficial
uses  would  not  further  jeopardize existing  aquatic life  in the
river,  nor would it  result in  any degradation  in water quality.

                               Pecan Bayou
                           Brownwood,  Texas
A.  Site Description

     Segment 1417 of  the  Colorado River Basin (Pecan Bayou)  originates
below the  Lake Brownwood  Dam  and extends  approximately 57.0 miles  to
the Colorado River  (Figure 1).  The  Lake Brownwood  Dam  was  completed  in
1933.  Malfunction  of the dam's  outlet  apparatus  led to its  permanent
closure in 1934.  Since  that  time, discharges from the  reservoir  occur
only infrequently during  periods  of  prolonged  high  runoff conditions  in
the  watershed.    Dam  seepage  provides the  base  flow   to  Pecan  Bayou
(Segment 1417).  The  reservoir  is operated for flood control  and  water
supply.  The  Brown  County WID transports  water  from the reservoir  via
aqueduct to  Brownwood  for industrial  distribution,  domestic  treated
water  distribution  to  the  Cities  of  Brownwood  and  Bangs  and the
Brookesmith Water System, and irrigation distribution.   Some  irrigation
water is diverted from the aqueduct  before  reaching Brownwood.

     Pecan Bayou meanders about nine miles  from  Lake Brownwood to the
City of Brownwood.  Two small dams impound water within  this  reach,  and
Brown County WID operates an auxilliary pumping station  in  this  area  to
supply their system during periods of high demand.

     Two tributaries  normally  provide  inflow to  Pecan Bayou.    Adams
Branch enters  Pecan  Bayou  in   Brownwood.    The  base flow  consists  of
leaks  and  overflow  in  the  Brown  County  WID  storage  reservoir and
distribution system.  Willis  Creek enters  Pecan  Bayou below  Brownwood.
The base flow in Willis  Creek  is  usually provided by seepage  through  a
soil conservation dam.

     The main  Brownwood  sewage treatment plant  discharges  effluent  to
Willis Creek one  mile above its  confluence with  Pecan  Bayou.  Sulfur
Draw,  which  carries   brine  from  an   artesian   salt  water   well  and
wastewater from the Atchison,  Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad Co., enters
Willis Creek  about  1,700 feet  below the  Brownwood  sewage   treatment
plant.  Below  the  Willis Creek confluence,  Pecan  Bayou meanders  about
42.6 miles  to  the  Colorado  River,  and  receives  no  additional inflow
during dry  weather  conditions.   Agricultural  water  withdrawals for
irrigation  may significantly  reduce  the streamflow  during  the  growing

     The Pecan Bayou  drainage  basin  is  composed  primarily of  range and
croplands.    The  stream  banks,   however,  are  densely  vegetated  with
trees, shrubs and grasses.  The bayou is typically 10-65 feet  wide, 2-3
feet  deep,  and  is   generally  sluggish  in  nature  with soft  organic

                                                 01   2  3   4 MILES

        Figure 1


B.  Problem Definition

     The  designated  water  uses  for  Pecan  Bayou   include  noncontact
recreation, propagation  of  fish and  wildlife,  and  domestic  raw water
supply.    Criteria   for  dissolved   oxygen  (minimum  of  5.0  mg/1),
chlorides, sulfates, and total dissolved solids (annual averages not to
exeed 250, 200, and 1000 mg/1,  respectively),  pH  (range of 6.5 to 9.0)
fecal  coliform  (log mean not  to  exceed 1000/100 ml),  and temperature
(maximum of 90°F) have been established for the segment.

     Historically,  Pecan  Bayou is  in  generally  poor  condition during
summer  periods  of  low  flow,  when  the  Brownwood  STP  contributes  a
sizeable portion of the total   stream flow.  During low  flow conditions,
the stream is in a highly enriched state below the sewage outfall.

     Existing   data   indicate    that    instream   dissolved   oxygen
concentrations  are  frequently  less  than  the criterion,  and   chloride
and total  dissolved solids  annual  average  concentrations occasionally
exceed  the established  criteria.    The  carbonaceous  and  nitrogenous
oxygen  deficencies   in  Pecan  Bayou.    The  major  cause of   elevated
chlorides  in Pecan  Bayou  is  the artesian brine discharge in  to Sulfur

     Toxic compounds  (PCB, DDT, ODD,  DDE,  Lindane,  Heptachlor  epoxide,
Dieldrin,  Endrin, Chlordane,  Pentachlorophenol,  cadmium,  lead,  silver,
and mercury) have been observed in water,  sediment and fish tissues in
Pecan  Bayou  (mainly below the confluence  with  Willis  Creek).   It has
been  determined that  the  major   source  was  the  Brownwood   STP,  but
attempts   to   specifiy  the   points   of   origin   further   have  been
unsuccessful.  However, recent levels show  a declining  trend.

C.  Approach to Use Attainability

     Assessment of Pecan  Bayou  is  based  on  a site visit which  included
meetings with representatives  of the State  of Texas,  EPA  (Region VI and
Headquarters)  and   Camp  Dresser  & McKee   Inc.,  and  upon  information
contained  in a number of reports,  memos and other related materials.

     It was agreed by those present during  the site  visit that  the data
and  analyses  contained   in  these  documents  were  sufficient  for  an
examination of the existing designated uses of Pecan Bayou.


     An extensive amount of physical, chemical, and  biological  data has
been collected on Pecan  Bayou  since  1973.   Most of the information was
gathered to  assess  the  impact  of the  Brownwood  STP on  the   receiving
stream.   In  order  to  simplify the  presentation  of  these  data, Pecan
Bayou  was  divided into three  zones (Figure 1):   Zone  1 is the  control
area and extends from  the  Lake Brownwood Ham  (river mile 57.0) to the
Willis Creek confluence  (river mile  42.6):  Zone 2 is the impacted area
and extends 9.0 miles below the Willis Creek confluence.


A.  Physical Evaluation

     With the exception of stream discharge, the  physical
characteristics of Pecan Bayou are relatively homogeneous  by  zone.
Average width of the stream is about 44-50 feet,  and  average  depth
ranges from 2.1 to 3.25 feet.  The low gradient  (2.8  to  3.9 ft/mile)
causes the bayou to be sluggish  (average  velocity of  about 0.1  ft/sec),
reaeration rates to be low (l<2 of 0.7 per day at  20°C),  and pools to
predominate over riffles (96% to 4°').  Stream temperature  averages
about 18°C and ranges from 1-32°C.  The substrate is  composed  primarily
of mud (sludge deposits dominate in Zone  2), with small  amounts  of
bedrock, gravel and sand being exposed in riffle  areas.

     Rase flow in Pecan Bayou is provided by dam  seepage  (Zone  1) and
the treated sewage discharge from the City of Brownwood  (Zones  2 and
3).  Median flow increases in a downstream direction  from  2.5 cfs in
Zone 1 to 17.4 cfs in Zone 3.  Significantly higher mean  flows  (118 cfs
in Zone 1 and 125 cfs in Zone 3) are the  result  of periodic high
rainfall runoff conditions in the watershed.

B.  Chemical Evaluation

     Existing chemical data of Pecan Bayou characterize  the degree of
water quality degradation in Zone 2.  Average dissolved  oxygen  levels
are about 2.0 mg/1 lower in the  impact zone, and  approximately  50% of
the observations have been less than 5.0 mg/1.   6005,  ammonia,
nitrite, nitrate, and phosphorus levels are much  higher  in the  impact
zone as compared to the control and recovered zones.   l)n-ionized
ammonia levels are also higher in Zone 2, but most of  the
concentrations were below the reported chronic levels  allowable  for
warm water fishes.  None of the levels exceeded  the reported  acute
levels allowable for warm water  fishes, and less  than  4% of the  levels
were between the acute and chronic levels reported.   Total dissolved
solids, chlorides and sulfates were higher in Zones ?  and  3,  mainly as
a result of the brine and sewage discharges into  Sulfur  Draw  and Willis

     PCB, DOT, ODD, DDE and Lindane in water, and PCB, DDD, and DDE,
Heptachlor epoxide, Dieldrin, Endrin, Chlordane,  and  Pentachlorophenol
in sediment have been detected in Zone 2.  PCB,  DDT,  DDD,  and DDE
concentrations in water have exceeded the criteria to  protect
freshwater aquatic life.  The Rrownwood STP was  the suspected major
source of these pesticides.  Most of the  recent  levels,  however, show a
declining trend.  PCB was detected also in Zones  1 and 3.

     Heavy metals have not been detected  in the water.   Heavy metals in
the sediment have shown the highest levels in Zone 2  for arsenic (3.7
mg/kg), cadmium (1.1  mg/kg), chromium (17.4mg/kg), copper (9.5 mg/kg),
lead (25.1  mg/kg), silver (1.5 mg/kg), zinc (90 mg/kg),  and mercury
(0.18 mg/kg).

C.  Biological Evaluation

     Fish samples collected  from  Zone  1  are representative of a  fairly
healthy population of game fish,  rough fish and forage species.   Zone  2
supported a smaller total  number  of fish which were composed primarily
of rough fish and forage species.  A relatively healthy balance of  game
fish, rough fish and forage species reappeared in the recovered zone.

     Macrophytes were sparse in Zones 1 and 3.  They were most abundant
in  Zone 2  below the  Willis  Creek confluence  and  were  composed of
vascular plants  (pondweed, coontail,  false loosestrife  and duckweed)
and  filamentous  algae  (Cladophora  and  Hydrodictyon).    Macrophyte
abundance below Willis Creek  is  most  likely due to nutrient enrichment
of the area from the Brownwood STP.

     Zone 1 is  represented by a  fairly  diverse  macrobenthic community
characteristic  of a  clean-water  mesotrophic  stream.     Nutrient   and
organic  enrichment  in  Zone  2  has  a  distinct  adverse  effect  as
clean-water organisms  are  replaced by pollution-tolerant  forms.    Some
clean-water organisms reappeared  in Zone 3 and pollution-tolerant forms
were not as  prevalent;  however,  recovery to  baseline  conditions  (Zone
1) was not complete.

     Net phytoplankton  desnities  are  lowest  in  Zone 1.   Nutrient  and
organic enrichment in  Zone 2 promotes a marked  increase in abundance.
Peak abundance was observed  in  the upper, part of  Zone  3.   The decline
below this  area  was  probably caused by  biotic grazing  and/or nutrient

     Fish  samples for  pesticides  analyses  have  revealed  detectable
levels  of  PCB,  DDE  and  DDD  in  Zone  1.   Fish  collected from  zone  2
contained  markedly  higher  amounts  of  DDE,   ODD,  DDT,  Lindane   and
Chlordane than Zones 1 or 3.  PCB  in fish tissue was highest in ZOne 3,
and measureable concentrations  of DDE  and  DDD have also been observed.
Concentrations  of  total  DDT  in whole  fish tissues  from Zone  2  have
exceeded the  USFDA Action  Level  of 5.0 mg/kg  for edible fish tissues.
Species representing the highest  concentrations.

     Computer modeling  simulation were  made  to  predict  the dissolved
oxygen profile in the impact zone during the fish spawning season.   The
results indicate that about three miles of Pecan  Bayou in  April and  May
and  about  4  1/2  miles  in June  will  be  unsuitable for propogation,
considering a minimum  requirement of  4.0  mg/1.   The model  predicts  a
minimum D.O.  of 0.8  mg/1  in  April,  1.2 mg/1  in May,  and  0  mg/1 in

D.  Institutional Evaluation

     Two institutional factors exist which constrain the  situation  that
exists in Pecan  Bayou.   These are the  irrigation  water rights and  the
Brownwood  sewage treatment   plant  discharge  permits.    Although   the
sewage treatment  plant  discharge permits will  expire  and the  problems
created by the effluent  could be eliminated  in  the  future, there  is  a
need for the  flow provided by the discharge  to satisfy the downstream
water  rights  used for  irrigation.    Currently, there  are eight water
users  on  Pecan  Bayou  downstream of  the Brownwood  STP discharge  with
water  rights permits totaling 2,957 acre-feet/year.  Obviously, the 0.1
cfs base flow which exists in Pecan Bayou upstream of  the  STP discharge
is not sufficient to fulfill these downstream demands.   Therefore,  it
appears that the  STP  flow may be required to supplement  the base  flow
in Pecan Bayou to meet the downstream demands  for water unless  it could
be arranged  that water  from  Lake Brownwood  could  be  released by  the
Brown  Co. WID #1  to meet the  actual downstream water needs.

     Modeling  studies   show  that   although  there   would   be   some
improvement in water quality  as  a result of  the sewage treatment plant
going  to  advanced  waste treatment  (AWT),  there  would  still  be  D.O.
violations in  a  portion  of  Pecan Bayou in  Zone 2.    The studies  also
show that there is minimal additional water quality  improvement between
secondary and  advanced  waste treatment, although  the   costs associated
with  AWT  were  significantly  higher  than   the  cost  for  secondary
treatment.   In this  case,  the secondary treatment alternative would  be
the recommended course of action.


A.  Existing Uses

     Pecan Bayou  is  currently being used in the  following  ways:

     0 Domestic Raw Water Supply
     0 Propagation of Fish and Wildlife
     0 Noncontact Recreation
     0 Irrigation
     0 City  of  Brownwood STP discharge
       use designation)
(not an acceptable  or  approved
Use as a discharge  route for the  City  of Brownwood's sewage treatment
plant effluent  has  contributed to  water quality  conditions  which  are
unfavorable to  the  propagation of  fish  and  wildlife in  a  portion  of
Pecan Bayou.

B.  Potential  Uses

     The Texas Department of Water  Resources  has established water  uses
which  are   deemed  desirable  for  Pecan  Bayou.    These  uses   include:
noncontact   recreation,  propagation  of fish and  wildlife, and  domestic
raw water supply.

     Of these uses, propagation of fish and wildlife is unattainable  in
a  portion  of Pecan Bayou  due to the  effects  of  low  dissolved oxygen
levels  in  the  bayou  primarily  during the  spawning  season.    If the
Brownwood sewage  treatment  plant effluent could  be  removed from  Pecan
Bayou, the persistently low dissolved  oxygen conditions which exist and
are  unfavorable   to   fish  spawning  could   be   alleviated  and  the
propagation  of  fish  and wildlife could be  partially restored to  Pecan

     Public  hearings  held  on  the   proposed   expansion  of  the  sewage
treatment plant indicate  a  reluctance from the public  and the City  to
pay  for  higher  treatment  levels,  since  modeling  studies  show minimal
water quality improvement in Pecan Bayou between  secondary  and advanced
waste treatment.   In  addition, an affordability  analysis  performed  by
the Texas Department of Water Resources (Construction Grants) indicates
excessive treatment costs per month  would result  at  the AWT  level.

     It appears that the  elimination of  the waste discharge from  Pecan
Bayou is not  presently  a  feasible  alternative, since the  Brownwood STP
currently holds a  discharge permit and the  water  rights issue seems  to
be the overriding  factor.  Therefore,  in the future, the uses which are
most likely to exist are those which exist at  present.


     A summary  of  the  findings  from  the  use attainability analysis are
listed below:

     0  The  designated  use  "propagation   of   fish  and   wildlife"   is
       impaired in Zone 2 of Pecan Bayou.

     0 Advanced  Treatment will  not  attain  the designated  use  in Zone
       2,  partially  because   of  low  dilution,  naturally  sluggish
       characteristics  (X velocity  0.1  ft/sec)  and  as a  result, low
       assimlitive capacity  of the  bayou  (K.2  reaeration  rate  0.7 per
       day at 20°C).

     °  Downstream water  rights    for   agricultural   irrigation  are

     0 Dissolved  oxygen levels are  frequently  less  than  the criterion
       of 5.0 mg/1 in Pecan Bayou.

     0 Total  DDT  in whole fish from  Zone 2 exceeded the  U.S. Food and
       Drug  Administration's  action  level of  5.0  mg/kg for  edible fish

     0  Annual  average  chloride  concentrations   in  Pecan   Bayou are
       occasionally not in compliance  with the  numerical criteria.

     Dissolved  oxygen  levels  less  than  5.0  rtig/1  (about  50%  of  the
measurements) observed  in  Zone 2 of  Pecan  Bayou  result  from  the  organic
and  nutrient   loading   contributed   by  the  Brownwood   STP  and   the
corresponding  low  waste  assimilative  capacity  of  the  bayou.     As
previously  mentioned,  the major  source of toxics  found  in the water,
sediment and fish tissues  was  also determined to be the  Brownwood  STP.
PCB and DDT in  water have exceeded  the criteria to protect  freshwater
aquatic life in Zone 2.   Although  the toxics appear to be declining  in
the water  and  sediment,  the  levels  of  total  DDT found  in  whole  fish
exceed the  U. S. Food and  Drug Administration's  action  level  (5.0 mg/k)
for DDT  in  edible  fish tissue.   Investigations  are  underway  by  the
Texas  Department  of  Water Resources to  further  evaluate  the  magnitude
of this potential problem.

     Primarily  as a  result of the oxygen  deficiencies and  possibly  be
cause  of   the  presence  of   toxic   substances,  the  designated   use
"propagation of fish and wildlife"  is  not  currently attained  in Zone  2
of  Pecan   Bayou.    These  problems  could  be  eliminated  only  if   the
Brownwood  STP ceased  to discharges  into Pecan  Bayou because  even  with
advanced waste  treatment the  water  quality "of  the receiving  stream  is
not likely to  improve   sufficiently  to support this  designated   use.
Other  treatment  alternatives  such as  land treatment  or  overland  flow
are not  feasible  because  of  the  current  discharge   is  necessary  to
satisfy downstream  water  rights  for agricultural  irrigation.   If  the
flow required to  meet  the water  rights could be  augmented  from other
sources, then the sewage treatment  plant discharge could  be  eliminated
in the future.

     The annual  average  chloride  level  in  Pecan  Bayou  are occasionally
not in compliance with  the established  criterion.   The  primary source
has been determined to  be a privately  owned  salt  water  artesian well.
Since   efforts   to  control  this  discharge  have  proved   futile,   some
consideration should be  given  to changing the  numerical  criterion  for
chlorides in Pecan Bayou.

     In conclusion,  it  appears that  either the Brownwood  STP  discharge
into Pecan  Bayou  should be eliminated  (if  an  alternative water source
could  be found to satisy the downstream water rights)  or the  numerical
criterion for dissolved  oxygen and the propogation of fish and wildlife
use designation  should be  changed to reflect attainable conditions.

                              Salt Creek
                           Lincoln, Nebraska

A. Site Description

     The Salt Creek drainage basin is located in east central Nebraska.
The mainstem of  Salt  Creek  originates  in southern Lancaster County and
flows northeast to the Platte  River  (Figure  1).   Ninety percent of the
1,621 square mile  basin  is  devoted  to  agricultural  production with the
remaining ten  percent primarily urban.  The  basin  is characterized  by
moderately  to  steeply  rolling uplands  and   nearly  level  to  slightly
undulating  alluvial   lands  adjacent  to  major streams,  primarily  Salt
Creek.  Drainage in the  area is usually quite  good  with the exception
of minor problems  sometimes  associated  with  alluvial  lands adjacent  to
the  larger  tributaries.    Soils  of  the basin  are  of  three  general
categories.   Loessial soils are estimated to make  up approximately  60
percent of  the  basin, glacial  till  soils  20 percent,  and terrace and
bottomland soils 20 percent.

     Frequent high  intensity rainfalls and increased  runoff from  land
used  for  crop  production  has, in  past years,  contributed  to   flood
damage  in  Lincoln  and smaller  urbanized  areas  downstream.   To  help
alleviate these  problems,  flood control practices  have been installed
in the watershed.   These  practices,  including several impoundments and
channel modifications to  the mainstream of  Salt  Creek, were completed
during the late 1960's.  Channel realignment  of the lower  two-thirds  of
Salt Creek has decreased the overall  length  of  Salt Creek by nearly  34
percent (from  66.9 to 44.3  miles)  and  increased the  gradient  of the
stream from 1.7 feet/mile to 2.7 feet/mile.

     Salt Creek  is currently  divided  into three  classified segments:
(upper  reach)  LP-4,  (middle  reach)  LP-3a,   and  (lower  reach)  LP-3b.
(Figure  1).   Segments  LP-4  and  LP-3b  are  designated  as Warmwater
Habitats whereas  segment LP-3a is  designated  as a  Limited Warmwater

B. Problem Definition

     "Warmwater  Habitat"  and "Limited Warmwater  Habitat"  are  two  sub-
categories  of  the  Fish and  Wildlife Protection  use designation in the
Nebraska Water  Quality Standards.   The  only  distinction between  these
two  use  classes   is that  for  Limited   Warmwater   Habitat  waters,
reproducing populations  of  fish are "...1-imited  by irretrievable  man-
induced  or  natural   background  conditions."    Although  segment   LP-3a
is classified Limited Warmwater Habitat and  segment LP-3b as Warmwater
Habitat,  they  share   similar  physical  characteristics.    Since the
existing fisheries  of both  segments  were not thoroughly evaluated  when
the standard was  revised,  it  is possible that  the  use  designation for
one  or other  segments  is   incorrect.   This study  was  initiated  to
determine (1)  if the  Warmwater Habitat use  is  attainable for segment
LP-3a  and  (2)  what,  if   any,  physical  habitat   or water  quality
constraints preclude  the attainment of  this use.



