Appendix I. Surface Water Quality Standards

Table 3. Summary of Massachusetts Surface Water Quality Standards (DEP 1996). Note: Italics are direct quotations.

Dissolved Oxygen

Class A, BCWF*, SA : 6.0 mg/L and > 75% saturation unless background conditions are lower

Class BWWF**, SB: 5.0 mg/L and > 60% saturation unless background conditions are lower

Class C: Not < 5.0 mg/L for more than 16 of any 24 hour period and not < 3.0 mg/L anytime unless background conditions are lower; levels cannot be lowered below 50% saturation due to a discharge

Class SC: Not < 5.0 mg/L for more than 16 of any 24 hour period and not < 4.0 mg/L anytime unless background conditions are lower; and 50% saturation; levels cannot be lowered below 50% saturation due to a discharge

Temperature

Class A: < 68F (20C) and D 1.5F (0.8C) for Cold Water and < 83F (28.3C) and D 1.5F (0.8C) for Warm Water

Class BCWF: < 68F (20C) and D3F (1.7C) due to a discharge

Class BWWF: < 83F (28.3C) and D3F (1.7C) in lakes, D5F (2.8C) in rivers

Class C, SC: <85F (29.4C) nor D5F (2.8C) due to a discharge

Class SA: <85F (29.4C) nor a maximum daily mean of 80F (26.7C) and D1.5F (0.8C)

Class SB: <85F (29.4C) nor a maximum daily mean of 80F (26.7C) and D1.5F (0.8C) between July through September and D 4.0F (2.2C) between October through June

pH

Class A, BCWF, BWWF: 6.5 8.3 and D0.5 outside the background range.

Class C: 6.5 9.0 and D1.0 outside the naturally occurring range.

Class SA, SB: 6.5 8.5 and D0.2 outside the normally occurring range.

Class SC: 6.5 9.0 and D0.5 outside the naturally occurring range.

Fecal Coliform Bacteria

Class A: an arithmetic mean of < 20 organisms /100 ml in any representative set of samples and < 10% of the samples > 100 organisms/100 ml.

Class B: a geometric mean of < 200 organisms /100 ml in any representative set of samples and < 10% of the samples > 400 organisms /100 ml. (This criterion can be applied on a seasonal basis at the discretion of the DEP.)

Class C: a geometric mean of < 1000 organisms /100ml, and < 10% of the samples > 2000 organisms/100 ml.

Class SA: approved Open Shellfish Areas: a geometric mean (MPN method) of < 14 organisms/100 ml and < 10% of the samples > 43 organisms/100 ml (MPN method).

Waters not designated for shellfishing: < a geometric mean of 200 organisms in any representative set of samples, and < 10% of the samples > 400 organisms /100 ml. (This criterion can be applied on a seasonal basis at the discretion of the DEP.)

Class SB: approved Restricted Shellfish Areas: < a fecal coliform median or geometric mean (MPN method) of 88 organisms/100 ml and < 10% of the samples > 260 organisms /100 ml (MPN method).

Waters not designated for shellfishing: < a geometric mean of 200 organisms in any representative set of samples, and < 10% of the samples > 400 organisms /100 ml. (This criterion can be applied on a seasonal basis at the discretion of the DEP.)

Class SC: < a geometric mean of 1000 organisms/100 ml and < 10% of the samples > 2000 organisms/100ml.

Solids

All Classes: These waters shall be free from floating, suspended, and settleable solids in concentrations or combinations that would impair any use assigned to each class, that would cause aesthetically objectionable conditions, or that would impair the benthic biota or degrade the chemical composition of the bottom.

Color and Turbidity

All Classes: These waters shall be free from color and turbidity in concentrations or combinations that are aesthetically objectionable or would impair any use.

Oil & Grease

Class A, SA: Waters shall be free from oil and grease, petrochemicals and other volatile or synthetic organic pollutants.

Class SA: Waters shall be free from oil and grease and petrochemicals.

Class B, C,SB, SC: Waters shall be free from oil and grease, petrochemicals that produce a visible film on the surface of the water, impart an oily taste to the water or an oily or other undesirable taste to the edible portions of aquatic life, coat the banks or bottom of the water course or are deleterious or become toxic to aquatic life.

Taste and Odor

Class A, SA: None other than of natural origin.

Class B, C,SB, SC: None in such concentrations or combinations that are aesthetically objectionable, that would impair any use assigned to each class, or that would cause tainting or undesirable flavors in the edible portions of aquatic life.

Aesthetics

All Classes: All surface waters shall be free from pollutants in concentrations or combinations that settle to form objectionable deposits; float as debris, scum or other matter to form nuisances; produce objectionable odor, color, taste or turbidity; or produce undesirable or nuisance species of aquatic life.

Toxic Pollutants ~

All Classes: All surface waters shall be free from pollutants in concentrations or combinations that are toxic to humans, aquatic life or wildlife The division shall use the recommended limit published by EPA pursuant to 33 USC 1251, 304(a) as the allowable receiving water concentrations for the affected waters unless a site-specific limit is established.

Nutrients

Shall not exceed the site-specific limits necessary to control accelerated or cultural eutrophication.

*Class BCWF = Class B Cold Water Fishery, ** Class BWWF = Class B Warm Water Fishery, D criterion (referring to a change from ambient) is applied to the effects of a permitted discharge. ~ EPA. 19 November 1999. Federal Register Document. [Online]. United States Environmental Protection Agency. http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-WATER/1998/December/Day-10/w30272.htm.





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