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State
Washington Regulations
Chapter 173-201A WAC Water quality standards for surface waters of the state of washington

Last Update: 7/1/03



DISPOSITIONS OF SECTIONS FORMERLY CODIFIED IN THIS CHAPTER
173-201A-030 General water use and criteria classes. [Statutory Authority: Chapter 90.48 RCW and 40 CFR 131. 97-23-064 (Order 94-19), 173-201A-030, filed 11/18/97, effective 12/19/97. Statutory Authority: Chapter 90.48 RCW. 92-24-037 (Order 92-29), 173-201A-030, filed 11/25/92, effective 12/26/92.] Repealed by 03-14-129 (Order 02-14), filed 7/1/03, effective 8/1/03. Statutory Authority: Chapters 90.48 and 90.54 RCW.
173-201A-040 Toxic substances. [Statutory Authority: Chapter 90.48 RCW and 40 CFR 131. 97-23-064 (Order 94-19), 173-201A-040, filed 11/18/97, effective 12/19/97. Statutory Authority: Chapter 90.48 RCW. 92-24-037 (Order 92-29), 173-201A-040, filed 11/25/92, effective 12/26/92.] Amended and decodified by 03-14-129 (Order 02-14), filed 7/1/03, effective 8/1/03. Statutory Authority: Chapters 90.48 and 90.54 RCW. Recodified as 173 -201A-240.
173-201A-050 Radioactive substances. [Statutory Authority: Chapter 90.48 RCW and 40 CFR 131. 97-23-064 (Order 94-19), 173-201A-050, filed 11/18/97, effective 12/19/97. Statutory Authority: Chapter 90.48 RCW. 92-24-037 (Order 92-29), 173-201A-050, filed 11/25/92, effective 12/26/92.] Decodified by 03-14-129 (Order 02-14), filed 7/1/03, effective 8/1/03. Statutory Authority: Chapters 90.48 and 90.54 RCW. Recodified as 173-201A-250.
173-201A-060 General considerations. [Statutory Authority: Chapter 90.48 RCW and 40 CFR 131. 97-23-064 (Order 94-19), 173-201A-060, filed 11/18/97, effective 12/19/97. Statutory Authority: Chapter 90.48 RCW. 92-24-037 (Order 92-29), 173-201A-060, filed 11/25/92, effective 12/26/92.] Repealed by 03-14-129 (Order 02-14), filed 7/1/03, effective 8/1/03. Statutory Authority: Chapters 90.48 and 90.54 RCW.
173-201A-070 Antidegradation. [Statutory Authority: Chapter 90.48 RCW. 92-24-037 (Order 92-29), 173-201A-070, filed 11/25/92, effective 12/26/92.] Repealed by 03-14-129 (Order 02-14), filed 7/1/03, effective 8/1/03. Statutory Authority: Chapters 90.48 and 90.54 RCW.
173-201A-080 Outstanding resource waters. [Statutory Authority: Chapter 90.48 RCW. 92-24-037 (Order 92-29), 173-201A-080, filed 11/25/92, effective 12/26/92.] Repealed by 03-14-129 (Order 02-14), filed 7/1/03, effective 8/1/03. Statutory Authority: Chapters 90.48 and 90.54 RCW.
173-201A-100 Mixing zones. [Statutory Authority: Chapter 90.48 RCW. 92-24-037 (Order 92-29), 173-201A-100, filed 11/25/92, effective 12/26/92.] Amended and decodified by 03-14-129 (Order 02-14), filed 7/1/03, effective 8/1/03. Statutory Authority: Chapters 90.48 and 90.54 RCW. Recodified as 173-201A-400.