                                                      USGS Station
                                                   O  Fish  Sampling Site
                                                      (Maret, 1978)
|' 1 ' WNTON
                                                      Sampling Site
                                                      (Pesek, 1974)
Figure  1 .   Monitoring  sites from which data were used for  Salt Creek
           attainability study.                         ............•»««,.

C. Approach to Use Attainability Analysis

     The  analytical  approach used  in this  study was  a  comparison  of
physical, chemical and biological parameters between the upper, middle,
and lower Salt Creek segments with emphasis was on identifying limiting
factors  in  the  creek.   The  uppermost segment  (LP-4)  was  used  as the
standard for comparison.

     The  data  base  used   for   this  study  included  United  States
Geological  Survey  (USGS)  and   Nebraska  Department   of  Environmental
Control  (NDEC) water quality data outlined in the US EPA STORET system,
two Master of Science theses by  Tom Pesek and Terry Maret,  publications
from  the Nebraska  Game and Parks  Commission  and  USGS  and personal
observations by NDEC staff.  No  new data was collected  in the study.


     A  review of  physical,  chemical  and  biological   information was
conducted to  determine  which  aquatic life  use  designations  would  be
appropriate.  Physical  characteristics for each  of  the three segments
were  evaluated and  then compared to  the  physical habitat  requirements
of  important  warm water  fish  species.   Characteristics  limiting the
fishery  population were  identified  and the  suitability of  the physical
habitat  for maintaining  a  valued fishery  was evaluated.  General  water
quality  comparisons  were made between  the  upper reach  of  Salt Creek,
and the  lower reaches to establish  water  quality differences.  A  water
quality  index developed  by the NDEC  was   used  in  this  analysis  to
compare  the  relative  quality of water  in the  segments.    In addition,
some  critical chemical  constituents  required to maintain the important
species were reviewed and compared to actual instream  data  to determine
if water quality was stressing or precluding their populations.

     The fish data  collected by Maret was used to  define  the existing
fishery  population  and  composition of  Salt  Creek.   This  data  was  in
turn  used to determine the quality of the aquatic biota through the use
of six biotic integrity  classes  of  fish  communities  and the Karr  Index
tentative numerical index for defining class boundaries.

     Macroinvertebrate  data  based  on the study conducted  by Pesek was
also  evaluated for density and diversity.


     Chemical data  evaluated using  the  Water  Quality Index indicated
good  water  quality  above  Lincoln  and degraded  water quality  at and
below  Lincoln.    Non-point  source contributions  were  identified  as   a
cause  of water quality  degradation  and  have  been  implicated  in  fish
kills  in the  stream.  Dissolved  solids in Salt  Creek  were  found  to  be
considerably  higher  than  in  other  streams in  the  State.   Natural
background contributions are the major source  of dissolved solids  load
to  the stream.    Water  quality  criteria  violations monitored  in  Salt
Creek  during 1980 and 1981 were  restricted to unionized ammonia and may

have adversely impacted  the  existing downstream fishery.  Toxics  which
occasionally  approach or  exceed  the  EPA  criteria  are  chromium  and
lindane.   Since  EPA  criteria for  both parameters  are  based  on  some
highly  sensitive  organisms  which are  not  representative of  indigenous
populations  typically found  in  Nebraska,  the  actual   impact  of  these
toxics  is believed to be minimal.

     Channelization was found to be  a  limiting  factor in  establishing  a
fishery  in  middle  and  lower  Salt  Creek.   Terry  Maret, in  his  1977
study,  found  that substrate  changes from silt  and  clay  in  the  upper
non-channelized area  to  primarily  sand in  the channelized area  causing
substantial changes in fish communities.  The Habitat Suitability  Index
(HSI) developed  by the  Western  Energy and Land  Use Team of the  U.S.
Fish and Wildlife  Service was used to  evaluate  physical  habitat  impacts
on one  important  species  (Channel  Catfish)  of  fish in Salt Creek.   The
results  indicated  that  upper Salt Creek  had  the  best  habitat  for  the
fish investigated  and middle  Salt  Creek had the  worst.  These  results
support  the  conclusion  that  middle  Salt  Creek  lacks  the physical
habitat  to  sustain a valued  warm  water  fishery.    The Karr numerical
index used to evaluate the fish data  revealed that none  of the stations
rated   above  fair,   further   indicating   the   fish   community  is
significantly impacted by surrounding  rural and urban land uses.

     Analysis  of  the abundance  and  diversity  of  macroinvertebrates
indicated  that  the water  quality  in  Salt  Creek  became  progressively
more degraded  going  downstream.   Stations  in  the  upper reaches  were
relatively  unpolluted  as  characterized  by  the  highest   number of
taxa,   the  greatest  diversity  and  the   presence   of   "clean-water"


     Based on the evaluation  of the  physical,  chemical  and  biological
characteristics of  Salt  Creek, the following  conclusions were drawn by
the State for the  potential uses of  the various segments:

1) Current  classifications  adequately  define  the attainable uses  for
   upper and middle Salt Creek.

2) The  Warmwater  Habitat designated use may  be unattainable for  lower
   Salt Creek.

3) Channelization has limited existing instream habitat  for middle  Salt
   Creek.   Instream  habitat  improvement  in  middle  Salt  Creek  could
   increase the  fishery but  would  lessen  the  effectiveness  of  flood
   control measures.  Since flood control benefits are  greater than  any
   benefits that  could  be  realized  by enhancing  the  fishery, instream
   physical habitat remained the limiting factor for the  fishery.

4) Existing water quality does not affect the limited Warmwater  Habitat
   classification of middle Salt Creek.

5) Uncontrollable  background  source impacts on  existing water quality
   and the effects of channelization on habitat may preclude  attainment
   of the classified use.

     The recommendations of the  State  drawn from these conclusions  are
as follows:

1) Keep  upper  section classification  of  Warmwater Habitat  and middle
   section classification of Limited Warmwater Habitat.

2) Consider  changing  the lower section to  a Limited  Warmwater Habitat
   because of limited physical habitat and  existing water quality.

                         South  Fork Crow  River
                         Hutchinson,  Minnesota
   A. Site Description

     The  South  Fork  Crow River,  located  in  south-central  Minnesota,
drains  a  watershed  that covers approximately  1250 square miles.   This
river joins  with  the North  Fork  Crow to form  the mainstem  Crow  River
which flows  to  its  confluence  with the  Mississippi  River  (Figure  1).
Within  the  drainage basin, the predominant  land  uses are  agricultural
production and pasture  land.  The major  soil types in  the watershed are
comprised of dark-colored, medium-to-fine textured silty  loams,  most of
which are medium to well drained  in character.

     The  physical  characteristics  of the  South  Fork Crow  River  are
typical  of  many  Minnesota streams  flowing  through agricultural  lands.
The  upper  portions  of the river  have been  extensively channelized  and
at Hutchinson  a  forty  foot  wide, 12  foot  high dam  forms a  reservoir
west  of the city.    Downstream  of  the  dam the river freely meanders
through areas with  light to moderately  wooded  banks  to  its  confluence
with the North Fork  River  Crow  River.  The average stream  gradient  for
this  section of  the  river is approximately two feet  per mile  and  the
substrate  varies  from  sand,  gravel   and  rubble in areas with  steeper
gradients to a silt-sand mixture  in areas of slower velocities.

     The average annual  precipitation in the watershed is  27.6  inches.
The  runoff  is  greatest  during  the   spring  and  early  summer,  after
snowmelt,  when  the  soils  are  generally  saturated.     Stream   flow
decreases  during  late summer and  fall  and  is  lowest  in late  winter.
Small tributary streams  in the  watershed often go dry in the fall  and
winter  because  they  have little  natural  storage and  receive  little
ground  water contribution.   The seven-day  ten  year low  flow condition
for  the South  Fork  below  the dam  at Hutchinson  is  approximately  0.7
cubic feet per second.

   B.   Problem Definition

     The study on the South  Fork  Crow River was  conducted in order  to
evaluate  the existing   fish  community  and to determine  if  the  use
designations  are  appropriate.    At   issue  is  the  2B  fisheries  and
recreational use classification  at   Hutchinson.    Is  the  water  use
classification  appropriate for this segment?

   C.  Approach to Use Attainability

     The analysis  utilized an extensive  data  base compiled  from  data
collected by the  Minnesota Pollution   Control  Agency   (MPCA),  Minnesota
Department  of  Natural  Resources  (MDNR)  and  United  States  Geological
Survey  (USGS).   No  new data  was  collected  as  part of  the  study.    The
USGS maintains  partial or continuous flow record stations on  both  forks

 9  >—.  ;   »
iA_>L }
aoa r*  ^~"«./

and the  mainstem  Crow River with a  data  base of physical  and  chemical
parameters available  on  STORET.   The USGS data  was  used in  the  physical
evaluation of the  river.   MPCA  has  a water quality  monitoring data base
on STORET for five  stations  in  the  Crow River watershed.   The MPCA data
plus  analytical  data  from a  waste  load  allocation  study on the  South
Fork  below Hutchinson was  used  in the chemical  evaluation of the river.
MDNR  fisheries and  stream  survey  data,  a  MDNR report  on the analysis of
the composition  of fish populations  in Minnesota rivers,  and  personal
observations  of  MDNR  personnel  was  used  to  evaluate the  biological
characteristics of  the  river.

      The  analytical  approach  used  by  the  MPCA sought  to  1)  compare
instream  fish community health  of the  South  Fork to that  of the  North
Fork, the mainstem  Crow  River,  and  other  warm water rivers  in the  State
and 2)  evaluate  physical  and chemical  factors  affecting fisheries  and
recreational  uses.   The  North   Fork  of  the Crow  River  was used  for
comparison because  of sufficient  fisheries data, similar land  uses  and
morphologies,  similar  non-point  source  impacts  and  the  lack  of  any
significant point  source dischargers.


      Physical, chemical  and  biological  factors  were considered  in this
use attainability  analysis to  determine  the biological  health of  the
South Fork and to define the  physical  and chemical  factors  which may be
limiting.  A general  assessment of  the habitat potentials  of the  South
Fork  Crow River  was performed using a  habitat  evaluation  rating system
developed  by  the  Wisconsin  Department  of  Natural   Resources.     In
addition, the Tennant method  for  determining  instream  flow  requirements
was also employed  in  this  study.

   Fish  species  diversity, equitability  and composition  were   used  to
define the biological health  of the South Fork  relative  to  that of  the
North Fork, the  mainstem Crow and other  warmwater  rivers  in Minnesota.
Water quality monitoring data from  stations  above  and below the  point
source  discharges  at Hutchinson  were  used  to   compare beneficial  use
impairment   values   pertaining   to   the  designated   fisheries    and
recreational  uses   of  the  South  Fork  Crow  River.     A  computer   data
analysis program developed by EPA Region  VIII was used  to compute  these


     The comparison of  species  diversity values  for the  North  Fork  and
mainstem  Crow  River  to  the  South  Fork  showed  higher  values   for  the
North Fork  and mainstem Crow.  On  the other hand,  the South Fork  had
higher  species equitability  values.    The  percent  species  composition
compared  favorably  to Peterson's  (1975)   estimates  for median  species
diversity for a  larger  Minnesota  river.   Recruitment from  tributaries,
marshes,  lakes   and  downstream  rivers  has  given  the  South   Fork  a
relatively balanced community which  compares well   to  other warmwater
rivers in the State.  The  calculated  species  diversity  and  equitability
indices coupled with the analysis of  species  composition  indicated that
the South Fork of  the Crow River  does support a  warmwater  fishery with
evidence of some degree of environmental  stress.


The MPCA  employed  the Wisconsin habitat  rating  system  and the Tennant
method  designated   to  quantify   minimum  instream   fisheries   flow
requirements to  identify  any physical limiting  factors.   Based on the
Wisconsin  habitat   evaluation  assessment,  habitat  rating  score  were
fair.   The  limiting factors identified  via this  assessment  were:    1)
lack  of  diverse  streambed  habitat  suitable   for  reproduction,  food
production and cover  and  2) instream water  fluctuations  (low flow may
be a major controlling factor).

     The  State  utilized  EPA Region  VIII's data  analysis  program   to
express stream  water quality  as a  function of  beneficial   use.   The
closest downstream station  to  Hutchinson  had  the  highest warmwater
aquatic  life  use   impairment   values.    Warmwater   aquatic life  use
impairment values declined further downstream indicating that the point
source  dischargers were  major  contributors  to  this  use  impairment.
However,  primary contact  recreational use  impairment  values were high
throughout  the  stream.     This  led  the  State  to   believe that  the
impairment  of  primary  contact  recreational  use  is  attributable   to
non-point sources.


     The  State concluded from the  study  that:  1) the South  Fork of the
Crow River has  a definite fisheries  value  although  the use  impairment
values  indicate some  stress   at   Hutchinson   on  an  already  limited
resource  and 2)  although  the   South  Fork  of   the   Crow  River  has   a
dominant  rough  fish  population,   game   and sport   fish  present  are
important  component   species    of   this   rivers'   overall   community

     From these  conclusions the State recommended that the   South Fork
of the  Crow  River  retain  its present 2B  fisheries and  recreational use
classification.    Furthermore,   efforts   should   continue  to mitigate
controllable factors  that  contribute to  impairment of use.   The effort
should  entail a reduction of marsh tilling  and drainage, acceptance and
implementation of  agricultural   BMP's and  an  upgrade  of  point source
dischargers  in Hutchinson.

                        WATER BODY SURVEY  AND  ASSESSMENT

                               South  Platte River
                                Denver,  Colorado


A.  Site Description

Segment 14 of  the  South  Platte River originates north of the  Chatfield Lake at
Bowles  Avenue  in  Arapahoe  County and  extends  approximately  16  miles, through
metro Denver, in a northerly direction to  the  Burlington ditch  diversion near the
Denver County-Adams County line.   A map  of the study area is presented  in Figure
1.  Chatfield  Lake was originally  constructed for  the purposes of Flood control
and recreation.  The reservoir is  owned by  the U.S.  Army  Corps of Engineers and
is essentially operated such that  outflow  equals inflow, up to  a maximum of 5,000
cfs.  In addition, water is released to satisfy irrigation demands as authorized
by the State Engineers Office.  There is  also an  informal  agreement between the
State  Engineers  Office  and  the   Platte  River  Greenway  Foundation  for  timing
releases of water to increase flows during periods  of  high recreational  use.  The
Greenway Foundation has played an  important role  in the significant improvement
of water quality in the South Platte  River.

There are  several  obstructions throughout  Segment  14 including  low  head  dams,
kayak chutes (at Confluence  Park  and 13th  Avenue), docking  platforms,  and weir
diversion structures which alter the flow in the South Platte  River.   There are
four  major  weir   diversion  structures  in  this  area which  divert  flows  for
irrigation; one is  located adjacent to the Columbine Country Club, a second near
Union Avenue, a third upstream from Oxford Avenue,  and a fourth at the Burlington
Ditch near Franklin Street.

Significant  dewatering  of  the  South Platte  River  can  occur  due to  instream
diversions for irrigation and water  supply  and pumping from the numerous ground
water dwells  along the river.

Eight tributaries  normally  provide inflow to  the  South Platte  River  in Segment
14.  These include Big  Dry  Creek, Little  Dry Creek,  Bear Creek,  Harvard Gulch,
Sanderson Gulch, Weir Gulch, Lakewood Gulch, and Cherry Creek.

There are  several  municipal  and   industrial  facilities  which  discharge  either
directly to or  into  tributaries  of the South Platte  River  in this reach.   The
major active discharges into  the  segment  are  the  Littleton-Englewood  wastewater
treatment  plant  (WWTP),  the  Glendale  WWTP, the  City Ice  Company,  two  Public
Service company power plants (Zuni  and Arapahoe), and Gates Rubber.

The South Platte River drainage basin in this area (approximately 120,000 acres)
is  composed   primarily  of   extensively   developed   urban   area   (residential,
industrial, commercial, services,  roads), parks  and  recreational  areas,  gravel
mining  areas,  and  rural  areas  south  of  the  urban  centers   for  farming  and


                                                   Municipal Docnarq*
                                                 •  Industrial Oaclvorgi
                Figure 1

In the study area, the South Platte River is typically 50-150 feet wide and  1-16
feet deep (typically 1-2 feet)  and has an average  channel  bed  slope of  12.67  feet
per  mile,  with  alternating  riffle  and  pool  reaches.    The  channel  banks  are
composed essentially of  sandy-gravelly materials  that  erode easily when exposed
to high-flow conditions.  The stream  banks are generally  sparsely vegetated  with
trees, shrubs, and grasses (or  paving in  the  urban centers.)

B.  Problem Definition

The  following  use classifications have  been designated  for  Segment  14  of the
South Platte River:

     0  Recreation - Class 2 -  secondary  contact
     0  Aquatic Life - Class 1  - warm water aquatic life
     0  Agriculture
     0  Domestic Water Supply

Following a review of the water quality studies and data  available for  Segment 14
of the South Platte River, several observations and trends in the data have  been
noted, including:

     0   Fecal  coliform values  exceeded  the  recommended  limits  for  recreational
        uses in the lower portion of  Segment  14.

     0   Un-ionized  ammonia  levels exceeded  the water  quality criterion  for the
        protection of aquatic life in the lower portion of the segment.

     0   Levels of  total  recoverable metals  (lead,  zinc,  cadmium,  total  iron,
        total  manganese,  and total  copper)  have  been  measured  which exceed the
        water quality criteria  for the protection  of  aquatic life.

Although the exact points of origin have  not  been  specified, it  is generally  felt
that the source of the ammonia  is municipal point  sources,  and the sources of the
metals are industrial point  sources.

In addition, the  cities  of  Littleton and Englewood have  challenged  the  Class I
warm water aquatic life use  on  the basis  that the  flow  and habitat are  unsuitable
to  warrant  the  Class   I  designation,   and  they  have  also  challenged  the
apporopriateness of the 0.06 mg/1 un-ionized  ammonia  criteria  on the  basis of new
toxicity data.  The  Colorado Water Quality Control Commission in November,  1982
approved the  Class  I aquatic life classification and the  0.06 mg/1  un-ionized
ammonia criteria.

C.  Approach to Use Attainability

Assessment of Segment 14 of  the  South Platte  River was  based on  a site  visit  (May
3-4,  1982)  which   included  meetings  with  representatives   of  the  Colorado
Department of Health, EPA (Region VIII and Headquarters)  and Camp Dresser & McKee
Inc., and upon information contained  in a number  of reports,  hearing transcripts
and the other related materials.  Most of the physical,  chemical  and  biological
data was obtained from the USGS,  EPA  (STORET), DRIJRP, and  from


studies.    It  was  agreed  that  there  was  sufficient  chemical,  physical  and
biological data to proceed with the assessment,  even though physical  data on the
aquatic habitat was limited.


A.  Physical Factors

Streamflow in the South Piatte River (Segment 14) is affected by several factors
including releases  from  Chatfield  Dam, diversions  for  irrigation  and domestic
water supply, irrigation  return flows, wastewater discharges, tributary inflows,
pumping from ground water wells in  the  river  basin,  evaporation from once-through
cooling  at  the  two  power  plants  in   Segment   14,  and  natural   surface  water
evaporation.   Since some of  these factors  (particularly  ground  water pumping,
evaporation and  irrigation  diversions) are  variable,  flow in the South Platte
River  is  used  extensively  for irrigation  and  during  the  irrigation  season
diversions  and  return   flows  may  cause  major  changes  in   streamflow  within
relatively  short  reaches.    During  the  summer,  low-water  conditions  prevail
because of increased evaporation, lack  of  rainfall,  and the various uses made of
the  river  water   (e.g.   irrigation  diversions).    Municipal,  industrial,  and
storm-water discharges also  contributes to  the  streamflow in the South Platte

Natural pools in the South Platte River are scarce and  the  shifting nature of the
channel bed results in temporary pools,  a  feature which has  a  tendency to greatly
limit the capacity for bottom food  production.  There are approximately 3-4 pools
per  river  mile with  the  majority  being  backwater  pools  upstream  of diversion
structures,  bridge  crossings,  low  head  dams,  docking  platforms,  drop-off
structures  usually  downstream  of  wastewater  treatment  plant outfalls,  kayak
chutes, and  debris.   The hydraulic effect of  each  obstruction is generally to
cause  a  backwater condition immediately  upstream  from  the  structure, scouring
immediately downstream,  and sandbar development below  that.   These pools act as
settling basins for silt and debris which no longer get  flushed  during the high
springs flows once Chatfield Lake was completed.

In  the  plains,   channels  of  the  South   Platte River  and   lower   reaches  of
tributaries  cut  through  deep alluvial   gravel  and  soil   deposits.    Sparse
vegetation  does  not  hold  the soils,  so   stream  bank  erosion and  channel  bed
degredation is common during periods of high  flow, particularly during the spring
snowmelt season.   The high intensity -  low duration  rainstorms  which occur during
the summer (May, June, and July) also temporarily muddy the  streams.

