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State Water Board: Water Quality Programs

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Waste Disposal

  • Land Disposal Program - California Code of Regulations (CCR) Title 23, (Chapter 15) contains the regulatory requirements for hazardous waste. CCR Title 27, contains the regulatory requirements for wastes other than hazardous waste

Water Quality Assessment

The Federal Clean Water Act (CWA) gives States the primary responsibility for protecting and restoring surface water quality. Under the CWA, States that administer the CWA must review, make necessary changes, and submit the CWA section 303(d) list to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S.EPA). CWA Section 305(b) requires each State to report biennially to U.S.EPA, on the condition of its surface water quality. The U.S.EPA has issued guidance to States which requires the two reports to be integrated. For California, this combined report is called the California 303(d)/305(b) Integrated Report.

For 303(d), State and Regional Water Boards assess water quality monitoring data for California’s surface waters every two years to determine if they contain pollutants at levels that exceed protective water quality standards. Water body and pollutants that exceed protective water quality standards are placed on the State’s 303(d) List. This determination in California is governed by the Water Quality Control Policy for developing California’s Clean Water Act Section 303(d) List. U.S.EPA must approve the 303(d) List before it is considered final.

Placement of a water body and pollutant that exceeds protective water quality standards on the 303(d) List, initiates the development of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). In some cases other regulatory programs will address the impairment instead of a TMDL.

For 305(b) Report, State and Regional Water Boards place the water body segment that were assessed into one of U.S.EPA’s five Integrated Report beneficial use report category. For this assessment available data are used to evaluate most common beneficial uses including aquatic life, drinking water supply, fish consumption non-contact recreational, and swimming.

  • A Compilation of Water Quality Goals
    Numeric water quality thresholds from the literature for over 860 chemical constituents and water quality parameters. The text of the report explains, with examples, how these thresholds may be used to assess protection of beneficial uses of water resources in the context of California's quality standards. A summary of relevant statutes, regulations, plans, and policies and links to original references are included.
  • Statewide Mercury Program
  • TMDL - Total Maximum Daily Load Program
  • Integrated Reports
    • Integrated Report Status Update
    • Letter to U.S.EPA dated July 15, 2013
    • 2012 Integrated Report (CWA Section 303(d) List / 305(b) Report)
      The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) sent a Notice of Public Solicitation of Water Quality Data and Information for 2012 Integrated Report on January 19, 2010. The deadline for submittal of the data was extended from June 30 to August 30, 2010. Information gathered will be used for assessing overall surface water quality conditions and identifying impaired waters (waters not meeting water quality standards), for the development of the 2012 California Integrated Report. State Water Board received over 100 data submissions. Each data submission includes multiple data sets for one or more pollutants. Data sources included government agencies, municipalities, environmental groups, citizen groups, and receiving water data from the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) dischargers.
    • 2010 Integrated Report (CWA Section 303(d) List / 305(b) Report)
      On October 11, 2011, the U.S.EPA issued its final decision regarding the water bodies and pollutants added to California's 303(d) List. This replaces the 2006 California Clean Water Act 303(d) List as California's current 303(d) List.
    • Previous 303(d) Lists and 305(b) Reports
      The 2010 Integrated Report is the first Integrated Report developed for the State of California. Previous assessments were developed by the State Water Board in separate documents and can be found at the following links:
    • Listing-Delisting Policy

Water Quality Certification (CWA 401)

Water Quality Monitoring

Water Recycling

Water Rights

Watershed