173-201A-110 Short-term modifications. [Statutory Authority: Chapter 90.48 RCW and 40 CFR 131. 97-23-064 (Order 94-19), 173-201A-110, filed 11/18/97, effective 12/19/97. Statutory Authority: Chapter 90.48 RCW. 92-24-037 (Order 92-29), 173-201A-110, filed 11/25/92, effective 12/26/92.] Amended and decodified by 03-14-129 (Order 02-14), filed 7/1/03, effective 8/1/03. Statutory Authority: Chapters 90.48 and 90.54 RCW. Recodified as 173-201A-410.
173-201A-120 General classifications. [Statutory Authority: Chapter 90.48 RCW. 92-24-037 (Order 92-29), 173-201A-120, filed 11/25/92, effective 12/26/92.] Repealed by 03-14-129 (Order 02-14), filed 7/1/03, effective 8/1/03. Statutory Authority: Chapters 90.48 and 90.54 RCW.
173-201A-130 Specific classifications -- Freshwater. [Statutory Authority: Chapter 90.48 RCW and 40 CFR 131. 97-23-064 (Order 94-19), 173-201A-130, filed 11/18/97, effective 12/19/97. Statutory Authority: Chapter 90.48 RCW. 92-24-037 (Order 92-29), 173-201A-130, filed 11/25/92, effective 12/26/92.] Repealed by 03-14-129 (Order 02-14), filed 7/1/03, effective 8/1/03. Statutory Authority: Chapters 90.48 and 90.54 RCW.
173-201A-140 Specific classifications -- Marine water. [Statutory Authority: Chapter 90.48 RCW and 40 CFR 131. 97-23-064 (Order 94-19), 173-201A-140, filed 11/18/97, effective 12/19/97. Statutory Authority: Chapter 90.48 RCW. 92-24-037 (Order 92-29), 173-201A-140, filed 11/25/92, effective 12/26/92.] Repealed by 03-14-129 (Order 02-14), filed 7/1/03, effective 8/1/03. Statutory Authority: Chapters 90.48 and 90.54 RCW.
173-201A-150 Achievement considerations. [Statutory Authority: Chapter 90.48 RCW. 92-24-037 (Order 92-29), 173-201A-150, filed 11/25/92, effective 12/26/92.] Decodified by 03-14-129 (Order 02-14), filed 7/1/03, effective 8/1/03. Statutory Authority: Chapters 90.48 and 90.54 RCW. Recodified as 173-201A-500.
173-201A-160 Implementation. [Statutory Authority: Chapter 90.48 RCW and 40 CFR 131. 97-23-064 (Order 94-19), 173-201A-160, filed 11/18/97, effective 12/19/97. Statutory Authority: Chapter 90.48 RCW. 92-24-037 (Order 92-29), 173-201A-160, filed 11/25/92, effective 12/26/92.] Amended and decodified by 03-14-129 (Order 02-14), filed 7/1/03, effective 8/1/03. Statutory Authority: Chapters 90.48 and 90.54 RCW. Recodified as 173-201A-510.
173-201A-170 Surveillance. [Statutory Authority: Chapter 90.48 RCW. 92-24-037 (Order 92-29), 173-201A-170, filed 11/25/92, effective 12/26/92.] Amended and decodified by 03-14-129 (Order 02-14), filed 7/1/03, effective 8/1/03. Statutory Authority: Chapters 90.48 and 90.54 RCW. Recodified as 173-201A-520.
173-201A-180 Enforcement. [Statutory Authority: Chapter 90.48 RCW. 92-24-037 (Order 92-29), 173-201A-180, filed 11/25/92, effective 12/26/92.] Decodified by 03-14-129 (Order 02-14), filed 7/1/03, effective 8/1/03. Statutory Authority: Chapters 90.48 and 90.54 RCW. Recodified as 173-201A-530.