An  evaluation  of  the   physical  streambed  characteristics  of   Segment  14  to
determine the potential of the  Segment  to  maintain and  attract  warm water aquatic
life was  conducted  by Keeton  Fisheries Consultants,  Inc.    The  study concluded
that the  sediment  loads  in this reach  of the South  Platte River could  pose  a
severe problem to the aquatic life  forms present, however,  further  study needs to
be conducted  to  substantiate this  conclusion.    Furthermore,  some gravel mining
operations  have  recently been discontinued  thus  the  sediment problem may  have
been reduced.

The temperature in  the  South  Platte River is  primarily a  function  of releases
from the bottom of Chatfield Lake,  the degree of warming that takes place in the
shallow mainstream  and isolated pools,  and the warming  that  occurs  through the
mixing of power plant cooling water with the  South Platte River.


B.  Chemical Factors

Water quality conditions in the South Platte River are substantially affected by
municipal and industrial wastewater discharges,  irrigation  return  flows  and other
agricultural activities,  and non-point  sources of  pollution  (primarily during
rainfall-runoff events).   Irrigation and  water supply diversions  also exert a
major  influence  on  water  quality by  reducing the  stream  flow,  and thereby
reducing the dilution assimilative capacity of the  river.

     0  Dissolved oxygen levels were  above the  5.0 mg/1  criteria  acceptable for
        the maintenance of aquatic life.

     0   Average  concentrations of  un-ionized  ammonia exceeded the State water
        quality  criteria   of  0.06  mg/1   NH3-N  only  in  the  lower portion  of
        Segment 14 (north of Speer Blvd.)

     0  Average total lead concentrations exceeded the water quality criteria of
        25  ug/1  in  Big Dry  Creek,  Cherry  Creek,  and the South  Platte  River
        north of  Cherry Creek, ranging from 30-72 ug/1.

     0  Average total zinc concentrations  exceeded  the criteria of  11 ug/1 at all
        the DRURP sampling stations,  ranging from 19-179 ug/1.

     0  Average total cadmium concentrations exceeded  the  criteria of  1 ug/1  in
        Beer Creek, Cherry Creek  and  several sites  in the South Platte, ranging
        from 2.2-3.6 ug/1.

     0  Average total iron concentrations exceeded  the criteria of  1,000 ug/1  in
        Cherry  Creek  and  several   locations  on  the South  Platte  River, ranging
        from 1129-9820 ug/1.

     0   Average  soluble  manganese concentrations  exceeded  the  criteria  of  50
        ug/1 in the South Platte  River north of (and including)  19th Street and
        in Cherry Creek, ranging from 51-166 ug/1.

     0  Average total copper concentrations equalled or exceeded the criteria of
        25 ug/1 at  all  but  two  of the DRURP sampling  sites,  ranging from 25-83

C.  Biological  Factors

Several electrofishing studies have been  conducted on  the  South  Platte River in
recent years.  Most of the sampling took  place  in  the fall  with the exception of
the study in the  spring (1979).   The data was reviewed by Colorado  Department of
Health personnel   and it  was  generally  agreed  that  the  overall   health  of  the
existing warm water fishery is restricted by temperature extremes  (very cold and
shallow during  the  winter and low flow and high temperatures during the summer),

the  lack  of  sufficient  physical  habitat  (i.e.  structures for  cover including
rocks and dams, and deep pools) and the potentially stressful  conditions created
by the wastewater discharges (i.e.  silt  and organic  and inorganic enrichment).

Following a review of  the  physical,  chemical, and  biological  data available on
the  South  Platte  River,  it was concluded  that  a fair warm water  fishery  could
exist  with  only  modest  habitat  improvements  and  maintenance  of  the existing
ambient water quality and  strict  regulation prevent  overfishing.   With  large
habitat and water  quality  improvements, brown trout could  potentially become a
part of the fishery in Segment  14  of  the South Platte River.


A. Existing Uses

Segment 14  of the South Platte River  is  currently being used  in  the following

     0  Irrigation Diversions and  Return Flows
     0  Municipal  and Industrial Water  Supply
     0  Ground Water  Recharge
     0  Once-through  Cooling
     0  Municipal,  Industrial,  and  Stormwater  Discharges
     0  Recreation
     0  Warm Water Fishery

The  irrigation diversions,  water supply, ground water recharge, and cooling uses
have  primarily affected  the  flow  in  the  South  Platte  River,   resulting  in
significant  dewatering  at times.     Irrigation   return  flows  and  wastewater
dishcharges,  on the  other   hand,  exert  their effects  on  the  ambient  and  storm
water quality  in the River.  These previous  uses ultimately affect the existing
warm  water fishery  and  how   the public  perceives  the   river  for   recreation

R.   Potential  Uses

With the exception of a potential  for increased recreation and the  improvement of
a limited warm water  fishery, it is anticipated that the existing uses  are likely
to exist in the future.  The increased  recreational use will  result from future
Platte River  Greenway  Foundation  projects.   The  improvement  of a limited warm
water fishery  may come about in the future as the result of habitat improvements
(pools, cover)  control of  toxic  materials  (un-ionized  ammonia,  heavy  metals,
cynanide), and the prevention  of  extensive sedimentation.   However, the success
of the fishery would  rely on strict fishery regulations to prevent  overfishing.


A summary of the findings  from the  use  attainability analysis are listed below:
        There  is  evidence  to indicate that a warm water  aquatic  life community
        does exist and the  potential  for an improved  fishery  could  be attained
        with slight habitat modifications (i.e.  cover,  pool).

     0  Elevated un-ionized ammonia  levels  were  exhibited  in the lower portion of
        Segment 14, although this  cannot  be attributed  to  the Littleton-Englewood
        WWTP discharge upstream.   However,  at the present  time there is no basis
        for a  change  in the existing  un-ionized ammonia criterion, particularly
        if  EPA's  methodology  for  determining  site  specific  criteria  becomes
        widely accepted.

     0   Increased turbidity  exists  in  the South  Platte River  during a  good
        portion of the  fish spawning  season,  which  represents a  potential  for
        problems associated with  fish  spawning.

     0  Increased  sedimentation  and siltation  in  the  South Platte  River  could
        pose  a potential   threat  to  the  aquatic  life  present;   however,  this
        condition  might  be  reduced if  Chatfield  Lake could be operated to provide
        periodic flushing of the  river.

     0   Elevated   levels of heavy  metals  were observed  in  water  and  sediment
        samples, which could potentially  affect  the existing aquatic life.

     0  Insufficient  data existed to  determine  the  possible  effects  of chlorine
        and cyanide on the  aquatic life present.

     0  Fecal  coliform  levels  were extremely high  in  the lower portion of  the
        South Platte  River  and  Cherry  Creek during periods of  both  low  and high
        flow.  The source in the  South Platte River  is apparently  Cherry Creek,
        but the origin in Cherry Creek  is unknown at this  time.

On the  basis  of  the preceding conclusions  and recommendations,  the  warmwater
fishery use  classification  and  the  un-ionized ammonia  criterion  (0.06  mg/1)
recommended for Segment  14 of the  South  Platte  should  remain unchanged  until
there is further evidence to support making those changes.

                               CHAPTER 4




Purpose and Application 	  4-1

Rationale	4-2

Definition of Site	4-4

Assumptions	4-6

Procedures-Summary  	  4-7

     Recalculation Procedure 	  4-8

     Indicator Species Procedure 	  4-12

     Resident Species Procedure  	  4-18

Heavy Metal  Speciation and Plant and Other Data	4-20




Appendix C:   CASE STUDIES	C-l

     Norwalk River, Connecticut 	  C-8

     North Coast Region of California 	  C-16

     Iowa River, Iowa	C-21

     Un-Named Tributary to Mulbery Creek, North Carolina. . .  .  C-31

Purpose and Application

     The purpose  of  these  guidelines  is  to provide guidance for the
development of water quality  criteria  which reflect local  environmental
conditions.  These site-specific  criteria may be utilized as a basis
for establishing  water quality  standards  to protect the uses of a
specific water body.

     Water quality criteria must  be  based on a sound scientific
rationale in order to protect a designated use.   EPA is not advocating
that States use site-specific criteria development procedures for
setting all criteria  as  opposed to  using  the national  Section 304(a)
criteria recommendations.jy   Site-specific criteria are not needed in
all situations.   When a  State considers  the possibility of developing
site-specific criteria,  it is essential  to involve the appropriate EPA
office at the start  of the project  so  that agreement can be reached
concerning data currently  available,  additional  data needs, the best
source for generating the  new data,  the  best testing procedure to be
used, the schedule to be followed,  and quality control and quality
assurance provisions.  This early planning is also essential  if it
appears that the  data generation  and  testing may be conducted by a
party other than  the State or EPA.   The  State and EPA  need to apply the
procedures judiciously and must consider  the complexity of the problem
and the extent of knowledge available  concerning the fate and effect of
the pollutant under  consideration.   If site-specific criteria are
developed without early  involvements  of  EPA in the planning and design
of the task, the  State may expect EPA  to  closely scrutinize the results
before granting any  approval to the  formally adopted standards.

     The procedures  described in  this  chapter represent the first
attempts at describing acceptable methods for developing site-specific
criteria.  EPA will  be monitoring their  implementation and developing
additional procedures in the  future.   These procedures periodically
will be revised to reflect field  experiences and additional research.
_]_/ National water  quality  criteria  for  toxic pollutants were published
   as guidance under  Section  304(a)  of  the  Clean  Water Act,  Nov. 28,
   1980, (45 FR 79318).  Site-specific  criteria  are criteria that are
   intended to be  applicable  to  a given  localized site.


     National water quality criteria  for aquatic  life may  be
underprotective or unnecessarily stringent  if:  (1) the  species  at  the
site are more or less sensitive than  those  included  in  the  national
criteria data set or  (2) physical and/or chemical characteristics  of
the site alter the biological availability  and/or toxicity  of the
chemical.  Therefore, it is appropriate that the  individual
Site-Specific Guidelines procedures address each  of  these  conditions
separately, as well as the combination of the two.   Table  1 lists  the
chemicals for which national criteria are presently  available.

     Site-specific critera development may  be justified  because species
at a given site may be more or less sensitive than those represented in
the national criteria  document.  For example,  the national criteria
data set contains data for trout, salmon, penaeid shrimp,  and other
aquatic species that  have been shown  to be  especially sensitive to some
materials.  Because these or other sensitive species may not occur at  a
particular site, they may not be representative of those species that
do occur there.  Conversely, there may exist at a site,  untested
sensitive species that are ecologically important and would need to be

     In addition, differences in physical and chemical  characteristics
of water have been demonstrated to ameliorate or  enhance the biological
availability and/or toxicity of chemicals in freshwater  and saltwater
environments.  Alkalinity, hardness,  pH, suspended solids  and salinity
influence the concentration(s) of the toxic form(s)  of  some heavy
metals, ammonia, and  other chemicals.  For  some chemicals,  hardness or
pH-dependent national criteria are available for  freshwater.  No
salinity-dependent criteria have been derived because most  of the
saltwater data for heavy metals has been developed in high  salinity
waters.  However, in  some estuarine sites where salinity may vary
significantly, the development of salinity-dependent site-specific
criteria may be appropriate.

     The effect of seasonality on the physical  and chemical character-
istics of water and subsequent effects on biological availability
and/or toxicity of a  chemical may also justify  seasonally  dependent
site-specific criteria.  The major implication  of seasonally dependent
criteria is whether or not the "most  sensitive" time of  the year
coincides with that time for which the flow is  the basis for waste
treatment facilities  design or NPDES  permits.   That  is,  if  the  physical
and chemical characteristics of the water during  low flow  seasons
increases the biological  availability and/or toxicity of the chemical
of concern, the permit limitations may be more  restrictive  than  if the
converse relationship were to apply.

                    TABLE 1


       (x = criteria are available)

       (0 = criteria will be available in 1984)

    Chemical         Freshwater     Saltwater

Definition of Site

     Since the rationale  for the Site-Specific Guidelines  is  usually
based on potential differences  in  species  sensitivity,  physical  and
chemical characteristics  of the water, or  a  combination  of the  two,  the
concept of site must be consistent with  this rationale.

     A site may be limited to that area  affected  by a single  point
source discharge or can be quite large.   If  water quality  effects  on
toxicity are not a consideration, the site will be as large as  a
generally consistent biogeographic zone  permits.   In this  case,  for
example, large portions of the  Chesapeake  Bay, Lake Michigan, or the
Ohio River may each be considered as one site because their respective
aquatic communities may not vary substantially.   Unique  populations  or
less sensitive uses within sites may justify a designation as a
distinct site (subsite).  When  sites are large, the necessary data
generation can be more economically supportable.

     If the selected species of a site are toxicologically comparable
to those species in the national criteria  data set for  a material  of
interest, and physical  and/or chemical water characteristics  are the
only factors supporting modification of  the  national criteria,  then  the
site would be defined on  the basis of expected changes  in  the
material's biological availability and/or  toxicity due  to  physical and
chemical variability of the site water.

     Two additional considerations in defining a  site are:  1)  viable
communities must occur, or be historically documented,  in  order  to
select resident species for use in deriving  site-specific  criteria,  and
2) the site must contain  acceptable quality  dilution water if site
water will be required for testing (to be  discussed later  in  these

     For the purpose of the Site-Specific  Guidelines, the  term
"selected resident species" is  defined as  those species  that  commonly
occur in a site including those that occur only seasonally (migration)
or intermittently (periodically returns  or extends its  range  into  the
site).  It is not intended to include species that were  once  present in
that site and cannot return due to physical  habitat alterations.

     Selection of a resident species should  be designed  to account for
differences between the sensitivities of the selected resident  species
and those in the national data  set.  There are several  possible
reasons for this potential difference.   The  principal reason  is  that
the resident communities  at a site may represent  a more  or less  narrow
mix of species due to a limited range of natural  environmental
conditions (e.g., temperature,  salinity,  habitat, or other factors
affecting the spatial  distribution of aquatic species).  The  number  of
resident species will generally decrease as  the size of  the site

     A second potential reason for a real difference in  sensitivity
could be the absence of most of the species or groups of species  (e.g.,
families) that are traditionally considered to be  sensitive  to  certain,
but not all, chemicals (e.g., trout, salmon, saltwater penaeid  shrimp,
and Daphnia magna).  Predictive relative species sensitivity does  not
apply to all materials, and the assumption that sensitive  species  are
unique rather than representative of equally sensitive untested  species
is tenuous.  A final reason could be that the resident species  may have
evolved a genetically  based greater resistance to  high concentrations
of a material, but no  data have been presented to  demonstrate such a
genetic difference.  A few instances of  increased  resistance have  been
suggested but may be due to an acclimation of individual organisms to a
stream.  However, such an acclimation, should it occur,  would be


     There are numerous  assumptions  associated  with  the Site-Specific
Guidelines which also apply to and have  been  discussed  in  the National
Guidelines.  A few need  to be emphasized.   The  principal  assumption  is
that the species sensitivity ranking  and toxicological  effect end
points (e.g., death, growth, or  reproduction) derived  from appropriate
laboratory tests will be similar to  those  in  site  situations.  Another
assumption is that the protection of  all of the site species  all  of  the
time is not necessary because aquatic  life  can  tolerate some  stress  and
occasional adverse effects.

     Another assumption  of the Site-Specific  Guidelines which follows
directly from the National Guidelines  is that criteria  should be
developed to protect the use of  aquatic  organisms, as  well  as the
organisms themselves.  For example,  some of the national  criteria were
developed specifically to protect aquatic  organisms  from accumulating
tissue residue levels of toxics  which  would harm wildlife  predators  or
exceed FDA action levels.  The Site-Specific  Guidelines have  provided
procedures which enable  such criteria  to be -adjusted to reflect local
considerations, such as  the fat  content  of  resident  species.

     It is assumed that the Site-Specific  Guidelines are an attempt  to
more correctly protect the resident  aquatic life by  accounting for
toxicological differences in species  sensitivity and/or water quality
at the sites.  Modification of the national biological  data base  and
use of bioassay data obtained on resident  species  in either laboratory
or site water must always be scientifically justifiable and consistent
with the assumptions, rationale, and  spirit of  the National

     Site-specific and national  criteria are  not intended  or  assumed to
be enforceable numbers.  The criteria  may  be  used  by the States to
develop enforceable water quality standards and/or water quality  based
effluent limits.  The development of  standards  or  limits  should also
take into account additional factors  such  as  the use of the site, as
well  as social, legal, economic, and  institutional considerations.
Many factors may impact  the site, the  environmental  and analytical
chemistry of the chemical, the extrapolation  from  laboratory  data to
field situations, and the relationship between  the species  for which
data are available and the species in  the  body  of  water which is  to  be


     0 Summary

     There are three procedures described  in these  Site-Specific
Guidelines for developing site-specific criteria.   The  procedures  for
the derivation of a site-specific criterion are:

   A.  The recalculation procedure to account for differences  in
       resident species sensitivity to a chemical.

   B.  The indicator species procedure to  account for differences  in
       biological availability and/or toxicity of a chemical caused by
       physical and/or chemical characteristics of  a site water.

   C.  The resident species procedure to account for differences in
       resident species sensitivity and differences in  the  biological
       availability and/or toxicity of a chemical due to physical
       and/or chemical  characteristics of  a site water.

     The following is the sequence of decisions to  be made  before  any
of the above procedures is initiated:

    1) Define the site boundaries.

    2) Determine from the national criterion document and other sources
       if physical and/or chemical characteristics  are  known to affect
       the biological  availability and/or  toxicity  of the material of

    3) If data in the national  criterion document and/or from  other
       sources indicate that the range of  sensitivity of the selected
       resident species to the material  of interest is  different from
       that range for the species in the national criterion document
       and variation in physical and/or chemical characteristics of the
       site water is not expected to be a  factor, use the recalculation
       procedure (A).

    4) If data in the national  criterion document and/or from  other
       sources indicate that physical and/or chemical characteristics
       of the site water may affect the biological  availability and/or
       toxicity of the  material of interest, and the resident  species
       range of sensitivity is similar to  that for  the  species in  the
       national criterion document, use the indicator species  procedure

    5) If data in the national  criterion document and/or from  other
       sources indicate that physical and/or chemical characteristics
       of the site water may affect the biological  availability and/or
       toxicity of the  material of interest, and the resident  species
       range of sensitivity is different from that  for  the  species in
       the national  criterion document,  use the resident species

Recalculation Procedure
       The recalculation procedure allows modifications  in the national
       acute toxicity data set on the  basis  of  eliminating data for
       species that are not  resident at that site.   When the
       elimination of data for this recalculation  procedure for the
       site-specific Final Acute Value  results  in  not  meeting the
       national minimum data set requirements,  additional  resident
       species acute testing in laboratory water is  required before
       this procedure can be used.


       This procedure is designed to compensate for  any  real  difference
       between the sensitivity range of species represented in the
       national data set and species found at a site.


          - If acute toxicity data for  resident species  are
            insufficient to meet the minimum data  set  requirements of
            the National Guidelines, additional acute  toxicity data in
            laboratory water for untested resident species would be
            needed before a calculation of the  site-specific criterion
            could be made.

          - Certain families or organisms have  been  specified to be
            represented in the National Guidelines acute toxicity
            minimum data set (e.g., Salmonidae  in  freshwater and
            Penaeidae or Mysidae in saltwater).  If  this or any other
            requirement cannot be met  because the  family or other group
            (e.g., insect or benthic crustacean in freshwater) is not
            represented by resident species,  select  a  substitute(s)
            from a sensitive family represented by one or  more resident
            species and meet the 8 family minimum  data set requirement.
            If all the families at the  site  have been  tested and the
            minimum data set requirements have  not been  met use the
            most sensitive resident family mean acute  value as the
            site-specific Final Acute  Value.

          - Due to the emphasis this procedure  places  on resident
            species testing when the minimum  data  set  has  not been
            met, there may be difficulty in  selecting  resident species
            compatible to laboratory testing.   Some  culture and/or
            handling techniques may need to  be  developed.

          - No chronic testing is required by this procedure since the
            national acute-chronic ratio will be used  with the
            site-specific Final Acute  Value  to  obtain  the  site-specific
            Final Chronic Value.


   - For the lipid soluble chemicals whose national  Final
     Residue Values are based on Food and Drug Administration
     (FDA) action levels, adjustments in those values based on
     the percent lipid content of resident aquatic species is
     appropriate for the derivation of site-specific Final
     Residue Values.

