Welcome to the State Water Resources Control Board Welcome to the California Environmental Protection Agency
Governor's Website Visit the Water Board Members Page
Agendas
My Water Quality
Performance Report
A Compilation of Water Quality Goals

A Compilation of Water Quality Goals

Quick Links

Water Quality Goals

This searchable database contains an extensive compendium of numeric water quality thresholds from the literature for over 860 chemical constituents and water quality parameters. Included are:

  • California and Federal Drinking Water Standards (MCLs)
  • California Public Health Goals (PHGs)
  • California State Notification and Response Levels for Drinking Water
  • Health Advisories, Water Quality Advisories, and Drinking Water Advisories
  • Suggested No-Adverse-Response Levels (SNARLs)
  • Cancer Risk Estimates
  • Health-based criteria from USEPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)
  • Proposition 65 Safe Harbor Levels
  • California Toxics Rule Criteria to Protect Human Health and Aquatic Life
  • California Ocean Plan Water Quality Objectives
  • USEPA Recommended Criteria to Protect Human Health and Aquatic Life
  • Agricultural Use Protective Limits
  • Taste and Odor Based Criteria

These thresholds may be used to assess whether beneficial uses of surface water or groundwater are likely to be impaired or threatened.

Water Quality Goals is technical information provided by staff of the State Water Resources Control Board, Office of Information Management and Analysis. It is intended to be used only as an informational tool and does not reflect State Water Board policy or regulation.

The information in the Water Quality Goals database is current as of September 9, 2011.

Water Quality Goals Database - Search

To avoid improper use of the numeric thresholds contained in the database, users are strongly encouraged to carefully review the Water Quality Goals Staff Report.

Explanatory Staff Report and Training Videos

  • Water Quality Goals Staff Report
    Explains, with examples, how the numeric thresholds in the Water Quality Goals database may be used to assess whether beneficial uses of surface water or groundwater are likely to be impaired or threatened. A summary of relevant statutes, regulations, plans, and policies and links to original references are included.
  • Water Quality Goals Training Videos
    • Introduction to Water Quality Goals - 1 hour, 5 minutes
      An introduction to the topic of water quality standards beneficial uses, water quality objectives, promulgated water quality criteria, water quality control plans and policies that affect allowable concentrations in water. Introduces the Water Quality Goals staff report, the searchable online database of numeric water quality thresholds, and assessment threshold selection algorithms. Originally presented as an online webinar of the California Water Quality Monitoring Collaboration Network on June 14, 2012.
    • Water Quality Goals, Water Boards Training Academy, Course WQ120 - 4 hours, 12 minutes
      Basic and essential training on the topic of water quality standards – beneficial uses, water quality objectives, promulgated water quality criteria, water quality control plans and policies that affect allowable concentrations in water. Familiarizes the user with the Water Quality Goals staff report, the searchable online database, four assessment threshold selection algorithms, and how these tools may be used to assess whether beneficial uses of surface water or groundwater are likely to be impaired or threatened. Originally presented to Water Board staff on July 20, 2011. These videos work best when viewed full-screen (F-11 key).

Water Quality-Based Assessment Thresholds

Assessment Thresholds Table (MS Excel format)
Based on the Assessment Threshold Algorithms in the Water Quality Goals Staff Report, this table presents numeric thresholds recommended to implement selected water quality objectives and promulgated water quality criteria, as well as assessment thresholds recommended to protect specified beneficial uses in groundwater, inland surface waters, enclosed bays and estuaries, and ocean waters.

Data Downloads

The data from the Water Quality Goals database are available for download.

Updates

envelope   Receive updates by email regarding changes to the Water Quality Goals database and staff report. Subscribe online to the “Water Quality Goals” email list.

Questions or Comments about Water Quality Goals?