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173-201A-010
Purpose.
(1) The purpose of this chapter is to establish water quality standards for surface waters of the state of Washington consistent with public health and public enjoyment of the waters and the propagation and protection of fish, shellfish, and wildlife, pursuant to the provisions of chapter 90.48 RCW. All actions must comply with this chapter. As part of this chapter:

(a) All surface waters are protected by narrative criteria, designated uses, and an antidegradation policy.

(b) Based on the use designations, numeric and narrative criteria are assigned to a water body to protect the existing and designated uses.

(c) Where multiple criteria for the same water quality parameter are assigned to a water body to protect different uses, the most stringent criteria for each parameter is to be applied.

(2) Surface waters of the state include lakes, rivers, ponds, streams, inland waters, saltwaters, wetlands, and all other surface waters and water courses within the jurisdiction of the state of Washington.

(3) This chapter will be reviewed periodically by the department and appropriate revisions will be undertaken.

(4) WAC 173-201A-200 through 173-201A-260 describe the designated water uses and criteria for the state of Washington. These criteria were established based on existing and potential water uses of the surface waters of the state. Consideration was also given to both the natural water quality potential and its limitations. Compliance with the surface water quality standards of the state of Washington requires compliance with chapter 173-201A WAC, Water quality standards for surface waters of the state of Washington, chapter 173-204 WAC, Sediment management standards, and applicable federal rules.



[Statutory Authority: Chapters 90.48 and 90.54 RCW. 03-14-129 (Order 02-14), 173-201A-010, filed 7/1/03, effective 8/1/03. Statutory Authority: Chapter 90.48 RCW. 92-24-037 (Order 92-29), 173-201A-010, filed 11/25/92, effective 12/26/92.]




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173-201A-020
Definitions.
The following definitions are intended to facilitate the use of chapter 173-201A WAC:

"1-DMax" or "1-day maximum temperature" is the highest water temperature reached on any given day. This measure can be obtained using calibrated maximum/minimum thermometers or continuous monitoring probes having sampling intervals of thirty minutes or less.

"7-DADMax" or "7-day average of the daily maximum temperatures" is the arithmetic average of seven consecutive measures of daily maximum temperatures. The 7-DADMax for any individual day is calculated by averaging that day's daily maximum temperature with the daily maximum temperatures of the three days prior and the three days after that date.

"Action value" means a total phosphorus (TP) value established at the upper limit of the trophic states in each ecoregion. Exceedance of an action value indicates that a problem is suspected. A lake-specific study may be needed to confirm if a nutrient problem exits.

"Actions" refers broadly to any human projects or activities.

"Acute conditions" are changes in the physical, chemical, or biologic environment which are expected or demonstrated to result in injury or death to an organism as a result of short-term exposure to the substance or detrimental environmental condition.

"AKART" is an acronym for "all known, available, and reasonable methods of prevention, control, and treatment." AKART shall represent the most current methodology that can be reasonably required for preventing, controlling, or abating the pollutants associated with a discharge. The concept of AKART applies to both point and nonpoint sources of pollution. The term "best management practices," typically applied to nonpoint source pollution controls is considered a subset of the AKART requirement.

"Background" means the biological, chemical, and physical conditions of a water body, outside the area of influence of the discharge under consideration. Background sampling locations in an enforcement action would be up-gradient or outside the area of influence of the discharge. If several discharges to any water body exist, and enforcement action is being taken for possible violations to the standards, background sampling would be undertaken immediately up-gradient from each discharge.

"Best management practices (BMP)" means physical, structural, and/or managerial practices approved by the department that, when used singularly or in combination, prevent or reduce pollutant discharges.

"Biological assessment" is an evaluation of the biological condition of a water body using surveys of aquatic community structure and function and other direct measurements of resident biota in surface waters.

"Bog" means those wetlands that are acidic, peat forming, and whose primary water source is precipitation, with little, if any, outflow.

"Carcinogen" means any substance or agent that produces or tends to produce cancer in humans. For implementation of this chapter, the term carcinogen will apply to substances on the United States Environmental Protection Agency lists of A (known human) and B (probable human) carcinogens, and any substance which causes a significant increased incidence of benign or malignant tumors in a single, well conducted animal bioassay, consistent with the weight of evidence approach specified in the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Guidelines for Carcinogenic Risk Assessment as set forth in 51 FR 33992 et seq. as presently published or as subsequently amended or republished.

"Chronic conditions" are changes in the physical, chemical, or biologic environment which are expected or demonstrated to result in injury or death to an organism as a result of repeated or constant exposure over an extended period of time to a substance or detrimental environmental condition.

"Created wetlands" means those wetlands intentionally created from nonwetland sites to produce or replace natural wetland habitat.