   - For lipid soluble chemicals, the national Final Residue
     Value is based on an average 11 percent lipid content for
     edible portions for the freshwater chinook salmon and lake
     trout and an average of 10 percent lipids for the edible
     portion for saltwater Atlantic herring.  Resident species
     of concern may have higher (e.g., Lake Superior siscowet, a
     race of lake trout) or lower (e.g., many sport fish)
     percent lipid content than used for the national Final
     Residue Value.  An adjustment for these differences may be

   - For some lipid soluble chemicals such as polychlorinated
     biphenyls (PCB) and DDT, the national Final Residue Value
     is based on wildlife consumers of fish and aquatic
     invertebrate species rather than an FDA action level
     because the former provides a more stringent residue level
     (see National Guidelines for details).  Since the data base
     on the effects of ingested aquatic organisms on v/iidlife
     species is extremely limited, it would be inappropriate to
     base a site-specific Final Residue Value on  resident
     wildlife species.  Consequently, site-specific
     modifications for those chemicals is based on percent lipid
     content of resident species consumed by humans.

   - For the lipid soluble chemicals whose national Final
     Residue Values are based on wildlife effects, the limiting
     wildlife species  (mink for PCB and brown pelican for DDT)
     are considered acceptable surrogates for resident avian and
     mammalian species (e.g., herons, gulls, terns, otter,
     etc.).  Conservatism is appropriate for those two
     chemicals, and no less restrictive modification of the
     national Final Residue Value is appropriate.  The
     site-specific Final Residue Value would be the same as the
     national value.

Details of Procedure

   - If the minimum data set requirements are met as defined in
     the National Guidelines or through substitution of one or
     more sensitive resident family(ies) for non-resident
     family(ies) or group(s) required in the National
     Guidelines, calculate a site-specific Final Acute Value
     using all available resident species data in the national
     document and/or from other sources.  If all  the families at
     the site have been tested and the minimum data set


          requirements have not been met, use the most sensitive
          resident family mean acute value as the site-specific Final
          Acute Value.

        - If the minimum data set requirements are not met, satisfy
          those requirements with additional  testing of resident
          species in laboratory water.

        - If all species in a family at the site have been tested,
          then their Species Mean Acute Values should be used to
          calculate the site-specific Family Mean Acute Value and
          data for non-resident species in that family should be
          deleted from the calculation.  If all resident species in
          that family have not been tested, the site-specific Family
          Mean Acute Value would be the same as the national Family
          Mean Acute Value.

        - To derive the site-specific maximum concentration divide
          the site-specific Final Acute Value by 2, as prescribed in
          the National Guidelines.

        - Divide the site-specific Final Acute Value by the national
          Final Acute-Chronic Ratio to obtain the site-specific Final
          Chronic Value.

        - When a site-specific Final Residue Value can be derived for
          lipid soluble chemicals controlled by FDA action levels,
          the following recalculation equation would be used:

          site-specific Final Residue Value =

	^__	   FDA action level       	
(mean normalized BCF from criterion document) (appropriate % lipids)

          where the appropriate percent lipid content is based on
          consumed resident species.  A recommended method to
          determine the lipid content of tissues is given in Appendix

        - For PCB and DDT whose national Final Residue Values are
          based on wildlife consumers of aquatic organisms, no
          site-specific modification procedure is appropriate.

        - In the case of mercury (a non-lipid soluble material), a
          site-specific Final Residue Value can be derived by
          conducting acceptable bioconcentration tests with edible
          aquatic resident species using accepted test methods given
          in Appendix A.  For a saltwater residue value, a bivalve
          species is required, (the oyster is preferred) and for a
          freshwater value, a fish species is required.  These taxa
          yield the highest known bioconcentration factors for
          metals.  The following recalculation equation would be


     site-specific Final  Residue Value =

                        FDA action level
                        site-specific BCF

   - The lower of either the site-specific Final Chronic Value
     and the site-specific Final Residue Value becomes the
     site-specific maximum 30-day average concentration unless
     plant or other data indicate that a lower value is


   - Whatever the results of this recalculation procedure may
     be, a decision should be made as to whether the numerical
     differences, if any, are sufficient to warrant changes in
     the national criterion.

   - The number of families used to calculate any Final Acute
     Value significantly affects that value.  Even though the
     four lowest Family Mean Acute Values (most sensitive
     families) are most important in that calculation, the
     smaller N (total number of families) is, the lower the
     Final Acute Value.  Consequently, if none of the four most
     sensitive families are changed or deleted, any reduction in
     N will result in a lower Final Acute Value.  Changes in or
     deletions of any of the four lowest values, regardless of
     whether N is changed, may  result in a higher or lower Final
     Acute Value.

   - Site-specific or national  Final Residue Values based on FDA
     action levels may not precisely protect aquatic life, since
     the FDA action levels are  adverse (i.e., loss of

   - Bioaccumulation, except in field studies, does not add to
     the laboratory-derived bioconcentration factors because the
     laboratory procedures preclude food chain uptake.
     Consequently, some residue levels obtained by laboratory
     studies of bioconcentration (direct uptake of the chemical
     from water) may underestimate potential effects encountered
     at a site.  The magnitude  of site-specific bioconcentration
     factors obtained in the laboratory, therefore, may be
     insufficient to protect the public from the effects of the
     ingested chemical of concern.

Indicator Species Procedure

     ° Definition

       This procedure is based on the assumption that physical and/or
       chemical  characteristics of water at a site may influence
       biological availability and/or toxicity of a chemical.  Acute
       toxicity  in site water and laboratory water is determined using
       species resident to the site, or acceptable non-resident
       species,  as indicators or surrogates for species found at the
       site.   The difference in toxicity values, expressed as a water
       effect ratio, is used to convert the national  maximum
       concentration for a chemical  to a site-specific maximum
       concentration from which a site-specific Final Acute Value is

       This procedure also provides  three ways to obtain a site-
       specific  Final Chronic Value.  It may be (1) calculated (no
       testing required) if a Final  Acute-Chronic Ratio for a given
       chemical  is available in the  national criteria document.  This
       ratio  is  simply divided into  the site-specific Final Acute Value
       to obtain the site-specific Final Chronic Value; (2) obtained by
       performing two acute and chronic toxicity tests which include
       both a fish and invertebrate  species (resident or non-resident)
       in site water.  Acute-chronic ratios are calculated for each
       species,  and the geometric mean of these ratios is then divided
       into the  site-specific Final  Acute Value to obtain the
       site-specific Final  Chronic Value; and (3) obtained by
       performing chronic toxicity tests with at least one fish and one
       invertebrate (resident or non-resident) in both laboratory water
       and site  water and calculating a geometric mean chronic water
       effect ratio which is used to modify the national  Final Chronic

     0 Rationale

       This procedure is designed to compensate for site water which
       may affect the biological  availability and/or toxicity of a
       chemical.   Major factors affecting aquatic toxicity values of
       many chemicals, especially the heavy metals, have been
       identified.  For example,  the carbonate system of natural  waters
       (pH, hardness, alkalinity, and carbon dioxide relationships) has
       been the  most studied and  quantified with respect  to effects on
       heavy  metal biological  availability and/or toxicity in
       freshwater.  The literature indicates that in  natural  systems
       organic solutes, inorganic and organic colloids, salinity, and
       suspended  particles  also play an important but less quantifiable
       role in the biological  availability and/or toxicity of heavy
       metals to  aquatic life.   This procedure provides a means of
       obtaining  a site-specific  Final  Chronic Value  for a chemical
       when the  acute-chronic  ratios in the national  criteria document
       are thought to be inapplicable to site-specific situations.


0 Conditions

     - There is no reason to suspect that the resident species
       sensitivity is different from those species in the national
       data set.

     - The toxic response seen in the tests used in the
       development of the national water quality criterion would
       be essentially the same if laboratory test water required
       in this procedure had been used instead.

     - Differences in the toxicity values of a specific chemical
       determined in laboratory water and site water may be
       attributed to chemical  (e.g., complexing ligands) and/or
       physical (e.g., adsorption) factors that alter the
       biological  availability and/or toxicity of the chemical.

     - Selected indicator species directly integrate differences
       in the biological availability qnd/or toxicity of a
       chemical.  They provide a direct measure of the capacity of
       a site water to increase or decrease toxicity values
       relative to values obtained in laboratory water.

     - National Final Acute-Chronic Ratios for certain chemicals
       can be used to establish site-specific Final Chronic

     - A site-specific acute-chronic ratio, obtained in site water
       testing, reflects the integrated effects of the physical
       and/or chemical characteristics of water on toxicity

     - The water effect ratio  concept used in this procedure for
       modifying national Final Acute Values to site-specific
       situations is also applicable to modifying national Final
       Chronic Values to site-specific situations.

0 Details of Procedure

     - Test at least two indicator species, a fish and an
       invertebrate, using laboratory dilution water and site
       dilution water according to acute toxicity test procedures
       recommended in Appendix A.  Test organisms must be drawn
       from the same population and be tested at the same time  and
       most importantly, except for the water source, be tested
       under identical conditions (i.e., temperature, lighting,
       etc.).  The concentration of the chemical in the acute
       toxicity tests must be  measured and be within the
       solubility limits of the chemical.  Therefore, species
       selected for testing  should be among the more sensitive  to
       the chemical of interest.

Compare the laboratory and site water LC50 values  for  each
indicator species to determine if they are significantly
different (P<0.05)  (see statistical procedure  in Appendix
B).  If the L.C50 values are not different, then the
national maximum concentration is the site-specific maximum
concentration.  If the LC50 values are different,  calculate
the water effect ratio for each species according  to the
following equation:

Water Effect Ratio =    Site Water LC50 Value
                     Laboratory Water LC50 Value

Determine if the two ratios are statistically different
(P< 0.05) (see Appendix B).

If the two ratios are not statistically different  calculate
the geometric mean of the water effect ratios.  The
site-specific maximum concentration can be calculated  by
using this geometric mean water effect ratio in the
following equation: site- specific maximum concentration =
water effect ratio x the national maximum concentration (or
x the national maximum concentration adjusted to a water
characteristic of the laboratory water when appropriate).

If the two ratios are different, additional tests  may  have
to be conducted to confirm or refute the data.  In such
cases professional judgment is appropriate in determining
if some or none of the ratio data can be used to modify the
national maximum concentration.

The site-specific maximum concentration is multiplied  by
the 2 to obtain the site-specific Final Acute Value which
is used to calculate the site-specific Final Chronic

If the national Final Acute-Chronic Ratio for the  chemical
of interest was used to establish a national Final Chronic
Value, the site-specific Final Chronic Value may be
calculated using the acute-chronic ratio in the following

Site-Specific Chronic Value =

           Site-Specific Acute Value
           Final Acute/Chronic Ratio

If the national Final Acute-Chronic Ratio was not  used to
establish a national Final Chronic Value, the national
Final Chronic Value may be used as the site-specific Final
Chronic Value, or it may be measured by performing 2 acute
and 2 chronic tests, (Appendix A) using site water.  Test
at least one fish and one invertebrate species, and conduct


using site water of similar quality.  These data are used
to calculate an acute-chronic ratio for each species.  If
these ratios are within a factor of 10, the geometric mean
of the 2 acute-chronic ratios (the site-specific Final
Acute-Chronic Ratio) is used to calculate the site-specific
Final Chronic Value using the following equation:

Site-Specific Final Chronic Value =
  	Site-Specific Final Acute Value	
       Site-Specific Final Acute-Chronic Ratio

After an acute-chronic ratio is determined for one species
and if that ratio is within the range of the values  used to
establish the national acute-chronic ratio, it is
recommended that the site-specific ratio be used in
recalculating the national ratio.  This recalculated ratio
would then be used as the site-specific Final Acute-Chronic
Ratio in the above equation.

A site-specific Final Chronic Value can be obtained  by
testing indicator species for chronic toxicity.  Test at
least two indicator species, a fish and an invertebrate,
using laboratory dilution water and site dilution water
according to chronic toxicity test procedures recommended
in Appendix A.  For each species, use organisms from the
same population, conduct tests at the same time and  most
importantly (except for the water source) under similar
conditions (e.g., temperature, lighting).  The
concentration of the chemical in the toxicity tests  must be
within the solubility limits of the chemical.  To avoid
solubility problems, species selected for testing should be
among the most sensitive to the chemical of interest
(screening tests may be necessary).

Compare the laboratory and site water chronic values  for
each of the indicator species to determine if they are
significantly different (limits of chronic values do not

If for a species the chronic values are not different, the
water effect ratio = 1.0.

If the chronic values are different, calculate the water
effect ratio for each species according to the following

Chronic Water Effect Ratio =
              Chronic Value in Site Water
          Chrome Value  in Laboratory  Water

Calculate the geometric  mean  of the water  effect  ratios  for
the  species  tested.


       If the mean water effect ratio is not different from 1.0,
       the national Final Chronic Value is the site-specific Final
       Chronic Value.

       If the water effect ratio is different from 1.0, the site-
       specific Final Chronic Value can be calculated by using the
       following equation:  site-specific Final Chronic Value =
       Chronic Water Effect Ratio x the national Final Chronic
       Value (or the national Final Chronic Value adjusted to a
       quality characteristic of the laboratory water when

       The site-specific Final Chronic Value is used in the
       determination of the site-specific 30-day average
       concentration.  The lower of the site-specific Final
       Chronic Value and the recalculated site-specific Final
       Residue Value (as described in the Recalculation Procedure)
       becomes the site-specific 30-day average concentration
       unless plant or other data (including data obtained from
       the site-specific tests) indicates a lower value is
       appropriate.  If a problem is identified, judgment  should
       be used in establishing the site-specific criterion.
0 Limitations
       If filter feeding organisms are determined to be among the
       most sensitive to the chemical of interest from the
       national  criteria document and/or other sources, and
       members of the same group are important components of the
       site food web, a member of that group, preferably a
       resident species, should be tested in order to discern
       differences in the biological  availability and/or toxicity
       of the chemical of interest due to ingested particulates.

       Site water for testing purposes should be obtained under
       typical conditions and can be obtained at any time of the
       day or season.  Storm or flood impacted water is
       unacceptable as test water in the acute tests used to
       calculate water effect ratios and acute-chronic ratios but
       is acceptable test water for short periods of time in
       long-term chronic tests used to calculate these ratios.
       There are some special cases when storm impacted water is
       acceptable in acute toxicity testing for use in criteria
       development.  For example, an effluent discharge may be
       allowed only during high water periods, or a non-point
       source of a chemical  pesticide may be of most concern
       during storm-related runoff events.

       Site water must not be influenced by effluents containing
       the chemical of interest or effluents that may impact the
       material's biological availability and/or toxicity.  The
       site water should be used as soon as possible after


collection in order to avoid significant water quality
changes.  If diurnal water quality cycles (e.g., carbonate
systems, salinity, dissolved oxygen) are known to markedly
affect a chemical's toxicity, use of on-site flow-through
testing is suggested; otherwise transport of water to
off-site locations is acceptable.  During transport and
storage, great care should be taken to maintain the
original quality of the water; however, certain conditions
of the water may change and the degree of these changes
should be measured and reported.

Seasonal site-specific criteria can be derived if
monitoring data are available to delineate seasonal periods
corresponding to significant differences in water
characteristics (e.g., carbonate systems, salinity,

The frequency of testing  (e.g.  the need for seasonal
testing) will be related to the variability of the physical
and chemical characteristics of site water as it is
expected to affect the biological availability and/or
toxicity of the material of interest.  As the variability
increases, the frequency of testing will increase.

With the exception that storm or flood impacted water may
be used in chronic toxicity tests, the limitations on the
use of  indicator species to derive a site-specific Final
Chronic Value are the same as those for site-specific
modifications of a national Final Acute Value.

Resident Species Procedure

     0 Definition

       Derivation of the site-specific maximum  concentration  and  site-
       specific 30-day average concentration would  be  accomplished
       after the complete acute toxicity minimum  data  set  requirements
       have been met by conducting tests with resident  species  in  site
       water.  Chronic tests may also be necessary.

     0 Rationale

       This procedure is designed to compensate concurrently  for  any
       real differences between the sensitivity range  of species
       represented in the national data set and for site water  which
       may markedly affect the biological availability  and/or toxicity
       of the material of interest.

     0 Conditions

       Develop the complete acute toxicity minimum  data set  using  site
       water and resident species.

     0 Details of Procedure

          - Complete the acute toxic.ity minimum data set test
            requirements by testing resident species in site water  and
            derive a site-specific Final Acute Value.

          - The guidance for site water testing has  been discussed  in
            the indicator species procedure.

          - Certain families of organisms have been  specified in the
            National  Guidelines acute toxicity minimum  data  set  (e.g.,
            Salmonidae in fresh water and Penaeidae or  Mysidae  in salt
            water); if this or any other requirement cannot  be  met
            because the family or other group (e.g., insect or  benthic
            crustacean) in fresh water is not represented  by  resident
            species,  select a substitute(s) from  a  senstive family
            represented by one or more resident species and meet the 8
            family minimum data set requirement.  If all the families
            at the site have been tested and the  minimum data set
            requirements have not been met, use the most sensitive
            resident family mean acute value as the  site-specific Final
            Acute Value.

          - To derive the site-specific maximum concentration divide
            the site-specific Final Acute Value by  two.

          - The site-specific Final Chronic Value can be obtained as
            described in the indicator species procedure.  An exception

     is that a chronic water effect ratio should not be used to
     calculate a Final Chronic Value.

   - The lower of the site-specific Final Chronic Value and the
     recalculated site-specific Final  Residue Value (as
     described in the Recalculation Procedure) becomes the
     site-specific 30-day average concentration unless plant or
     other data (including data obtained from the site-specific
     tests) indicates a lower value is appropriate.  If a
     problem is identified, judgment should be used in
     establishing the site-specific criterion.


   - The frequency of testing (e.g., the need for seasonal
     testing) will be related to the variability of the physical
     and chemical characteristics of site water as it is
     expected to affect the biological availability and/or
     toxicity of the material of interest.  As the variability
     increases, the frequency of testing will increase.

   - Many of the limitations discussed for the Recalculation and
     Indicator Species procedures would  also apply to this

Heavy Metal Speciation

     The national criteria for metals are  established  primarily  using
laboratory data in which reported effect concentrations  have  been
analyzed primarily as total, total  recoverable,  or  acid  extractable
metal concentrations.  Metals exist in a variety  of  chemical  forms in
water.  Toxicological data have demonstrated that some forms  are much
more toxic than others.  Most of the toxicity appears  to reside  in the
soluble fraction and, potentially,  in the  easily  labile, nonsoluble
fraction.  The national criteria values may be unnecessarily  stringent
if applied to total metal measurements in  waters  where total  metal
concentrations include a preponderance of  metal  forms  which are  highly
insoluble or strongly complexed.  Derivation of  criteria based on  metal
forms is not possible at this time  because adequate  laboratory or  field
data bases do not exist in which metal toxicity  is  partitioned among
the various metal forms.  Analysis  of total and  soluble  metal
concentrations when soluble metal is added to site  water may  indicate
that the metal is rapidly converted to insoluble  forms or to  other
forms with presumed low biological  availability.  Under  these
circumstances, derivation of a site-specific criterion based  on
site-water effect in either the indicator  or resident  species
procedures will probably result in  less stringent criteria values.

     Use of the indicator species or resident species  procedures is
encouraged for derivation of site-specific criteria  for  those metals
whose biological availability and/or toxicity is  significantly affected
by variation in physical and/or chemical characteristics of water.
Measurement of both total recoverable and  soluble metal  concentrations
during toxicity testing is recommended.

Plant and Other Data

     In the published criteria documents,  no national  criterion  is
based on plant data or "Other Data" (e.g., flavor impairment,
behavioral, etc.).  For some chemicals, observed  effects on plants
occurred at concentrations near the criterion.   The  Site-Specific
Guidelines procedures do not contain techniques  for  handling  such  data,
but if a less stringent site-specific criterion  is  derived, those  data
may need to be considered.


     The following procedures are recommended for conducting tests with
aquatic organisms, including fishes, invertebrates, and plants.  These
procedures are the state-of-the-art based on currently available
information.  Because all details are not covered in the following
procedures, experience in aquatic toxicology, as well as familiarity
with the pertinent references listed, is needed for conducting these
tests satisfactorily.

     In all site-specific criteria determinations, proper Quality
Assurance/Quality Control procedures should be planned and followed.
EPA has published guidance in this area in Guidance for Preparation of
Combined Work/Quality Assurance Project Plan for Water Monitoring (OURS
QA-1) May 27, 1983.

     Requirements concerning tests to determine the toxicity and
bioconcentration of a chemical  in aquatic organisms are given in the
National Criteria Document Guidelines.


   American Public Health Association, American Water Works
      Association, and Water Pollution Control Federation.  1980.
      Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater.
      15th ed.  American Public Health Association, Washington, D.C.
      1134 p.

   American Society for Testing and Materials.  1980.  Standard
      practice for conducting acute toxicity tests with fishes,
      macroinvertebrates, and amphibians.  Standard E 729-80, American
      Society for Testing and Materials, Philadelphia, Penn.  25 p.

   American Society for Testing Materials.  1980.  Standard practice
      for conducting static acute toxicity tests with larvae of four
      species of bivalve molluscs.  Standard E 724-80, American Society
      for Testing and Materials, Philadelphia, Penn.  17 p.