"Critical condition" is when the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of the receiving water environment interact with the effluent to produce the greatest potential adverse impact on aquatic biota and existing or designated water uses. For steady-state discharges to riverine systems the critical condition may be assumed to be equal to the 7Q10 flow event unless determined otherwise by the department.

"Damage to the ecosystem" means any demonstrated or predicted stress to aquatic or terrestrial organisms or communities of organisms which the department reasonably concludes may interfere in the health or survival success or natural structure of such populations. This stress may be due to, but is not limited to, alteration in habitat or changes in water temperature, chemistry, or turbidity, and shall consider the potential build up of discharge constituents or temporal increases in habitat alteration which may create such stress in the long term.

"Department" means the state of Washington department of ecology.

"Designated uses" are those uses specified in this chapter for each water body or segment, regardless of whether or not the uses are currently attained.

"Director" means the director of the state of Washington department of ecology.

"Drainage ditch" means that portion of a designed and constructed conveyance system that serves the purpose of transporting surplus water; this may include natural water courses or channels incorporated in the system design, but does not include the area adjacent to the water course or channel.

"Ecoregions" are defined using EPAs Ecoregions of the Pacific Northwest Document No. 600/3-86/033 July 1986 by Omernik and Gallant.

"Enterococci" refers to a subgroup of the fecal streptococci that includes S. faecalis, S. faecium, S. gallinarum, and S. avium. The enterococci are differentiated from other streptococci by their ability to grow in 6.5% sodium chloride, at pH 9.6, and at 10C and 45C.

"E. coli" or "Escherichia coli" is an aerobic and facultative gram negative nonspore forming rod shaped bacterium that can grow at 44.5 degrees Celsius that is ortho-nitrophenyl-B-D-galactopyranoside (ONPG) positive and Methylumbelliferyl glucuronide (MUG) positive.

"Existing uses" means those uses actually attained in fresh or marine waters on or after November 28, 1975, whether or not they are designated uses. Introduced species that are not native to Washington, and put-and-take fisheries comprised of nonself-replicating introduced native species, do not need to receive full support as an existing use.

"Extraordinary primary contact" means waters providing extraordinary protection against waterborne disease or that serve as tributaries to extraordinary quality shellfish harvesting areas.

"Fecal coliform" means that portion of the coliform group which is present in the intestinal tracts and feces of warm-blooded animals as detected by the product of acid or gas from lactose in a suitable culture medium within twenty-four hours at 44.5 plus or minus 0.2 degrees Celsius.

"Geometric mean" means either the nth root of a product of n factors, or the antilogarithm of the arithmetic mean of the logarithms of the individual sample values.

"Ground water exchange" means the discharge and recharge of ground water to a surface water. Discharge is inflow from an aquifer, seeps or springs that increases the available supply of surface water. Recharge is outflow downgradient to an aquifer or downstream to surface water for base flow maintenance. Exchange may include ground water discharge in one season followed by recharge later in the year.

"Hardness" means a measure of the calcium and magnesium salts present in water. For purposes of this chapter, hardness is measured in milligrams per liter and expressed as calcium carbonate (CaCO3).

"Irrigation ditch" means that portion of a designed and constructed conveyance system that serves the purpose of transporting irrigation water from its supply source to its place of use; this may include natural water courses or channels incorporated in the system design, but does not include the area adjacent to the water course or channel.

"Lakes" shall be distinguished from riverine systems as being water bodies, including reservoirs, with a mean detention time of greater than fifteen days.

"Lake-specific study" means a study intended to quantify existing nutrient concentrations, determine existing characteristic uses for lake class waters, and potential lake uses. The study determines how to protect these uses and if any uses are lost or impaired because of nutrients, algae, or aquatic plants. An appropriate study must recommend a criterion for total phosphorus (TP), total nitrogen (TN) in g/l, or other nutrient that impairs characteristic uses by causing excessive algae blooms or aquatic plant growth.

"Mean detention time" means the time obtained by dividing a reservoir's mean annual minimum total storage by the thirty-day ten-year low-flow from the reservoir.

"Migration or translocation" means any natural movement of an organism or community of organisms from one locality to another locality.