   American Public Health Association, American Water Works
      Association, and Water Pollution Control Federation.  1980.
      Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater.
      15th ed.  American Public Health Association, Washington, D.C.
      1134 p.

   Lockhart, W. L. and A. P. Blouw.  1979.  Phytotoxicity tests using
      the duckweek Lemna minor,  pp. 112-118, IN:  Toxicity tests for
      freshwater organisms.  E. Scherer (ed.), Can. Spec. Pub!. Fish.
      Aquat. Sci. 44. (Canadian Government Publishing Centre, Supply
      and Services Canada, Hull, Quebec, Canada K1A 059.)

   Joubert, G. 1980.  A bioassay application for quantitative toxicity
      measurements, using the green algae Selenastrum capricornutum.
      Water Res. 14:  1759-1763.

   Miller, W. E.,  J. C. Greene, and T. Shiroyama.  1978.  The
        Selenastrum capricornutum Printz algal  assay bottle test -
        Experimental design, application, and data interpretation
        protocol.   EPA-600/9-78-018, Environmental Research
        Laboratory-Corvallis, Corvallis, Oreg.   125 p.

   Steele, R. L.,  and G. B. Thursby.  A toxicity test using life stages
        of Champia parvulas [Rhodophyta].  Presented at the Sixth
        Symposium "on Aquatic Toxicology.  Sponsored by the American
        Society for Testing and Materials Committee E-47 on Biological
        Effects and Environmetal Fate. 13-14 October 1981.  American
        Society for Testing and Materials, Philadelphia, Penn.

   U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  1974.  Marine algal  assay
        procedure; bottle test.  Eutrophication and Lake Restoration
        Branch, National Environmental Research Center, Corvallis, Ore.
        43 p.


      Approximately 10 g tissue is homogenized with 40 g anhydrous
   sodium sulfate  in a Waring blender.  The mixture is transferred to a
   Soxhlet extraction thimble and extracted with a 1:1 mixture of
   hexane and methylene chloride for 3-4 hours.  The extract volume is
   reduced to approximately 50 ml  and washed into a tared beaker, being
   careful not to  transfer any particles of sodium sulfate which may  be
   present in the  extract.  The solvent is removed in an air stream and
   the sample is heated to 100° C for 15 minutes before weighing the

      The lipid content is calculated as follows:
         *, lipid = total residue - tare weight x 100
                             tissue weight

       U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Research
  Laboratory-Duluth, Duluth, MN  55804.


   American Society for Testing and Materials.   Proposed standard
        practice for conducting bioconcentration tests with fishes and
        saltwater  bivalve molluscs.  J. L. Hamelink and J. G. Eaton
        (Task Group Co-chairmen).  American Society for Testing and
        Materials, Philadelphia, Penn.   (latest draft.)

   Veith, G. D., D. L. DeFoe, and B. V.  Bergstedt.  1979.  Measuring
        and estimating the bioconcentration factor of chemicals in
        fish.  J.  Fish.  Res. Board Can. 36: 1040-1048.



   American Public Health Association,  American Water Works
        Association, and Water Pollution Control  Federation.   1980.
        Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater.
        15th ed.  American Public Health Association, Washington, D.C.
        1134 p.

   American Society for Testing and Materials.   Proposed standard
        practice for conducting toxicity tests  with early life stages
        of fishes.  S.  C. Schimmel  (Task Group  Chairman).  American
        Society  for Testing and Materials,  Philadelphia, Penn.  (latest

   American Society for Testing and Materials.   Proposed standard
        practice for conducting Daphm'a magna renewal chronic toxicity
        tests.   R. M. Comotto (Task Group Chairman).  American Society
        for Testing and Materials,  Philadelphia,  Penn.  (latest

   American Society for Testing and Materials.   Proposed standard
        practice for conducting Daphnia magna chronic toxicity tests  in
        a flow-through  system.  W.  J.  Adams (Task Group Co-chairman).
        American Society for Testing and Materials, Philadelphia, Penn.
        (latest  draft.)

   American Society for Testing and Materials.   Proposed standard
        practice for conducting life cycle  toxicity tests with
        saltwater mysid shrimp.  Susan  Gentile  and Charles McKenny
        (Task Group Co-chairman).  American Society for Testing and
        Materials, Philadelphia, Penn.   (latest draft.)

             LCBO VALUES

     The following problems are addressed and examples are given:

(1) how to determine if two LCBO values are statistically significantly
    different, and

(2) how to determine if the difference between two pairs of LC50 values
    is statistically significant.

    To determine if two LC50 values are statistically significantly
different  (at pj
   To compare two pairs of LC50 values several different procedures are
possible.  The procedure that follows shows one way to compare the
ratios of the LCBO values.  Specifically, the variable that  is examined
is the difference of the ratio of LCFSO values:
                            site 1
ioge LC50s.te 2
                            lab 1
(As stated before, it is necessary to work in the metric in which the
analysis was performed.  Since the Trimmed Spearman-Karber estimate  is
usually obtained from an analysis of the logarithm of the dose, the
ratio above should be of the logarithms of the LC50 values.)

     The following four steps may indicate whether or not the
difference is significant (at p< .05) without calculating the
confidence interval of the difference:

(1) Obtain the 95% confidence limits for both LC50 values.

(2) If the confidence intervals do not overlap the two values are

(3) If one confidence interval encompasses the other the values are  not

(4) If the confidence intervals partly overlap the values may be
    different.  To ascertain if they are different further statistical
    analysis must  be done.

     If the above  four steps do not  indicate whether or not the
difference of the  ratios is statistically significant, the confidence
interval of the difference should be examined.   If the confidence
interval of the difference brackets  zero, the difference is not
statistically significant; if the confidence interval does not cover
zero, the difference is statistically significant.

     An example is given in Tables 2a-2c.  Table 2a gives the estimated
LC50 values with 95% confidence intervals for two sets of site and lab
measurements.  These results were obtained from Table 2b which gives
the results in natural  log units based on the Trimmed Spearman-Karber
Method of estimation.

     Table 2c demonstrates how to determine if the difference is
statistically significant.  In this  example, the difference is not
significant.  Note that this result  means that there is no evidence
that there is a difference; it does  not mean that two ratios are
necessarily identical.


   Hamilton, M.A., R.C. Russo, andR.V. Thurston.  1977.  "Trimmed
      Spearman-Karber Method for Estimating Median Lethal
      Concentrations in Toxicity Rioassays".  Environ. Sci. Techno!.
      11(7): 714-719.  Correction 12(4): 417 (1978).

   Ku, H.H.  1966.  "Notes on the Use of Propagation of  Error
      Formulas".  J. of Research of the National Bureau  of Standards
      C. Engineering and Instrument 70C: 331-263--341-273.

Tables la-c  Analysis of Lab and Site LC50 Values

Table la  LC50 Values

       Source          Estimated LC50          95% Confidence Interval

        Lab                   75                     (55,104)

        Site                 130                    (100,169)

Table IB  Loge LC50 Value

       Source          Log  pLC50                    Variance

        Lab              4.32                         .0256

        Site             4.87                         .0169

Table Ic  Calculation of Ratio of Site to Laboratory LC50 Values* and
          95% Confidence Intervals

    (i) Ratio = loge LC50 site/loge LC50 lab = 4.87/4.32 = 1.13

    (ii) Variance of ratio =

 / logJ-C50  .]\2   variance logJ-C5Q  ..   +  variance log LC50,,.
 /     e    siL s\               e    site                 e    i a D

2     .0169.   +    .0256
     (4.87)2     (4^l2T2~
  =  .0026

  (iii) Confidence limit = 2 x (variance of difference)V2

                         = 2 x (.0026)1/2 = jo

    (iv) Confidence interval = ratio _+ confidence limit

                            = 1.13 i .10 =  (1.03, 1.23)

     (v) Since the confidence interval does  not bracket one, the ratio
of  site to  laboratory LC50 values is statistically significant at
C <.05.
* Mote that  in this example the ratios are of loge LC50 values since
  the Trimmed Spearman-Karber Method of estimating LC50 values was
  used.  This method estimates the LC50 based on the logarithm of the
  concentration, so the logarithm of the LC50 should be used here.


Tables 2a-c  Analysis of the Lab and Site LC50 Values for Two Species

Table 2a  LC50 Values
              Source       Estimated LC50

Species 1     Lab                75

              Site              130

Species 2     Lab                60

              Site               90

Table 2b  Loge LC50 Values

              Source        LogpLC50

Species 1

Species 2
                                          95% Confidence Interval



                                                  (48, 75)





Table 2c  Calculation of Difference of Ratios Between Field and Site
          LC50 Values* and 95% Confidence Intervals

     (i)  Difference =
= 4.87
              4.50 = 1.13 - 1.10 = .03
* Note that in this example the ratios are of loge LC50 values since
  the Trimmed Spearman-Karber Method of estimating LC50 values was
  used.  This method estimates the LC50 based on the logarithm of the
  concentration,  so the logarithm of the LC50 should be used here.

 (ii)  Variance of difference =
1ogeLC50site 1U  variance/ 1ogeLC50site 2
lo9eLC50lab 1 /            ( T°9eLC50lab 2
           (where variance   °^e    site  is found as
           in Table Ic (ii)).

       = .0026 + .0022 = .0049

(iii)  Confidence limit = 2 x  (variance of difference)^/?

                        = 2 x  (.0049^/2 = .14

 (iv)  Confidence interval = difference _+ confidence limit

                           = .03 jh .14 (-.11, .17)

  (v)  Since the confidence interval  does bracket zero, there is not
       enough evidence to reject the hypothesis that the ratios are



     The Site-Specific Criteria Guidance describes  protocols  for
developing site-specific water quality criteria, an  activity  which  EPA
expects will be done by the States  in only  a  limited number  of
instances based on need and resource constraints.   These  protocols  are
designed to take into account the sensitivity  of local  aquatic  life as
well as local  environmental effects on pollutant toxicity.   EPA  wanted
to evaluate the utility of these procedures,  to develop field
experience with the new techniques, and to  introduce States  to  the
concept of setting appropriate site-specific  water  quality

     The proposed protocols were field-tested  at numerous sites  located
throughout the United States.  EPA  initially  solicited  the nomination
of candidate sites from all ten EPA Regions to apply the  site-specific
criteria development protocols.  In turn, the  EPA Regional offices, in
cooperation with their respective States, jointly selected candidate
sites.  The sites selected for field testing  the protocols appear in
Table 1.  Participation in the demonstration  project was  entirely
voluntary on the part of the States and was not designed  to  require any
changes in State water quality standards or individual  permits.


     The protocol field-tested at most of the  sites  was the  Indicator
Species Procedure.  This procedure  entails a  three  phase  testing
program which includes water quality sampling  and analysis,  a
biological survey, and conducting paired acute toxicity tests in both
site and laboratory dilution water.

     EPA developed an ambitious schedule to conduct  these field  tests
because of the many candidate sites that were  selected  and a  desire to
have some results available for discussion  at  the series  of  public
meetings held to discuss the proposed revisions to  the  water  quality
standards regulation.  The desire to generate  as much data as possible
at each site to field-test the protocol was compromised with  both time
and cost restrictions, factors which normally  will  be considered and
planned for by any State wishing to develop site-specific criteria  for
use in their standards.
   The basic concept of site-specific criteria  development  is  only  one
   of several means by which a State may adopt  water  quality criteria
   as a part of State water quality standards.   In most  instances,
   States will  adopt the EPA recommendations for water quality  criteria
   issued periodically under Section 304(a) of  the Clean  Water  Act.


     A wide range of sites were chosen to obtain practical  experience
on the feasibility, resources, and technical merit for implementing
site-specific studies.

     One of the first sites where the Indicator Species Procedure was
field tested was at the Norwalk River, near Georgetown, Connecticut.
This pilot study was conducted by the Connecticut Department  of
Environmental Protection in cooperation with the USEPA.   For  details of
the methodology used and a site description, see Page C-8.  This was an
attempt by the State of Connecticut to derive  site-specific water
quality criteria.  It allowed the State an opportunity to  evaluate  the
potential for using the site-specific protocols in establishing
site-specific criteria for its waters.

     The State of Connecticut felt that this site-specific  criteria
development study was successful in that  it resulted  in systematically
derived, site-specific criteria for this  particular segment of the
Norwalk River.  This project was to evaluate and adjust water quality
criteria for which a substantial data base already existed.   The data
gathered in this exercise could also  be incorporated  into  the State's
ambient monitoring network data base  used in establishing  final
effluent limitations, (Dunbar and Pizzuto, 1982).  Participation in
this project also allowed the State of Connecticut an opportunity to
better evaluate the relative merits of a  comparative  toxicity testing

     The California State Water Resources Control Board also
participated in a site-specific case  study.  It attempted  to  develop
site-specific water quality criteria  for  the BEE ester of  2,4-D in  the
North Coast Region of California.  This project was to develop a
site-specific water quality criterion for a pollutant where there was
no National criterion and a limited data  base.  For details of the
methodology used and a site description,  see Page C-16.   This site-
specific criteria development study provided the State of  California
with a full aquatic life toxicity data base for 2,4-D esters. This
project also gave the State of California much experience  in  working
with EPA's criteria development protocols.

     Seasonal variations in water quality criteria are also of concern
and a study to investigate this concern was incorporated  in one of  the
pilot studies.  During the winter of  1981 and  summer  of 1982, with  the
cooperation of the Iowa Department of Environmental Quality,  EPA
initiated another site-specific criteria  development  project  on the
Iowa River in MarshalItown, Iowa.  This study  was an  attempt  to
evaluate ammonia toxicity during summer and winter conditions.   (The
Iowa DEQ maintains a summer and winter ammonia standard).   For details
of the methodology used and a site description, see Page  C-21.  The
site-specific study will eventually lead  to the incorporation of the
site-specific protocol into Iowa's water  quality standards program.

     The State of North Carolina also tested  the  site-specific  criteria
development concept.  For details of the methodology  used  and a site
description, see Page C-31.  Their Department  of  Natural Resources  and
Community Development committed substantial resources  to the collection
and interpretation of data for the case study  in  Mulberry  Creek.   North
Carolina not only explored the site-specific  protocol  but  did a
comparative analysis of the  results with other existing  information and
guidance on the applicability of the water  quality  criterion.   Based
upon this experience, they have determined  that the promulgation  of
site-specific criteria should become an integral  part  of the State's
water quality standards program.

     Important limitations of the protocols which should be  considered
when conducting these procedures were identified  in the  case studies.

     1. In many cases, only  two species were  tested in both  site  and
        laboratory waters.   The number of different species  necessary
        for testing to establish a true water  effects  ratio  may exceed
        this minimal requirement in many situations.   Based  upon  this
        and other scientific analysis, the  minimum  data  base has  been
        changed in the final protocol.

     2. A major assumption in the protocol  was that acute  toxicity
        effects observed could be extrapolated to predict
        concentrations of pollutants associated with  chronic toxicity.
        After field-testing  these protocols,  EPA  has  determined that
        there may be a need  for some chronic  toxicity  testing  at  each
        site to verify these extrapolated chronic toxicity
        concentrations.  A new short term chronic toxicity test to  be
        conducted in a reasonable time period  and with reasonable
        resources is under development by EPA.

     3. The proposed protocol was not specific enough  in providing
        guidance on measuring certain factors  which can  have an impact
        on the bioavailability and toxicity of the  pollutants.   While
        water hardness was measured in most cases,  other parameters
        such as pH, D.O., salinity and temperature  were  not  uniformly

     4. The protocol did not account for seasonal  differences  and due
        to time and resource constraints, the  protocol was field  tested
        only one time at each site except in  MarshalItown, Iowa.
        Seasonal  changes may influence the  persistence,  fate, and
        bioavailability of toxicants as well  as the presence or absence
        of sensitive life stages.  The final  protocol  will encourage
        seasonal  testing.

     5. While the protocol did provide general  guidance  for  the
        location of sampling stations, in many cases  sampling  sites
        were not comparable  in slope, habitat  characteristics,  and
        other parameters.  A program to assist EPA  Regional  Staffs  and
        State officials is being developed  to  improve  guidance  in this



     The case studies published in this document  constitute  a  variety
of examples available from the series of field tests  conducted  using
the site-specific guidelines.  Several of the case  studies are  not
included here.  After scientific  review they were found  to have several
technical shortcomings including  the need for additional  field  work,
significant deviations from the site-specific guidelines, or the
results were too ambiguous to allow proper  interpretations.  However,
complete reports, for all site-specific case studies,  are available
from EPA upon request from the name and address listed in the
introduction of this Handbook, with the exception of  the California
study.  More details on the California project are  available from  the
California State Water Resources  Control Board, Toxics Special  Project,
P.O. Box 100, Sacramento, CA 95801.  Each case study  report  contains a
section with specific recommendations as to how the individual  study
could have been improved.  These  recommendations  will  also benefit the
design of future site-specific studies.

Future Activities

     EPA continues to investigate alternative protocols  for
establishing site-specific criteria.

     One such procedure is a metal detoxification mechanism  which  EPA,
assisted by experts  in the field,  hopes to  develop  into  a protocol and
eventually field test.  EPA plans to investigate  this  procedure at
sites which have previously been  studied as well  as new  candidate
sites.  This will provide additional information  which should  allow  EPA
to evaluate the suitability of this technique for site-specific
criteria development.

     Another protocol EPA plans to investigate is the "chemical  model"
for use in establishing site-specific water quality criteria.   This
procedure would help to derive site-specific criteria for metals from
estimates and/or measurements of  the chemical speciation of  metals in
site water.  The effect of speciation on metal toxicity  would  be
quantified without need of actual  on-site bioassay  data.

     EPA will monitor the use of  all protocols and  revise them from
time to time to reflect State/EPA experiences in  their application.


     Problems were encountered with these field  studies  due  to the
large number of studies conducted under time and  resource constraints.
The overall project was generally considered successful  in meeting the
primary objectives which were:  (1) a field-test  of the  proposed
site-specific protocols and,  (2)  a learning experience for  EPA and the
States.  The final protocol incorporates the new  scientific  information
which resulted from  the field studies and therefore,  makes the protocol
more practical and useful.  One State has already formally  incorporated

the Indicator Species Procedure into its water quality standards
program.  Others have indicated that they intend to use the procedure
on a case-by-case basis in setting permit limits.  The consensus  is
that with additional data development and more explicit guidance, the
Indicator Species Procedure provides a realistic mechanism for
developing site-specific water quality criteria.

Dunbar, L.E. and E. Pizzuto Jr. 1982.  Derivation of Site-Specific
Water Quality Criteria - Norwalk River at Georgetown, Ct. State of
Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection

       Table 1:   Site-Specific Criteria Development Case Studies
New Jersey
North Carolina
Norwalk River
Wai kill River
Piney Run
Mulberry Creek
Suwannee Creek
Flint River
Crow River
Leon River
Selzer Creek
wire manufacturer
metal finisher
mirror finishing
battery processing
Lead, Zinc
Nickel, Chromium
Cadmium, Copper
Cyanide, Copper
Cadmium, Chromiui
Mingo Creek

Skeleton Creek


Cal ifornia
Marshal town
Mill Creek
Salt Creek
Prickly Pea
North Coast
Spokane Riv
airplane parts
Oil refinery, POTW,
Fertilizer manu-


Machine tools
suspected POTW
                                      mining, smelters
Zinc, Chromium

Zinc, Chromium




Copper, Zinc

2,4D esters



                                Norwalk  River

                           Georgetown, Connecticut

A.  Site Description

     The Norwalk  River Basin  encompasses  64.2  square miles  of southwestern
Connecticut and includes  a small  area  of Westchester County,  New  York.   The
Upper Norwalk  watershed,  where  this  study was  conducted, covers  an  area of
18.5 square miles  and includes the region extending from the headwaters of the
Norwalk River to its confluence with Cornstock Brook.

     There are  two point  source  discharges of  sewage upstream  of the study
area.  Prior to discharge, this waste undergoes secondary  treatment.  The POTW
of  the  town of Ridgefield discharges  roughly  400,000 GPD of  treated sewage
near the headwaters of the Norwalk,  13.5 stream miles upstream of the study
site.   A second  POTW discharges  (35,000  GPD)  to  the Norwalk  River  9 miles
upstream of the study area.  An area of failed septic systems near  the smaller
sewage discharge also contributes to the pollutant loading of the river.

     Although water quality is degraded somewhat  in the immediate vicinity of
these pollutant  sources,   as  the  river flows  southward   towards  Long Island
Sound it recovers  to support a valuable recreational trout fishery.  There are
no industrial point source discharges of metals upstream of the study area.

     Within  the  study area  itself,   the  Gilbert  and  Bennet Manufacturing
Company discharges treated process water to the Norwalk River at a point below
Factory Pond in Georgetown, Connecticut (Figure 1).  Gilbert and Benentt is a.
wire drawing operation (cleaning, drawing, and coating of metal wire).  Waste-
water is  primarily generated  during the wire  cleaning process.    The NPDES
permit for the company specifies an allowable daily discharge of up to  1.96 kg
of  lead,  2.78  kg of  zinc,  and  3.68  kg of  iron.   The  wastewater treatment
system of  the  Gilbert and  Bennett Company consists of  pH neutralization and
equalization  followed by  precipitation and  clarification  of  the  effluent
before discharge  to the river.  The treated wastewater is discharged intermit-
tently to the river.

B.  Problem Definition

     The  Connecticut Department  of Environmental  Protection (DEP) nominated
the Norwalk River site because  of high metal loading  to  the  river  (.ulributed
to  the  Gilbert and Bennett  Manufacturing Co.)  and  occasional  vic^tion of
national water quality criteria.   The  Gilbert and Bennett  NPDES permit was
also  due for  renewal.   A "desk-top"  evaluation by  DEP indicated  that the
aquatic  community would  show  evidence of  impact downstream  of  the  point of
release.  In this evaluation, acute and chronic national  criteria for  lead and
zinc were compared with calculated instream concentrations of  the  same metals.
Calculations  were  made  at seven-day,   ten-year  low  flow (1.34  cfs)  and at
average annual flow  (22.5  cfs).   In order to evaluate  the  effect  of site water


                         DISCHARGE OUTFALL
                                              GILBERT AND BENNETT


            MAP NOT* TO SCALE
                      (Dunbar and Pizzuto, 1982)


on  the  toxicity  of lead  and  zinc,  EPA  and  State  water  quality  officials
decided to use a site-specific criteria modification protocol.

C.  Approach to Criteria Modification

     The  decision  to use  a  site-specific criteria modification  procedure is
usually made  (1)  after analyzing data  obtained from a water body  survey and
assessment conducted in conjunction with a use attainability analysis (USEPA,
1982) or  (2)  after examining data  available to state or  local  water quality
management officials.   In  this  study on  the  Nbrwalk  River, macroinvertebrate
surveys and water  chemistry  analyses  were performed in conjunction  with bio-
assay experiments.

     The indicator species approach was chosen for this study.  This procedure
accounts  for  differences  in bioavailability  of a compound  and  therefore the
effective  toxicity of  a  chemical as a  function of site  water  quality para-
meters (e.g., pH, hardness, alkalinity, presence of other contaminants, etc.).
This approach  requires  testing of  a  sensitive invertebrate  and  fish in both
site and reconstituted laboratory dilution water.

     Acute toxicity  tests  were  conducted with laboratory reared Daphnia magna
and rainbow  trout  (as  surrogates for sensitive  organisms  found  at the site).
These organisms  were exposed to  lead and zinc  in Norwalk River water and a
laboratory prepared reference water.  The difference in measured toxicity with
laboratory and site water, expressed as a water effect ratio, can then be used
to modify  the  national  criteria document Final Acute  Value; to obtain a site-
specific  Final Acute Value.  In addition to the  tests required  by the indi-
cator species  procedure,   the toxicity  of the  Gilbert and Bennett wastewater
effluent as a whole was evaluated.


     Analysis  of Water Chemistry

     Based on a preliminary,  qualitative, biological survey,  the  stream was
divided into  control,  impact,  and  recovery zones and four chemical sampling
stations  (C,,  C-,  C^,  and  C^) were identified.  C^ and ^ were in the  control
zone.   C,  is the  upstream  control  station.   Co is the  downstream  control
station.   C, was located  in  the impact zone and  C. was  in the recovery  zone
(Figure 1).

     ISCO® automatic water samplers  were placed at each  station and used  to
sample  ambient levels  of  toxic metals.   Samples were taken every  hour for a
period  of four days.   Three  consecutive samples were combined to form  three-
hour  composites.    All  samples  were  analyzed for .cadmium,  chromium,  copper,
nickel, iron,  lead, and zinc.   Grab  samples of efflren . were taken at  random
intervals  during  periods   of  active  discharge of  wascetfater  from the  Gilbert
and  Bennett  facility.   These samples  were analyzed in the same manner  as  the
compo s i te s amples.

     Analysis  of Biota

     Benthic  populations  were sampled at  five  locations  (B^, 82, B.J,  B^,  B^)
to  assess the impact:  of  the discharge on  the  stream  community.   Four  Surber


samples were  collected  at each of  the  five  locations (Figure  1).   B,  is the
upstream  control  zone  or  reference  station.   "&*  *s tne  downstream control
station and was the primary  reference point  for the purpose of impact evalua-
tion.   B, and  B,  are  in  the impact  zone,  and B-  is in  the  recovery zone.
Physical  substrate,  stream  velocity, and water  depth were similar  at each
location.   Organisms  were sorted  in  the field, preserved  in  70% ethanol and
returned to the laboratory for identification and enumeration.

     Toxicity Testing

     Ninety-six hour acute toxicity tests (static with measured concentrations
of  toxicant)   were  conducted  with  laboratory  reared rainbow  trout  (Salmo
gairdneri) and  48-hour  acute toxicity  tests  (static  with measured concentra-
tions) were  conducted with  laboratory reared  Daphnia magna.   Lead  and zinc
concentrations were measured  in  the test waters at the beginning of  the test,
after 48  hours, and  at  96 hours  (in  the  study with rainbow trout).  Measured
LC^Q values were calculated based on  concentrations at test  termination.

     Toxicity  tests  were conducted in Norwalk River  water and reconstituted
water using  lead, zinc,  and Gilbert  and Bennett effluent as  the toxicants.
Norwalk River  water  was withdrawn  from station Cj and was transported along
with the effluent back  to the laboratory.

     Water Chemistry

     Analysis of effluent samples from the Gilbert and Bennett waste  treatment
system  indicates  that lead, cadmium,  and copper are  present at levels which
could exceed  the  EPA acute and chronic  water  quality criteria under low flow
conditions.   Lead  concentrations  averaged twice  the  maximum limit allowed by
DEP  in  their  technology based permits.   Zinc  concentrations were only 20% of
the  limit  specified  in the Gilbert and  Bennett  NPDES permit.  Cadmium is not
currently listed in the discharge permit.

     Mean instream concentrations of lead, zinc, and cadmium were lower in the
control  zone  than  in the  other  sampling locations.   Levels of  cadmium and
copper  exceeded  the acute  criteria  at all sampling  locations,  including the
control  zone.  Note,  however,  that a diverse,  stable biological community was
observed  to  exist  in  the  control  zone.   The  highest  levels  of  lead  were
detected just below  the  discharge.   Maximum zinc and iron concentrations were
monitored  just  above  the  outfall.   These levels above  the  outfall  are not
natural, but  were later found  to be due  to an  undetected  discharge from the
Gilbert and Bennett Manufacturing Co.


     Forty-four taxa were collected at the Branchville location  (B,).  Most of
the  species  collected  can be  classified  as  sensitive  or  facultative  with
respect  to pollution tolerance  (Weber,  1973;  Gaufin,   1973;  Roback, 1974).
Species  diversity was  also  high  (a Shannon Diversity index of 3.4) indicating
acceptable water quality and aquatic habitat.


     At station 82,  there  was  a dramatic reduction in  the  number of taxa and
individuals.   Total  number of  organisms  decreased from 889  at B,  to  415  at
B2.   The  number of  taxa decreased from  44  to  15, and  the Shannon Diversity
index fell to  1.0.   This impact may be associated, in part, with the impound-
ment  located  a short distance  upstream.   Impoundment effects  might include
elevation in water temperature,  reduction in downstream drift of organisms and
detritus, or an increase in suspended algae.

     Impacts of  the  effluent were observed at stations  83 and  B^.   Samples
from station B~ were collected within the discharge plume 15 m below the point
of discharge.   The  total  number of organisms present was  less  than half that
collected  at  82, yet  the number  of  taxa  and  overall  community composition
remained unchanged.   The total  number  of  organisms collected at B/ just below
the  mixing zone  was lower  than  that at  station B,.   This  difference was
probably not significant,  however.  The number of  taxa present was higher at
B,, but the community structure remained essentially unchanged.

     At station Be  (500 m  downstream from  the  discharge)  a dramatic increase
was  observed  in the total number  of  organisms  present.  A greater number of
organisms  were found here  than at any of  the  other  four  stations sampled.
Community composition and total number of taxa remained unchanged from station
B,.   The increased abundance of organisms at station Be indicated a reduction
in  the  effects of  the  discharge  from that observed  at stations  B,  and B^.
While the  benthic community at Be did not  return  to  (recover  to) conditions
present in the control zone B,,  it was  comparable  to  the downstream control
station at  82  which  was the  primary  reference control station used for impact

      Toxicity  Testing

      Static bioassays were conducted  exposing  Daphnia magna to  zinc.   Based
upon measured  concentrations, 48-hour LCc^ values and 95% confidence intervals
(in  parentheses)  were  determined:   0.90 (0.74-1.1) mg/1  for river water and
0.40  (0.38-0.48)  mg/1  for laboratory  reconstituted  water.   Salmo gairdneri
exposed  to zinc resulted  in 96-hour LC^Q values  and 95% confidence intervals
of  1.5  (1.2-1.5)  mg/1  for river water  and 1.0  (0.85-1.2) mg/1 for laboratory
water.   From  these  data it  appears  that zinc is  less  toxic in Norwalk River
water than in  laboratory water.

      Static bioassays  conducted with  lead  (based on measured  concentrations)
yielded  results similar  to  that  of   the  zinc  test.   Forty-eight  hour LCgQ
values  for _D.  magna  (exposed to lead) were  1.3 (0.95-1.9) mg/1  in  river water
and  0.32  (0.29-0.36) mg/1  for  laboratory water.   Bioassays with S_. gairdneri
yielded LCcg values  less  than  9.6 mg/1 for  river water and  2.6  (1.9-3.6) mg/1
for  laboratory water.  The effective toxicity of lead is thus reduced in river

      Total  lead measurements taken after bioassays  were terminated (96 hours
for   trout  and 48  hours   for  Daphnia)  indicated  a large  difference between
nominal  and measured concentrations,  particularly at  high dose  levels.   It
appears  that  lead   solubility  was reduced  at  the  pH  and  hardness  of  test
waters.   In addition,  the solubility of  lead  seemed  more greatly  reduced in
laboratory water  than in Norwalk River water.  Measured concentrations  at  test
termination averaged 7.2%  and  49% of nominal concentrations  in  laboratory and

river  waters,  respectively.   ^50 values  for lead  that are based  on these
measured concentrations are a conservative estimate of toxicity.

     In  static bioassays  in which S. gairdneri were  exposed to effluent from
the Gilbert and Bennett Manufacturing Co., the following LCgQ values  (based on
measured concentrations) were determined:   60% (46-77) in river water and 68%
(60-77)  in laboratory  water.   These  tests  indicate  that there is no signifi-
cant difference  in  toxicity  of the  effluent  in  river water  and  site water.
However,  the  no discernable  effect concentration for trout was  found  to be
slightly lower in laboratory water (22%) than in river water (36%).   This does
suggest a possible water effect, i.e., the river water may mitigate the toxic-
ity of the effluent  to a small degree.

     Effluent from the Gilbert and Bennett plant was not sufficiently toxic to
J). magna  to  allow calculation  of  an U^Q  value.   The  no  discernable effect
concentration  for  Daphnia was  slightly lower  in  the laboratory  water (13%)
than in  the  river  water (36%) indicating  that the effluent may be less toxic
in Nbrwalk River than in laboratory water.

     Calculations of the Water Effect Ratio
     The  indicator  species approach  to developing  site-specific criteria is
based on  the  calculation  of  a water effect ratio (below).  The ratio accounts
for  the difference  in the apparent toxicity  of  a toxicant between site water
and  laboratory  or  reference  water.   The  total water effect ratio for a given
toxicant  is defined as the geometric mean  of the water effect ratios for all
species tested  (USEPA, 1982).
                                          Site Water LC
                     Water Effect Ratio = T ,  „  „	r-^	
                                          Lab Water LC Q

Measured  LCc^ values  for  a   toxicant must  be significantly  different  in the
dilution  waters to  calculate a water effect  ratio.   Statistical significance
is  assumed when  the  95% confidence  intervals   for  the  LCtjQ values  do  not

     The  State  decided  to calculate  a conservative  water effect  ratio  for
zinc.  That is, the ratio was based only on data for j^. gairdneri, the species
with the  smaller water effect ratio,  rather than on the geometric mean of the
ratios for both j>. gairdneri  and _D. magna.

                  Zinc Water  Effect Ratio = }*;?*? mg/.J" =1.50
                                            1.00 mg/1
 ). magna  data were used to calculate a water effect ratio for  lead.
                  Lead Water Effect Ratio = „,. B'  ,. = 4.06
                                            0.32 mg/1

     The  Gilbert and  Bennett Manufacturing Company, a wire drawing operation,
 discharges  lead,  zinc, and  other metals  to  the Norwalk River.   Ambient in-
 stream levels of the  contaminants are occasionally in excess of national water
 quality criteria.   The result of both  a "desk-top" evaluation of metal load-
 ings  to  the river  and a preliminary biological survey indicated deterioration
 of water  quality and  adverse impact  to  the biota in the  vicinity of the dis-

charge.  As a result, EPA and State water quality officials decided to conduct
a study based  upon EPA site-specific  criteria modification procedures.   The
purpose of the study was to determine the effect of Norwalk River water on the
apparent toxicity of  lead  and zinc.  Both of  these metals  are present in the
effluent of the Gilbert and Bennett wastewater plant and are specified in this
company's  NPDES  permit.     Macroinvertebrate  surveys  and  water  chemistry
analyses were conducted in conjunction with laboratory bioassay experiments.

     Analysis of the results of the biological survey indicated that the reach
of stream  above  the discharge and Factory Pond  is  able to support a diverse,
stable, aquatic  community.   Examination of  the downstream stations revealed
that a  change  in the aquatic community  occurred downstream from Factory Pond
from unknown causes,  and further  changes attributed to the discharge occurred
downstream from  the reference point.  Impact  was  primarily measured in terms
of organism abundance.

     The  results of  the  chemical  survey parallel  that  of   the  biological
assessment.  Waters of  the control  zone  contained  the lowest metal concentra-
tions  and  exhibited  the  best  overall  water-  quality of  all  the sampling
stations.   The national acute water quality  criteria  for  copper and cadmium
were  exceeded  in  the control  zone.  However,  a diverse,  stable biological
community  was  present.    Cadmium concentrations  also exceeded  the national
criterion  at the remaining stations.  Zinc,  copper, lead, and iron concentra-
tions  were also elevated  at  the remaining  stations.   The impact  of  these
metals at  sampling  stations B«-Bc was demonstrated in  the biological survey.

     Analysis of the  toxicity tests  indicate  that  Norwalk River water reduces
the effective  toxicity  of  lead  and zinc.  The extent  to which  the river water
reduces toxicity may be examined by  calculating  a water effect ratio.  A water
effect  ratio  of 1.50 was  calculated for zinc and a  ratio  of  4.06 was calcu-
lated for  lead.

Dunbar, L.E.,  and E.  Pizzuto Jr.   1982.   Derivation  of  Site-Specific Water
     Quality Criteria - Norwalk River at Georgetown, CT.  State of Connecticut
     Department of Environmental Protection.

Gaufin, A.R.   1973.   Use of  aquatic  invertebrates  in the assessment of water
     quality.   Biological  Methods for  the Assessment of Water Quality, ASTM
     STP 528, Amer. Soc. for Test, and Materials, pp. 96-116.

Roback, S.S.    1974.    Insects.    In:   C.W.  Hart  and  S.L.H.  Fuller  (eds.).
     Pollution  Ecology  of   Freshwater   Invertebrates.    Academic  Press,  New
     York.  pp. 313-376.

USEPA.  1982.   Water  Quality Standards  Handbook.  Office of Water Regulations
     and Standards.

Weber, C.I. (ed.).  1973.  Biological Field and Laboratory Methods for  Measur-
     ing the Quality of Surface Waters and Effluents.  EPA 670/4-73-1.

                     North Coast Region of California

A.      Site Description

        The  forested  regions  of   Northern   California   particularly  the
northwest  corner  of the  Klamath River  basin comprise  the  site for  this

B.      Problem Definition

        The timber  industry in the North  Coast  Region of California  uses
2,4-D in aerial spraying.  In January 1982, the North Coast Regional Water
Quality Control Board adopted Basin Plan amendments to control  the dis-
charge  of  2,4-D  esters  that  result  from  spraying  in the  North  Coast
Region.  The  State  Water  Resource  Control Board reviewed these amendments
and recommended discharge limits.  A two number limit for 2,4-D esters was
developed according to the EPA methodology for deriving  water quality  cri-
teria.   The two number  limit,  based on  toxicological information on the
propylene  glycol  butyl ether ester  (PGBEE,  the predominant  form used  in
the North Coast Region)  consisted  of a 40 ppb instantaneous maximum  limit
and a 24-hour average not to exceed a 2 ppb (total acid  concentration).

        Recently the manufacturer of PGBE announced they will no longer be
producing  or  marketing  this  product.    Industry  representatives   have
indicated that the  new product  of  choice is the butoxy  ethyl ester (BEE).
Representatives of  the timber industry  subsequently  petitioned  the  State
Water Resources Control Board to have new water quality  criteria developed
for BEE.   The State Water Resources Control  Board reviewed the available
toxicity data for BEE, but did not have sufficient information  to calcu-
late new water quality criteria.   The  purpose of this study was to derive
acute and  chronic toxicity  data for 2,4-D BEE, using resident  North  Coast
organisms,  for the  development of site-specific water quality criteria.

C.      Approach to Criteria Modification

        The resident species  spproach  was chosen for this study.  In this
procedure a new minimum data base  of acute and chronic  toxicity values is
derived  in site  water.    This  procedure  is  designed  to adjust for  any
differences between the  sensitivity range of species in the national  data
set and  species resident  to the site,  as well  as  any differ'mcis in  site
water which may affect the toxicity of a chemical  (USEPA 1982,.

        Acute toxicity  tests  were  conducted  under flow-through conditions
with juvenile  chinook  salmon (Oncorhyncus tshawytscha), steelheads (Salmo
gairdneri)  and rainbow  trout  (Salmo  gairdneri).   These  organisms  were
exposed  to PGBEE  and  BEE individually in filtered  American River water.
Static  toxicity tests  were also conducted with steelheads exposed to BEE
to  evaluate differences  which  might result  from  flow-through  and static
tests (All  existing toxicity  tests  for BEE except  one were conducted  under
static conditions).  In addition, a  90 day chronic embryo larval study was


conducted with the  chinook  salmon.   Results of  this  test are still  being
analyzed and will not be discussed as part of this summary.

        In conjunction with the toxicity tests,  the California State  Water
Resources  Control Board  will be  conducting an  intensive field  sampling
survey in  the  spring and fall of  1983.  The  intent of  the  survey  is  to
characterize  the  discharge  of  2,4-D  and  break  down  products during
spraying and the first rainstorm following the spray  period.


        Bioassays  were  conducted  with three  juvenile  salmonid  species
important  to  the  North  Coastal  area  of  California,  the  chinook salmon
(Oncorhyncus tshawytscha),  steelheads  (Salmo gairdneri) and rainbow  trout
(Salmo gairdneri).   Chinook  salmon  and steelhead smolts  were  obtained  4
days prior to testing from  stock  at  the California Department of  Fish  and
Game's Nimbus Hatchery.  Rainbow trout  fry were  obtained one week prior  to
testing from  stock at the  California  Department  of Fish  and  Game's Hot
Creek Hatchery.  Fish were maintained at the test lab in 1,000 liter  circ-
ular tanks and fed up to  96 hours  before testing.  Sand filtered  American
River water was used in all of the toxicity  tests.

        Ninety-six hour flow-through tests were  conducted with each of  the
organisms  exposed to PGBEE and BEE  individually.   Ten to 25  fish were
placed in  each test chamber  and  2  test chambers per  concentration were
used.  Fish loading factors were within the  recommended limits for flow-
through tests  (ASTM 1980).    Grab samples  were  withdrawn  from  each test
chamber for analysis of  total 2,4-D  acid af 48 hours.  Water samples were
analyzed  for  concentrations  of  2,4-D esters  at 0,   48,  and  96 hours.
Dissolved oxygen  and  temperature  were  also  measured  daily.  Hardness and
alkalinity were measured once during the tests and pH was measured twice.

        Total 2,4-D  acid concentrations were determined by esteration  of
the  acid  with gas  chromatography and  a Ni 63  electron  capture  detector
(Olson et.  al.  1978).   The  detection limit was 5  ug/liter  total  2,4-D
acid.  BEEE  and PGBEE ester  concentrations  of  2,4-D  were determined  by
repeating  the  hexane extraction  and  then  combining  the  extracts.   The
extracts were concentrated with granular Na SO, .  The concentrated extract
was  analyzed  using  gas  chromatography ana a    Ni 63  electron  capture
detector.   Detection limits were 10 ug/1 for both esters.

        Static  tests  were  conducted  with   steelheads  in  20-liter  glass
aquaria.    Tests  were conducted  for  96  hours  and chemical analyses  were
performed as for the flow-through tests.