"Mixing zone" means that portion of a water body adjacent to an effluent outfall where mixing results in the dilution of the effluent with the receiving water. Water quality criteria may be exceeded in a mixing zone as conditioned and provided for in WAC 173-201A-400.

"Natural conditions" or "natural background levels" means surface water quality that was present before any human-caused pollution. When estimating natural conditions in the headwaters of a disturbed watershed it may be necessary to use the less disturbed conditions of a neighboring or similar watershed as a reference condition. (See also WAC 173-201A-260(1).)

"New or expanded actions" mean human actions that occur or are regulated for the first time, or human actions expanded such that they result in an increase in pollution, after July 1, 2003, for the purpose of applying this chapter only.

"Nonpoint source" means pollution that enters any waters of the state from any dispersed land-based or water-based activities, including but not limited to atmospheric deposition, surface water runoff from agricultural lands, urban areas, or forest lands, subsurface or underground sources, or discharges from boats or marine vessels not otherwise regulated under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program.

"Permit" means a document issued pursuant to chapter 90.48 RCW specifying the waste treatment and control requirements and waste discharge conditions.

"pH" means the negative logarithm of the hydrogen ion concentration.

"Pollution" means such contamination, or other alteration of the physical, chemical, or biological properties, of any waters of the state, including change in temperature, taste, color, turbidity, or odor of the waters, or such discharge of any liquid, gaseous, solid, radioactive, or other substance into any waters of the state as will or is likely to create a nuisance or render such waters harmful, detrimental, or injurious to the public health, safety, or welfare, or to domestic, commercial, industrial, agricultural, recreational, or other legitimate beneficial uses, or to livestock, wild animals, birds, fish, or other aquatic life.

"Primary contact recreation" means activities where a person would have direct contact with water to the point of complete submergence including, but not limited to, skin diving, swimming, and water skiing.

"Secondary contact recreation" means activities where a person's water contact would be limited (e.g., wading or fishing) to the extent that bacterial infections of eyes, ears, respiratory or digestive systems, or urogenital areas would normally be avoided.

"Shoreline stabilization" means the anchoring of soil at the water's edge, or in shallow water, by fibrous plant root complexes; this may include long-term accretion of sediment or peat, along with shoreline progradation in such areas.

"Storm water" means that portion of precipitation that does not naturally percolate into the ground or evaporate, but flows via overland flow, interflow, pipes, and other features of a storm water drainage system into a defined surface water body, or a constructed infiltration facility.

"Storm water attenuation" means the process by which peak flows from precipitation are reduced and runoff velocities are slowed as a result of passing through a surface water body.

"Surface waters of the state" includes lakes, rivers, ponds, streams, inland waters, saltwaters, wetlands and all other surface waters and water courses within the jurisdiction of the state of Washington.

"Temperature" means water temperature expressed in degrees Celsius (C).

"Treatment wetlands" means those wetlands intentionally constructed on nonwetland sites and managed for the primary purpose of wastewater or storm water treatment. Treatment wetlands are considered part of a collection and treatment system, and generally are not subject to the criteria of this chapter.

"Trophic state" means a classification of the productivity of a lake ecosystem. Lake productivity depends on the amount of biologically available nutrients in water and sediments and may be based on total phosphorus (TP). Secchi depth and chlorophyll-a measurements may be used to improve the trophic state classification of a lake. Trophic states used in this rule include, from least to most nutrient rich, ultra-oligotrophic, oligotrophic, lower mesotrophic, upper mesotrophic, and eutrophic.

"Turbidity" means the clarity of water expressed as nephelometric turbidity units (NTU) and measured with a calibrated turbidimeter.

"Upwelling" means the natural process along Washington's Pacific Coast where the summer prevailing northerly winds produce a seaward transport of surface water. Cold, deeper more saline waters rich in nutrients and low in dissolved oxygen, rise to replace the surface water. The cold oxygen deficient water enters Puget Sound and other coastal estuaries at depth where it displaces the existing deep water and eventually rises to replace the surface water. Such surface water replacement results in an overall increase in salinity and nutrients accompanied by a depression in dissolved oxygen. Localized upwelling of the deeper water of Puget Sound can occur year-round under influence of tidal currents, winds, and geomorphic features.

"USEPA" means the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

"Wetlands" means areas that are inundated or saturated by surface water or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas. Wetlands do not include those artificial wetlands intentionally created from nonwetland sites, including, but not limited to, irrigation and drainage ditches, grass-lined swales, canals, detention facilities, wastewater treatment facilities, farm ponds, and landscape amenities, or those wetlands created after July 1, 1990, that were unintentionally created as a result of the construction of a road, street, or highway. Wetlands may include those artificial wetlands intentionally created from nonwetland areas to mitigate the conversion of wetlands. (Water bodies not included in the definition of wetlands as well as those mentioned in the definition are still waters of the state.)

"Wildlife habitat" means waters of the state used by, or that directly or indirectly provide food support to, fish, other aquatic life, and wildlife for any life history stage or activity.



[Statutory Authority: Chapters 90.48 and 90.54 RCW. 03-14-129 (Order 02-14), 173-201A-020, filed 7/1/03, effective 8/1/03. Statutory Authority: Chapter 90.48 RCW and 40 CFR 131. 97-23-064 (Order 94-19), 173-201A-020, filed 11/18/97, effective 12/19/97. Statutory Authority: Chapter 90.48 RCW. 92-24-037 (Order 92-29), 173-201A-020, filed 11/25/92, effective 12/26/92.]




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173-201A-200
Fresh water designated uses and criteria.
The following uses are designated for protection in fresh surface waters of the state. Use designations for water bodies are listed in WAC 173-201A-600 and 173-201A-602.

(1) Aquatic life uses. Aquatic life uses are designated using the following categories of key species. It is required that all indigenous fish and nonfish aquatic species be protected in waters of the state in addition to the key species described below.

(a) The categories for aquatic life uses are:

(i) Char. For the protection of spawning and early tributary rearing (e.g., first year juveniles) of native char (bull trout and Dolly Varden), and other associated aquatic life.

(ii) Salmon and trout spawning, core rearing, and migration. For the protection of spawning, core rearing, and migration of salmon and trout, and other associated aquatic life.

(iii) Salmon and trout spawning, noncore rearing, and migration. For the protection of spawning, noncore rearing, and migration of salmon and trout, and other associated aquatic life.

(iv) Salmon and trout rearing and migration only. For the protection of rearing and migration of salmon and trout, and other associated aquatic life.

(v) Non-anadromous interior redband trout. For the protection of waters where the only trout species is a non-anadromous form of self-reproducing interior redband trout (O. mykis), and other associated aquatic life.

(vi) Indigenous warm water species. For the protection of waters where the dominant species under natural conditions would be temperature tolerant indigenous nonsalmonid species. Examples include dace, redside shiner, chiselmouth, sucker, and northern pikeminnow.

(b) General criteria. General criteria that apply to all aquatic life fresh water uses are described in WAC 173-201A-260 (2)(a) and (b), and are for:

(i) Toxic, radioactive, and deleterious materials; and

(ii) Aesthetic values.

(c) Aquatic life temperature criteria. Except where noted, water temperature is measured by the 7-day average of the daily maximum temperatures (7-DADMax). Table 200 (1)(c) lists the temperature criteria for each of the aquatic life use categories.


Table 200 (1)(c)

Aquatic Life Temperature Criteria in Fresh Water

Category Highest 7-DADMax
Char 12C (53.6F)
Salmon and Trout Spawning, Core Rearing, and Migration 16C (60.8F)
Salmon and Trout Spawning, Noncore Rearing, and Migration 17.5C (63.5F)
Salmon and Trout Rearing and Migration Only 17.5C (63.5F)
Non-anadromous Interior Redband Trout 18C (64.4F)
Indigenous Warm Water Species 20C (68F)


(i) When a water body's temperature is warmer than the criteria in Table 200 (1)(c) (or within 0.3C (0.54F) of the criteria) and that condition is due to natural conditions, then human actions considered cumulatively may not cause the 7-DADMax temperature of that water body to increase more than 0.3C (0.54F).