        LC50  values  were  calculated with the  binomial  test.     In
flow-through tests  these were based  on measured  concentrations.  Static
LC50  values  were  based   on  initial  2,4-D   ester  concentrations.    Ester
concentrations decreased  below detection limits  (10  ug/1) with  24 to  48
hours after the tests were begun.



        Chinook salmon LC50 values  and  95  percent confidence intervals  in
BEE .tests  were 1375(1306 -  1444)  and 481(456  - 506)  for  total  acid and
ester respectively.   Steelhead BEE LC50 values  and 95 percent confidence
intervals  were 1400(914 -  1816) and  489(343 -  635)  for  total  acid and
ester respectively.  Rainbow trout BEE LC50 values  and 95 percent confi-
dence intervals were 575(561 - 585)  and 465(451 - 479) for total acid and
ester respectively.

        Chinook salmon PGBEE LC50 values and 95 percent confidence  inter-
vals were  1180(72  -  2288)  and 318(18  -  618)  for total  acid  and  ester
respectively.   Steelhead LC50  values and 95  percent confidence intervals
were  1610(1305 -  1915)  and  434(352  - 516)  for  total  acid  and  esters
respectively.    Rainbow  trout  LC50  values  and   95  percent  confidence
intervals were  565(551 - 579)  and  355(258  - 452) for total acid and  ester

        LC50 values for static  tests with BEE conducted under two differ-
ent loading factors with steelheads were 2200 ug/1  for total acid and 1800
ug/1 as BEE (loading factor 4.2 g/1).   Tests  with a higher loading factor
(8.8 g/1) were 3850 ug/1 as total acid and 3150 ug/1 as BEE.

        Analysis  of  the  LC50  values  indicate  that  PGBEE may   be 23%
slightly more  toxic than BEE.   In  addition,  it was  determined that static
toxicity tests  grossly  underestimate BEE  toxicity.   This  is due  to the
hydrolysis  of  BEE  to a  less  toxic  form by the  fish.    Hydrolysis was
influenced by the fish loading  factor.


        The California State  Water Resources Control  Board is attempting
to  set  site-specific  water  quality criteria  for  the BEE  ester  of  2,4-D
which  is  used  by the timber   industry  as  an  herbicide  in  their  aerial
spraying program  in the North Coast  Region of  California.  The criteria
modification  study  was  designed to provide  a  substantial  toxicity  data
base using resident North Coast  species.

        Acute  toxicity tests were  conducted  with juvenile chinook  salmon,
steelheads and  rainbow  trout.    These organisms  were exposed to PGBEE and
BEE individually  in filtered American  River  water.   Static toxicity  tests
were also conducted with steelheads exposed to BEE  to evaluate differences
which might result  from  flow-through  and static tests.   In addition a  90
day chronic  embryo larva*.  study was  conductei  fith  the  chinook  salmon.
Results of this test are still  being analyzed ^.id will not  be discussed  as
part of this  summary..

        Analysis of the LC50 values indicate the PGBEE may  be 23% slightly
more toxic  than BEE.  In addition,  it was determined that  static toxicity
tests grossly underestimate  BEE toxicity.   This  is due to the hydrolysis
of BEE to a less  toxic form by  the  fish.  Hydrolysis was  influenced by the
fish loading  factor.


        More details  on  this  project  are  available  from John  Norton,
California State  Water Resources Control  Board, Toxics  Special  Project,
P.O. Box 100, Sacramento, California, 95801 (916) 322-4506.

American Society of Testing and Materials.  1980.  Standard Practices
        for Conducting Acute Toxicity Tests with Fishes, Macroin-
        vertebrates, and Amphibians.  ASTM Committee E-35,
        Publication No. E729 - 80.

Olson, B., T. Sneath, and N. Lain.  1978.  Rapid, simple procedures
        for the simultaneous gas chromatographic analysis of four
        chlorophenoxy herbicides in water and soil samples.
        J. Agric. Food Chem.  26: 640 - 643.

USEPA.  1982.  Water Quality Standards Handbook (Draft).  Office of
        Water Regulations and Standards.

                                  Iowa River
                              Marshalltown, Iowa

A.    Site Description

      The Iowa  River is a  typical  slow moving  midwestern stream  located  in
central  Iowa  (Figure 1).   It meanders  in  an easterly direction  through  the
northern part of Marshalltown, Iowa.  The stream channel ranges from 30 - 40 m
in width and stream velocity ranges  from 0.1 - 0.75 m/sec.

      The substrate  in  the Iowa  River  consists of  shifting sand  with small
patches  of  gravel.   Adjacent  land  use  consists of  agricultural  development.
Riparian vegetation offers considerable cover to much of the stream reach.

      The Marshalltown POTW is an activated  sludge  plant  which discharges  its
treated  effluent to  the  Iowa  River.   The POTW is the only  major  point source
discharge to the Iowa River in the  vicinity of Marshalltown.   The influent  to
the plant is a mixture of domestic,  pretreated industrial, and untreated muni-
cipal wastewater.   The  average discharge  from the POTW  is  0.25  m /sec.  (7.5
cfs) and remains fairly  constant  24 hours  per day,  7 days  per  week.   Ammonia
is  a  constituent routinely identified  in  the  effluent and is of particular
concern  in this study.

B.    Problem Definition

      The Marshalltown POTW currently exceeds  the.  state ammonia standard  (2.0
mg/1  total  ammonia-summer  5.0 mg/1  total  ammonia-winter)  and EPA  national
criterion for  unionized ammonia  under  certain environmental  conditions  (low
flow, high temperatures).   It  has been  estimated that  the number  and severity
of  the violations will  increase as  the  city grows.   The  Marshalltown POTW  is
thus one of a number of Iowa wastewater plants that has been  identified  for
the installation of  advanced  treatment  facilities  for  ammonia  removal.   Con-
currently, the  State  of Iowa  is  evaluating  its  ammonia standard  to determine
if  it is adequate or overly stringent for  the  protection  of aquatic life.   As
a result, state and EPA water  quality officials decided to apply site-specific
criteria modification procedures to the Iowa River  to evaluate seasonal influ-
ences and the effect of  site  water  quality on the  toxicity of ammonia as  well
as  the  applicability  of  the national  ambient water  quality criteria  for
ammonia on the Iowa River.

C.    Approach t; criteria Modification

      The decision to  use a site-specific criteria modification  procedure  is
usually  made  after  analyzing   (1)  data  obtained from a water body  survey  and
assessment conducted in  conjunction with a use attainability  analysis (USEPA
1982),  or   (2)  data  available to  state  or  local  water quality  management
officials.  In  this  study  on  the  Iowa River, complete  biological  surveys  and
water  chemistry  analyses  were conducted  in  conjunction  with  field  bioassay



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      The indicator species approach  was  chosen for this  study.   This proce-
dure accounts  for  differences in bioavailability  of a  compound  in different
waters.  Therefore, the effective toxicity of a chemical as a function of site
water  quality  parameters (e.g.,  pH,  hardness,  alkalinity, presence  of other
contaminants, etc)  is examined.   The  approach requires  testing of a sensitive
invertebrate and fish in both site water and reconstituted laboratory dilution

      Acute  toxicity  tests  were  conducted  during  the winter  portion  of this
study  with  the channel catfish  (Ictalurus  punctatus) .   Channel  catfish were
exposed  to  ammonia in  site  water taken  from the Iowa  River  (this  test was
conducted by the field crew  and repeated by  state  personnel), and in  a 3:1
mixture  of  river water to nonchlorinated  effluent.   The  purpose of  the 3:1
mixture was  to  simulate the  instream conditions at  low  flow.   Acute toxicity
tests  were  conducted  during  the  late summer  with  channel  catfish, (Ictalurus
p_u_nctat_ug_)  bluegills  (Lepomis   macrochirus)  and  a mayfly ( S t enonema  terrn--^
inatum).   These organisms  were  exposed  to  ammonia in  Iowa   River water,  a
laboratory  prepared  reference water,  3:1  mixture of river water  to nonchlor-
inated effluent and a 3:1 mixture of  river  water to  chlorinated effluent. The
difference  in  measured toxicity  with laboratory  water  and  site water  is
expressed as a water  effect  ratio.   This ratio  can be  used to  modify the
national  ambient water  quality  criteria document  Final  Acute Value  and  to
obtain a Site-Specific  Final Acute Value for ammonia in  the Iowa River.


A-    Analysis of Water Chemistry

      Based  on  an  inspection  of  the study area, the river was divided into a
control,  two impact  zones  and a  recovery zone.   Sampling stations were iden-
tified in each of the zones.   The Control  Zone Station (Station 1) was located
approximately  50 meters upstream from  the  confluence with the POTW outfall.
The  first Impact Zone Station (Station 2)  was  located  in  the effluent plume
approximately 50 meters downstream  from the outfall.  The second Impact Zone
Station  (Station 3)  was located approximately 800 meters  downstream from the
confluence  of  the  POTW discharge with the  river  and immediately downstream
from the area of complete mixing.   The Recovery Zone Station  (Station 4) was
located approximately 3.2 kilometers downstream from the discharge.

      Due to the freezing temperatures and icy conditions only  a limited chem-
ical  survey was conducted  as part  of the winter  study.  A  series  of grab
samples were taken above and below the POTW discharge in order  to characterize
the POTW plume.  Samples were analyzed  for  total ammonia, nitrates, nitrites,
Kieldahl nitrogen,  and  filterable and nonfilterable residues.
          ng  the  later  summer  phase,  field  samples  were collected  at  each
station  and  analyzed   for  nitrite,  ammonia,  Kjeldahl  nitrogen,   total  and
filterable residue, biochemical and chemical oxygen demand, cyanide, and total
and  dissolved organic  carbon.   Depth,  velocity ,\ temperature,  specific  con-
ductance, dissolved oxygen and pH were also measured at each station.


      Grab samples were taken  to measure  variations  in ammonia concentrations
instream and in the POTW  effluent.   Samples  were collected weekly from August
19 - October 13, 1982 while the periphyton and macroinvertebrate samplers were
allowed to colonize.

B.    Analysis of Biota

      Fish,  periphyton,  and invertebrates were sampled  as  part of  the bio-
logical survey.  No attempts to collect organisms were made during the winter.
Due to  the  shifting  sand substrate  in the Iowa River,  artificial  substrates
were used to sample  the invertebrate populations.   Ten  modified Hester-Dendy
Multiplate  Samplers  were placed  at  sampling  Stations  1-4 and  allowed  to
incubate for  five  weeks.   During this period  of  time  the POTW was  not chlor-
inating  its effluent.    After five  weeks one-half  of  the  substrates  were
removed and  these  substrates represent nonchlorinated effluent  samples.   The
remaining substrates were allowed to incubate  for an additional 19 days during
which  time  the POTW  resumed  chlorination.    These  substrates  represent  the
chlorinated  samples.

      The organisms  collected  were  preserved  and  returned  to  the  laboratory
for  identification.    All organisms  were identified  to the  lowest  possible
taxon.  Because of the shifting  sand substrate and  flow variations, several
substrates  became  partially  or  totally  buried  in  the  sand,   limiting  the
habitat  available  for colonization.    Unfortunately many  of   these  buried
samplers were  in  the  Control Zone.   As  a result,  the comparison of diversity
and equitability between  zones was more  meaningful  than  a comparison of total

      Artificial substrates were  also placed in the Iowa River  to  sample the
periphyton  community.   The  samplers  consisted  of six,  glass microscope slides
secured in  a plastic  frame.   The  substrates  were suspended  from floats  at a
uniform  depth  at  each sampling  station.   The substrates  were left  in  the
stream  for a period of  17 days during which time the POTW was not chlorinating
its effluent.   When  chlorination resumed  fresh  substrates  were  placed in the
river as in  the nonchlorinated phase.   Samples were  preserved in Lugols solu-
tion  and  analyzed  according  to  Weber (1973).   All  algal  types  present were
counted,  but  only  diatoms were  identified  to species.    Slides  were  also
analyzed  for  chlorophyll  content  and  ash free  dry weight.   Shannon-Weaver
diversity indices  and equitability  values  for the nonchlorinated  and chlor-
inated portions of the  study were calculated.

      Fish  collections were  conducted by  the Iowa  Conservation Commission.
The  fish  were  collected  using  a 230 volt  boatmounted  electroshocker  and a
thirty  foot  (1/4 inch mesh)  minnow  seine.  Three  individual runs of approxi-
mately  100  meters were taken with  the  electroshocker and  one  pull  with the
s~Ine was taken in each sampling zone.   All  fish  were counted and identified
to  the  species  level.

c-    Toxic ityJTest ing

      Winter bioassays were  conducted with  the  channel catfish  while late
summer  tests  were  conducted with  channel catfish,  bluegills,  and mayflies.
Juvenile  catfish  were  obtained  from the Lake  Rathbun Fish Hatchery Rathbun,
Iowa.   Bluegills each, weighing 0.5 - 2 gm were  obtained  from the  Fairport Fish


Hatchery.  Mayflies  were collected  from  the Iowa  River approximately  12  km
downstream from Marshalltown.

      Ninety-six hour flow-through tests were conducted  with  the  fish and the
mayflies  in  site  water from  the  Control  Zone and  in  a 3:1  mixture  of river
water  to  effluent water (nonchlorinated and chlorinated effluent).   Ammonia
concentrations  were  measured  every  12 hours  for  the  duration of the test.
Temperature,  pH,  and dissolved oxygen concentrations were  measured   in con-
junction with each ammonia analysis.

      Ninety-six  hour  static  renewal  tests  were  conducted  with the  fish and
the mayflies  in  a  laboratory reference water.   Test solutions were renewed
every  12  hours  due  to the volatility  of  ammonia.   Ammonia,  temperature,  pH,
and dissolved oxygen concentrations were measured at  the beginning and end of
the  12-hour  volume  replacement  period.   Throughout the tests,   ammonia
concentrations never fell below 80 percent  of initial concentrations.

      Field analysis  of  ammonia concentrations  in  the test  chambers  was con-
ducted using  an Orion Specific Ion Electrode.  A new  standard  curve  was pre-
pared  prior to  each  analysis.   In  addition,  split  lab and  field  samples were
collected in triplicate at 0 hours, 48 hours and 96 hours during the tests and
analyzed  by  the University of  Iowa  Hygienic Laboratory.   Ammonia concentra-
tions were measured within 24 hours after the laboratory received  the  samples.


A.    Water Chemistry

      Results  of  the  physical and  chemical measurements  indicate  that  the
study  reach  was  characterized  by  generally  uniform  habitat  and  moderate
riparian  canopy.   Stream  velocity averaged 0.75  m/sec at  all stations  and
depth  averaged  60 cm.  The  stream substrate was dominated by  unstable sandy

      Analyses  of water quality  (grab samples)   indicate  that  most  chemical
parameters were stable and within  normal expected ranges throughout the study
reach.    Dissolved  oxygen  concentrations   remained at  or  above  saturation
although  there  was  a significant  increase  in  biological oxygen demand down-
stream  from  the   POTW when   the  effluent  was  bypassed  following   primary
clarification.    The  stream  was  generally  turbid  however.   When bypassing
occurred, nonfilterable solids increased.   Except for ammonia, all toxics were
below  detection  limits  or  below  their  respective  water  quality  criteria

      Winter grab samples  taken  in the vicinity of  the  discharge  plume indi-
cate  that  ammonia concentrations rapidly attenuate  within  the effluent plume.
By  the time complete  mixing  of effluent  and  river water  had  occurred,  all
measured nitrogen compounds had fallen to near Control Zone concentrations.

      Analysis  of weekly grab  samples  revealed  that unionized ammonia concen-
trations  were  occassionally  in excess  of  0.2  mg/1 in the  effluent plume.  At
the point of complete mixing concentrations were generally  below 0.02  mg/1.

B.    Biota

      Analysis of the invertebrate samples from nonchlorinated and chlorinated
study phases  indicated  that Impact and  Recovery  zones could be  defined,  but
too few samples were recovered to quantify the  Control  Zone.  Total  number of
organisms  did  not differ  significantly  in either  of the Impact  or  Recovery
Zones, but diversity and equitability values were  lower at  Impact 1  (nonchlo-
rinated and chlorinated).

      Mayfly  percent  relative  abundance  (PRA)  demonstrated  a difference
between  nonchlorinated  and  chlorinated  conditions.    The  PRA  in Impact  1,
Impact 2, and the Recovery Zone decreased dramatically from the  nonchlorinated
to  the  chlorinated  samples.  This  is  thought  to  be  an  avoidance reaction to
residual  chlorine,  but cannot be confirmed since  residual chlorine  was  not

      Periphyton  diversity  and  equitability  values  for  nonchlorinated  and
chlorinated samples do  not  decline  in  the  Impact  Zones.  However in both sets
of  samples a  shift  in  species  dominance  can be observed in  the  Impact Zones.
In  the nonchlorinated study, Gomphonema  o^ivaceum  was the  dominant species in
the Control,  Impact Zone  2, and Recovery  zones.   This  species  is character-
istic of  sites  that have  experienced  inorganic  nutrient enrichment.   However,
it normally occurs where biodegradat£on is complete.  In the Impact Zone 1, an
area  of  high  biodegradation,   G.  o1ivac eum   numbers  are  sharply  reduced.
Nitzchia  pa lea,  a good  indicator of organic  pollution and Cyclotella st_r_i.ata_,
which  is stimulated by slight  increases in salts,  are the dominant  taxa at
this  station  (USEPA 1974).
      In  the  chlorination  study  the  diatom Nitzchia dissipata is the dominant
diatom  in the Control Zone.   This  species is common to water  with  high dis-
solved  oxygen (USEPA  1974) .   This  species is not as common  in  the Impact and
Recovery  Zones.  The dominant species at the Impact 1 Station (Nitzchia palea)
is  common to  zones  of organic  degradation and  low dissolved  oxygen  (USEPA
      Analysis  of  chlorophyll concentrations, ash  free  dry weight  and auto-
trophic indices indicate that the Iowa River is affected by organic enrichment
throughout the  study reach especially at the Impact 1 Station.  The acidifica-
tion ratios  (chlorophyll a to pheophytin a) in the nonchlorinated and chlorin-
ated studies were  the  lowest at  the  Impact  1  Station.   Ash  free  dry weights
were highest at the Impact  1 Station.   The  autotrophic  index at all stations
in  both studies was greater  than 100 which is indicative  of  an area affected
by  organic pollution (Weber  1973).

      Fish collected in  the  Control  Zone were  diverse in number of species as
well  as   trophic  position  in  the community.   There were a  relatively high
proportion of carnivores (i.e.,  centrarchids  and  ictalurids)  and planktivores
(i.e., clupeides).   At  Impact 1  the  number  of planktivores and carnivores is
as  reduced  from Control  populations.  The reduction  or  absence of carnivores
in  the fish  community  is an  indication of a system degraded by poor habitat or
water  quality (Karr 1982).  The  failure of  these organisms  to also success-
fully  inhabit Impact  2  and  the  Recovery Zone suggests  chronic water quality
degradation  or  a general shift in the habitat or  trophic structure of the Iowa


C.    Toxici t y Te s t ing

      LC50 values  and  95 percent  confidence  intervals were  estimated  by the
binomial, probit,  and  moving average  methods.   Mean  ammonia concentrations,
based on all  field measurements  taken  during  each test were  used  in the LC50
calculations.  Determination of unionized ammonia concentrations were based on
the average temperature and pH measured during each test.

      Winter  total  ammonia LC50 values and  95 percent  confidence  intervals
(binomial method  mg/1)  for catfish  were 40.99  (38.8  -  47.6),  41.3  (36.1  -
45.1), and 43.0  (37.0  - 72.1) for Site  Water Test 1,  Site Water  Test  2, and
3:1  river  water  to   nonchlorinated   effluent   tests  respectively.    Winter
unionized ammonia  LC50 values and 95  percent confidence  intervals  were 0.49
(0.38 - 0.70), 0.49 (0.31 - 0.66), and 0.43 (0.23  -  0.83)  for Site Water Test
1,  Site  Water Test 2,  and 3:1  river  water to  nonchlorinated  effluent tests
respectively.  The LC50 values did not vary significantly in these tests.

      Late summer  total  ammonia  LC50  values and 95  percent  confidence inter-
vals  (binomial  method  in  mg/1)  for  the channel  catfish were  27.3  (21.4  -
35.9), 18.5  (7.4  - 27.4),  27.7  (13.9 -  32.9),  25.0  (13.7  -  32.6)  for the lab
water,  site  water,  chlorinated  effluent  and  nonchlorinated effluent  tests
respectively.  Late summer unionized ammonia LC50 values and 95 percent confi-
dence intervals were 0.61 (0.56 - 0.75), 0.69 (0.36 - 0.84),  1.4 (0.68 - 1.6),
1.2  (0.63  -  1.5)  for the  lab  water,  site  water, chlorinated  effluent,  and
nonchlorinated effluent  tests  respectively.    The LC50  values  did  not  vary
significantly in  these  tests,  although LC50 values  from the  effluent  tests
appear to be  somewhat higher than the site water and lab water tests.