(ii) When the natural condition of the water is cooler than the criteria in Table 200 (1)(c), the allowable rate of warming up to, but not exceeding, the numeric criteria from human actions is restricted as follows:

(A) Incremental temperature increases resulting from individual point source activities must not, at any time, exceed 28/(T+5) as measured at the edge of a mixing zone boundary (where "T" represents the background temperature as measured at a point or points unaffected by the discharge and representative of the highest ambient water temperature in the vicinity of the discharge); and

(B) Incremental temperature increases resulting from the combined effect of all nonpoint source activities in the water body must not, at any time, exceed 2.8C (5.04F).

(iii) Temperatures are not to exceed the criteria at a probability frequency of more than once every ten years on average.

(iv) Spawning and incubation protection. Where the department determines the temperature criteria established for a water body would likely not result in protective spawning and incubation temperatures, the following criteria apply:

Maximum 7-DADMax temperatures of 9C (48.2F) at the initiation of spawning and at fry emergence for char; and

Maximum 7-DADMax temperatures of 13C (55.4F) at the initiation of spawning for salmon and at fry emergence for salmon and trout.

The two criteria above are protective of incubation as long as human actions do not significantly disrupt the normal patterns of fall cooling and spring warming that provide significantly colder temperatures over the majority of the incubation period. The department will maintain a list of waters where the single-summer maximum criterion is not sufficient to protect spawning and incubation.

(v) For lakes, human actions considered cumulatively may not increase the 7-DADMax temperature more than 0.3C (0.54F) above natural conditions.

(vi) Temperature measurements should be taken to represent the dominant aquatic habitat of the monitoring site. This typically means samples should:

(A) Be taken from well mixed portions of rivers and streams; and

(B) Not be taken from shallow stagnant backwater areas, within isolated thermal refuges, at the surface, or at the water's edge.

(vii) The department will incorporate the following guidelines on preventing acute lethality and barriers to migration of salmonids into determinations of compliance with the narrative requirements for use protection established in this chapter (e.g., WAC 173-201A-310(1), 173-201A-400(4), and 173-201A-410 (1)(c)). The following site-level considerations do not, however, override the temperature criteria established for waters in subsection (1)(c) of this section or WAC 173-201A-602:

(A) Moderately acclimated (16-20C, or 60.8-68F) adult and juvenile salmonids will generally be protected from acute lethality by discrete human actions maintaining the 7-DADMax temperature at or below 22C (71.6F) and the 1-day maximum (1-DMax) temperature at or below 23C (73.4F).

(B) Lethality to developing fish embryos can be expected to occur at a 1-DMax temperature greater than 17.5C (63.5F).

(C) To protect aquatic organisms, discharge plume temperatures must be maintained such that fish could not be entrained (based on plume time of travel) for more than two seconds at temperatures above 33C (91.4F) to avoid creating areas that will cause near instantaneous lethality.

(D) Barriers to adult salmonid migration are assumed to exist any time the 1-DMax temperature is greater than 22C (71.6F) and the adjacent downstream water temperatures are 3C (5.4F) or more cooler.

(viii) Nothing in this chapter shall be interpreted to prohibit the establishment of effluent limitations for the control of the thermal component of any discharge in accordance with 33 U.S.C. 1326 (commonly known as section 316 of the Clean Water Act).

(d) Aquatic life dissolved oxygen (D.O.) criteria. The D.O. criteria are measured in milligrams per liter (mg/L). Table 200 (1)(d) lists the 1-day minimum D.O. for each of the aquatic life use categories.


Table 200 (1)(d)

Aquatic Life Dissolved Oxygen Criteria in Fresh Water

Category Lowest 1-Day Minimum
Char 9.5 mg/L
Salmon and Trout Spawning, Core Rearing, and Migration 9.5 mg/L
Salmon and Trout Spawning, Noncore Rearing, and Migration 8.0 mg/L
Salmon and Trout Rearing and Migration Only 6.5 mg/L
Non-anadromous Interior Redband Trout 8.0 mg/L
Indigenous Warm Water Species 6.5 mg/L

(i) When a water body's D.O. is lower than the criteria in Table 200 (1)(d) (or within 0.2 mg/L of the criteria) and that condition is due to natural conditions, then human actions considered cumulatively may not cause the D.O. of that water body to decrease more than 0.2 mg/L.