      It was  not  possible  to determine LC50  values  for all  of the  mayfly
tests.  Total ammonia LC50 values and  95 percent confidence  intervals (probit
method in mg/1)  were 7.2 (0 - 20.0) and 79.8 (25.9 -oo ) for the site  water and
nonchlorinated effluent tests respectively.   Unionized ammonia LC50 values and
95 percent confidence  intervals  for these same  tests were 0.35 (0 -  0.72) and
3  (1.19  - °° ).  These  tests  indicate  that mayflies were  as  sensitive or less
sensitive to ammonia than catfish.

      Forty-eight hour bluegill  LC50  values for total ammonia  and 95 percent
confidence  intervals  (probit method  mg/1)  were 20.6 (16.7  - 25.2)  and 8.7
(4.3 - 12.3)  for  laboratory and  site  water  respectively.  Corresponding forty
eight  hour LC50  values and  95  percent confidence  intervals  for  unionized
ammonia were 0.48  (0.41 - 0.56),  and 0.45 (0.27  - 0.57) for lab water and site
water  respectively.   Although  total  ammonia values  appear   to  differ  signi-
ficantly in these  tests,  unionized ammonia LC50 values  (the  most  toxic frac-
tion) do not vary significantly.

      Ninety-six  hour  bluegill  LC50 values  for total ammonia  and 95 percent
confidence intervals (probit method mg/1) were 16.1 (13.0 - 19.4), 13.0 (10.1-
15.6), and 16.7  (14.8  -  18.9)  for laboratory  water,  chlorinated effluent, and
nonchlorinated effluent  respectively.   Corresponding 96  hour LC50 values and
95  percent  confidence  intervals  for  unionized ammonia  are 0.40  (0 - <*• ), 0.63
(0.48  -  0.75),  and  0.77  (0.68 -  0.87)   for  laboratory water,  chlorinated
effluent and  nonchlorinated  effluent  respectively.  These LC50  values do not
vary significantly.


D.    Calculation of the Water Effect Ratio

      The  indicator  species  approach  to deriving  site-specific criteria  is
based  upon the  calculation of  a water  effect  ratio  (below).   This  ratio
accounts for the difference in the apparent  toxicity  of  a contaminant in site
water and a laboratory or reference water.  The total  water effect ratio for a
given toxicant is defined as the  geometric mean of the water effect  ratios for
all species tested.

                              Site Water LC50
      Water Effect Ratio =    Lab Water LC50

Measured LC50  values for a  toxicant  must be  significantly different  in the
dilution waters  to  calculate a water effect ratio.   Statistical significance
is assumed when the 95 percent confidence intervals for the LC50 values do not
overlap.  When  the  confidence  intervals  do  overlap,  the water effect ratio is
equal to one.

      On the basis  of these tests,  the  confidence intervals  of the dilution
waters overlap,  therefore the  water  effect  ratio is,  in effect, equal to one.
A water effect ratio equal to  one would  not  result in any modification of the
national criteria values.


      A  Water  Quality  Criteria Modification  demonstration project  was  con-
ducted  to  evaluate  the appropriateness of the  acute  criterion for ammonia in
the Iowa River  at Marshalltown, Iowa.  On-site bioassays were conducted during
winter  and late  summer  in   a  mobile  laboratory positioned  upstream from the
Marshalltown POTW which discharges  to the Iowa  River.   A  chemical  survey of
the Iowa River was  conducted  to determine  instream  concentrations of ammonia
and other  potential pollutants.   In addition,  a  biological  survey was  con-
ducted  to  evaluate  periphyton, macroinvertebrate and fish community structure
upstream and downstream  from the confluence with the  discharge canal.

      Results  of  this investigation indicated that there were some  trends in
the number of  species  and individuals in the fish, invertebrate  and  periphyton
communities  downstream  from  the POTW  outfall.   However,  the  only  obvious
differences  occurred in the samples  collected from  Impact  Zone 1.    At  this
station  there  was  a  substantial  shift  in relative  abundance  in  the
invertebrate community as compared to uptream  and  downstream from  the outfall.
However,  whether this  was   the  result  of  physical  habitat or  water quality
limitations  remains  unclear.

      On-site  bioassays  were designed to test  the  toxicity of  ammonia to  indi-
genous  fish and  invertebrate  species in  upstream (Control  Zone)  water, 1/4
non-chlorinated effluent and 3/4 Control Zone water, 1/4 chlorinated effluent
and  3/4 Control  Zone water and a  standard  reconstituted  laboratory water.
Tests  were  also conducted  during  winter  and  late  summer to  evaluate the
influence  of seasonal  temperature differences  on ammonia  toxicity.

      Results  of  these  tests indicated  no  significant  difference  between
laboratory water and  site  water.   However,  significant differences occurred


between the winter and late summer  tests,  and  between tests with Control Zone
water and 1/4 effluent:  3/4 control zone water tests.

      These differences were attributed to differences in test temperature and
pH which  occurred between  the  two testing regimes.   Although  the  EPA draft
water quality criteria document  (USEPA  1983)  incorporates  a correction factor
for pH  differences,  evidence  exists here  that various  temperatures  may also
cause significant difference in test results.

JRB Associates.   1983.   Demonstration of the Site-Specific  Criteria  Modifica-
      tion Process:   Iowa  River,  Marshalltown,  Iowa.   Prepared  for  Criteria
      and  Standards  Division,  U.S.  Environmental  Protection  Agency.    EPA
      Contract 68-01-6388.

Karr, J.R.   1981.    Assessment  of Biotic  Integrity Using Fish  Communities.
      Fisheries  6(6):21-27.

USEPA. 1974.   Environmental Requirements and Pollution Tolerance of Freshwater
      Diatoms.   Office of  Research and  Development,  Cincinnati, Ohio.

USEPA.   1982.   Water  Quality  Standards Handbook  (Draft).   Office  of  Water
      Regulations  and Standards.

USEPA.   1983.  Water Quality Criteria for  the Protection of  Aquatic  Life  and
      Its Uses:   Ammonia (Final Draft).   Office  of Research  and Development,
      Duluth, Minnesota.

Weber, C,I.  1973.   Biological  Field and Laboratory Methods for Measuring  the
      Quality  of Surface  Waters  and  Effluents.   National  Environmental
      Research Center.   EPA-670/4-73-001.


                      Un-Named Tributary to Mulbery Creek
                        North Wilkesboro, North Carolina


A.  Site Description

Site  specific  work  was conducted  on  a  small un-named  tributary  (UT)  which
flows into  Mulberry  Creek near North  Wilkesboro.  Two mirror plating  plants--
Carolina Mirror  and  Gardner Mirror—discharge effluents containing copper  and
possibly silver  into UT  about two  miles above  its  confluence with  Mulberry

UT  begins,  as  a small  spring,  about nine-tenths of  a  mile north of  Carolina
Mirror.  It  is  characterized  by a  series of riffles and  pools,  and falls  about
70  feet  in elevation before  reaching the north  edge of Carolina Mirror.  The
bottom  is  rocky, with  occasional  sediment  deposits. The  water  is  clear  and
colorless and becomes well  aerated  as it flows through the  riffles.

The flow in  UT is  carried in a natural channel about 1.9 miles further to  its
confluence with Mulberry Creek. The  lower  reaches of  UT are shallow, but  rela-
tively wider than  near  the discharge  points.  The channel  bed  in this  section
is covered with small stones and leaf packs which  provide a  more suitable  habi-
tat for benthic macroinvertebrates than the sediment  layer  observed in  the  vi-
cinity of Carolina  Mirror.

Mulberry Creek is  considerably  larger than  UT,  being  some twenty-five  feet
wide and one to  one-and-a-half feet deep. Its flow passes  over a large riffle
just before the confluence, so would be well  aerated at this point.

B.  Discharge Treatment

Carolina Mirror  and  Gardner Mirror  treat  their  process wastewaters to remove
both copper  and  silver. Silver which is recovered  in the treatment process is
recycled through the mirror plating  line.  Any  silver  in  the effluent occurs at
concentrations  below the  50  ug/1  detection limit of  the analytical procedures
used by the State. Copper  is  less  successfully removed,  and may often  be  found
in the final effluent at concentrations greater than the 40  ug/1 detection lim-

C.  Approach to Criteria Modification

In response to  inquiries from EPA,  the State of North  Carolina  nominated sever-
al sites that it thought would be  suitable for a  test  of the criteria modifica-
tion  protocol. The  North Wilkesboro  site was  selected and  an  initial   site
visit conducted  in  September, 1981. A  schematic  diagram of the study area is
presented in Figure 1.

          Mirror 1(2)1—
Gardner Mirror
   Highway 268
Area stream
                          tributary. UT
                   FIGURE 1

The site visit was attended by  representatives  of  the  State of North Carolina,
Department of  Natural  Resources and  Community  Development; EPA,  Criteria  and
Standards Division;  EPA, Athens  laboratory;  Camp  Dresser &  McKee; and  Har-
brldge House. A  cursory  biological  survey was conducted of UT and of Mulberry
Creek. Subsequent discussion of the site  enabled development of a  Work Plan by
the State.

Based on the Work Plan,  the State  Invested  considerable  effort In  characteriz-
ing  the  water  chemistry of  the  Carolina  Mirror  effluent and the  receiving
waters (UT  and Mulberry  Creek)  and  in  conducting bioassays and  a  biological
survey of the receiving water.


A.  Water Chemistry Analysis

A  summary analysis of  the mirror-plating effluents was  provided by  the State.
While silver concentrations in  grab samples were below  detection  levels,  cop-
per levels were  often  high  in the vicinity of  the  discharges.  Measured copper
concentrations, which  ranged  as high as  140  ug/1  are  quite a  bit higher  than
the allowable instantaneous value of  6.3  ug/1,  at  a  hardness of 26 mg/1, which
would be calculated according  to the national  criteria  document for copper.

High  levels  for conductivity,  suspended  solids,  phenol, and  MBAS (methylene-
blue  active  substances,  i.e., detergents) were  also  detected   in  the vicinity
of the discharges.  As  would  be  expected, measured concentrations drop appre-
ciably after UT  joins  Mulberry  Creek, and, in  general Mulberry Creek does  not
appear to be affected  (from  the standpoint of water chemistry) by  the efflu-
ents carried by UT.

B.  Biological  Monitoring

State biologists visited the  demonstration site a  number of times  in order  to:
collect water samples for chemical  analysis;  sample the biota to determine  spe-
cies  diversity,  evenness and richness;  identify  resident  fish; collect resi-
dent  fish and  macroinvertebrates for toxicity  testing;  obtain site  water  for
the toxicity tests; and  to collect  fish  for  tissue analysis. Based on a quali-
tative survey,  rosyside  dace  and creek  chub  were  selected for toxicity test-
ing, and a sufficient number of fish collected to perform these tests.

Duplicate kick  samples of benthic  macroinvertebrates  were collected  from  six
stations. The  macroinvertebrates were identified,  and this information analy-
zed by the State. According to  criteria  developed  by biologists with the Divi-
sion  of  Environmental  Management,   the  65 percent  reduction  in taxa  richness
seen  below  the  discharge point is  an indication  of severe stress on  the  ben-
thos. A  biotic  index of 4.4  below  the  discharges  as well   as  the  reduction in
number of  intolerant organisms  (Ephemeroptera  and Trichoptera) from 12 to  1
also  indicates  poor  conditions. However,  biologic  conditions   had  improved by
the confluence,  and  there  is  no apparent adverse  effect in Mulberry Creek  be-
low the confluence.

C.  Toxicity Tests

Effluent samples  from  both  Carolina Mirror and  Gardner Mirror were collected
for toxicity testing. The results indicated to the State  that  there was  little
acute toxicity  to Daphnia pulex during  the 48-hour  test period. The test  was
repeated, with similar results. An in-situ "bioassay" was also conducted  using
common shiner collected from a nearby stream. Fish cages  were  placed in  UT  and
checked after a  six day  period. All the fish  were still alive and apparently
healthy  in  the  cage  placed  just above  the  confluence.  The  results  of  these
tests suggest that there  is little  acute  toxicity associated with the mirror
plant effluents and  their presence  in  UT water. However, the limited array of
macroinvertebrates found above  the  confluence  suggests  that  there may be  a tox-
ic fraction  in  the mirror plating effluents  which becomes concentrated  in UT

Static, 48-hour,  acute  toxicity  tests  were performed on  five species of  aqua-
tic fauna considered members of the  upper piedmont biota.  Three of these were
vertebrate species (fathead minnow, rosyside dace and creek chub) and two were
invertebrates (Daphnia  pulex  and Ephemera simulans).  All test organisms were
acclimated in site  water  for  at least four days. The site  water had been col-
lected from UT above Carolina Mirror and transported to the laboratory  for  use
both in acclimation and as bioassay dilution water.

Replicate tests  were performed  on  all   test  species  except the mayfly  (Ephe-
mera) which  could not  be found in adequate  numbers.  A probit analysis  using
the Statistical  Analysis System (SAS)  was performed to  determine  LC50 values.


To some  extent,  whether or not  the  mirror plating discharges have a signifi-
cant impact  on  UT becomes a value judgment.  While the benthic survey  shows a
significant change  in macroinvertebrate  populations immediately below the dis-
charges, there  appears  to be some recovery by  the time  flow reaches the con-
fluence of  UT and  Mulberry  Creek.  There  is  no  discernable adverse affect on
Mulberry Creek  due to UT. Based on  the in-situ "bioassay" conducted near  the
confluence,  it  would appear that  fish too are  not  adversely affected by  the
mirror plating effluents.

It is assumed in  this demonstration  that the  only  pollutant of consequence  be-
ing released to  UT is copper.  The national  criteria value for  copper at  a  hard-
ness of 26 mg/1  (as  measured in  UT)  is 6.3 ug/1 , a value which  is considerably
less than concentrations  measured in the vicinity  of the discharges. High cop-
per  levels  are  probably  not unusual.  If the  aquatic life  of UT has not been
severely affected by the frequent  occasions  when in-stream  copper concentra-
tions exceed the  national criteria (as  suggested by  the benthos  above  the con-
fluence, and the results of the in-situ bioassay),  we may then consider  modify-
ing  the  copper  criteria,  for UT specifically,  to a value  which reflects site
water effects on toxicity.

The national data base  used  to develop Individual water quality criteria com-
prises the  results  of  96-hour vertebrate bioassays  and 48-hour  invertebrate
bioassays. Unfortunately,  the  bioassays conducted as  part of this  demonstra-
tion are  all  48-hour tests  and  thus  should  not  be  compared with the  96-hour
results in  the national  data  base.  Nevertheless,  it will  be instructive  to
develop a  modified  copper  criterion  for  UT,  while emphasizing  that this  is
done for the purpose of illustration only.

A.  Water Effect Ratio Method

A site specific criterion for UT may  be derived by adjusting the national cri-
terion value by the ratio of  site  water  bioassay results to  laboratory water
results.  The geometric mean of  the  ratios  is  2.5,  as  seen  in  Table  1.

For  total  recoverable  copper,  the criterion  to protect  freshwater  aquatic
life, as  derived  using the  Guidelines, should  not  exceed the numerical value
in micrograms per liter given by:

       exp [0.94 x In(Hardness)  - 1.23]                                      (1)

The hardness of UT  water  after receiving  the two mirror plating discharges  is
26 mg/1. The instantaneous maximum  copper concentration calculated by  Equation
1 is  6.3  ug/1. Adjustment of  the  national  criterion  value  (6.3  ug/1) by  the
ratio of site  water  to  laboratory  water results yields a site specific copper
criterion of:

       (6.3 ug/l)(2.5) = 15.8 ug/1                                           (2)

B.  Resident Species Calculation

The  national  criterion for  a  given  pollutant  is determined analytically  or
graphically according  to  a  procedure  prescribed  by EPA's  Office  of  Research
and Development. The  procedure  is  described  in  detail  in the Federal  Register
of November 28, 1980.  The minimum  data base discussed in this early  presenta-
tion of the criteria calculation method has been  revised such that the  defini-
tion of minimum data base  will  be left to  the discretion  of  the states.

The information required for a site specific calculation is  displayed  in Table
2 and in Figure 2.  In the  procedure,  In LC50 values  are  grouped into  intervals
defined by  the LC50 for the most  sensitive  species  in the national  data base
for copper. The natural log  of the  LC50 of the most  sensitive species  (Daphnia
pulicaria, LC50 of 0.23 ug/1)  is -1.47. Each interval  has a  width of 0.25  log
units, thus  the  boundaries  of  these intervals  become  -1.47,  -1.22, -0.97,
4.03, 4.28.

                      TABLE 1.   ACUTE TOXICITY TESTS

                         48-HOUR LC5Q FOR COPPER

         Test                   Site           Lab
       Organism                 Water         Water

       Fathead*                  64            21
       Mayfly                    49
       Daphnia*                  30            14
       Creek Chub*               26
       Rosy Side Dace            26

       Geometric Mean            36.4          17.1          2.5
       Arithmetic Mean           39.0          17.5          2.6
National Copper Data Base
                                Site Water
             Organism         LC5Q   In LC5Q        Percent!le

           Rosyside Dace       26     3.26               20

           Creek Chub          26     3.26               40

           Daphnia             30     3.40               60

           Mayfly              49     3.89               80

           Fathead             64     4.16              100

     5.0 -I

                          Rosyside Dace

                          Creek Chub
                         PLOTTING POINTS

                         In LC50 PERCENTILE








                       FIGURE 2


The lowest two In LC50 values fall  in  the  interval  3.03  to 3.28.  The geometric
mean In  LC50 of 3.26  represents the  fortieth  percentile.  The next interval,
3.28 to  3.53,  includes the  In  LC50 for  Daphnia only.  The  table of  plotting
points shown in Figure 1  is generated in this manner.

Once the  points  are plotted, a  straight line  is drawn through the two  points
representing the most  sensitive  species in the  array. Since the derived  cri-
terion is intended to protect all but  the  most  sensitive 5 percent of  resident
aquatic life, a line drawn at the fifth percentile will  indicate the concentra-
tion which  should  not be  exceeded  in  order to  protect  95  percent of aquatic
life in the  receiving water.  In  this illustration  the  fifth  percentile corres-
ponds to an In LC50 of 3.0, or a  copper concentration of  20.1 ug/1 .

C.  Comparison of Criteria

The criteria developed in this investigation are compared in  Table 3.

                  TABLE 3.  ALTERNATIVE COPPER  CRITERIA,  ug/1

            National Criteria                          6.3
            Ratio Method Modification                15.8

            Resident Species Modification            20.1
It is interesting to note that the site water LC50 values indicated by the bio-
assays for  copper,  which cover a range from 26 ug/1 to  64  ug/1  (see  Table 1),
are  higher  (less restrictive) than the modified  criteria values  developed  by
the  ratio  method and  the resident species  method.  While the modified  values
may appear rather high at first—especially in contrast to the highly  conserva-
tive values that the States  have  become accustomed  to,  which  reflect  an  appli-
cation factor of 0.1—it must  be  remembered  that  they  reflect both the mitiga-
ting effect of  site water on  a  toxic pollutant,  and they  reflect a  procedure
which is  designed  to  protect  95  percent  of the  aquatic life in  a stream.  On
the other hand,  the method in  which an arbitrary  application  factor is used to
adjust laboratory water  bioassay results  does  not  take  site  specific  factors
into consideration, and  may  be so conservative  that  a  criterion  cannot realis-
tically be met.

The  resident  species  recalculation  procedure is labor intensive and  could re-
quire a  considerable  effort  to  collect a sufficient  number  of fish  or other
organisms for the required site water toxicity  tests.  While the  results  of the
resident species recalculation method might  be felt to  carry more weight than
a ratio method modification  performed with hatchery  fish, the ratio method re-
quires less manpower and less time to complete.


Toxicity test results are the most  important element in the site specific cri-
teria modification  protocol  investigated  in North Wilkesboro.  While  the ben-
thic  survey  and the  water  chemistry analysis  provide necessary  insight into
the biological  health of the receiving water,  and may point out problems that
would not be  reflected  in the bioassays,  it is the bioassay results which pro-
vide a basis  for modifying a national criterion number to reflect local condi-

The national  criteria numbers  are  based  on toxicity tests run  in laboratory
water and, thus, may  not adequately represent  site  water effects.  A site spe-
cific criterion  is  most easily developed  by adjusting the  national  criterion
number to reflect the differences observed in parallel sets of toxicity tests,
one set using site water as dilution water, the parallel set run in convention-
al fashion using laboratory water as dilution water.

There is a pronounced site  water effect seen  in  the  bioassays which points to
the conclusions  that: 1)  the toxicity of  copper  to aquatic life (fathead min-
now and Daphnia) is mitigated by water  from UT, and 2) that an adjustment to a
less stringent copper criterion may therefore be justified.

Whether such  an  adjustment  should  be based  directly  on the analyses presented
in this  report  would be controversial  since the  procedures  followed  were not
strictly in  accord with  the criteria  modification protocol  under investiga-
tion.  Whether or not  to  base an adjustment on the findings of this study would
fall  on the judgement of the State.

                                      U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE :  1984 0 - 430-744