(ii) For lakes, human actions considered cumulatively may not decrease the dissolved oxygen concentration more than 0.2 mg/L below natural conditions.

(iii) Concentrations of D.O. are not to fall below the criteria in the table at a probability frequency of more than once every ten years on average.

(iv) D.O. measurements should be taken to represent the dominant aquatic habitat of the monitoring site. This typically means samples should:

(A) Be taken from well mixed portions of rivers and streams; and

(B) Not be taken from shallow stagnant backwater areas, within isolated thermal refuges, at the surface, or at the water's edge.

(e) Aquatic life turbidity criteria. Turbidity is measured in "nephelometric turbidity units" or "NTUs." Table 200 (1)(e) lists the maximum turbidity criteria for each of the aquatic life use categories.


Table 200 (1)(e)

Aquatic Life Turbidity Criteria in Fresh Water

Category NTUs
Char Turbidity shall not exceed:
5 NTU over background when the background is 50 NTU or less; or
A 10 percent increase in turbidity when the background turbidity is more than 50 NTU.
Salmon and Trout Spawning, Core Rearing, and Migration Same as above.
Salmon and Trout Spawning, Noncore Rearing, and Migration Same as above.
Salmon and Trout Rearing and Migration Only Turbidity shall not exceed:


10 NTU over background when the background is 50 NTU or less; or
A 20 percent increase in turbidity when the background turbidity is more than 50 NTU.
Non-anadromous Interior Redband Trout Turbidity shall not exceed:


5 NTU over background when the background is 50 NTU or less; or
A 10 percent increase in turbidity when the background turbidity is more than 50 NTU.
Indigenous Warm Water Species Turbidity shall not exceed:


10 NTU over background when the background is 50 NTU or less; or
A 20 percent increase in turbidity when the background turbidity is more than 50 NTU.

(i) The turbidity criteria established under WAC 173-201A-200 (1)(e) shall be modified, without specific written authorization from the department, to allow a temporary area of mixing during and immediately after necessary in-water construction activities that result in the disturbance of in-place sediments. This temporary area of mixing is subject to the constraints of WAC 173-201A-400 (4) and (6) and can occur only after the activity has received all other necessary local and state permits and approvals, and after the implementation of appropriate best management practices to avoid or minimize disturbance of in-place sediments and exceedances of the turbidity criteria. A temporary area of mixing shall be as follows:

(A) For waters up to 10 cfs flow at the time of construction, the point of compliance shall be one hundred feet downstream from the activity causing the turbidity exceedance.

(B) For waters above 10 cfs up to 100 cfs flow at the time of construction, the point of compliance shall be two hundred feet downstream of the activity causing the turbidity exceedance.

(C) For waters above 100 cfs flow at the time of construction, the point of compliance shall be three hundred feet downstream of the activity causing the turbidity exceedance.

(D) For projects working within or along lakes, ponds, wetlands, estuaries, marine waters or other nonflowing waters, the point of compliance shall be at a radius of one hundred fifty feet from the activity causing the turbidity exceedance.

(f) Aquatic life total dissolved gas (TDG) criteria. TDG is measured in percent saturation. Table 200 (1)(f) lists the maximum TDG criteria for each of the aquatic life use categories.


Table 200 (1)(f)

Aquatic Life Total Dissolved Gas Criteria in Fresh Water

Category Percent Saturation
Char Total dissolved gas shall not exceed 110 percent of saturation at any point of sample collection.
Salmon and Trout Spawning, Core Rearing, and Migration Same as above.
Salmon and Trout Spawning, Noncore Rearing, and Migration Same as above.
Salmon and Trout Rearing and Migration Only Same as above.
Non-anadromous Interior Redband Trout Same as above.
Indigenous Warm Water Species Same as above.


(i) The water quality criteria established in this chapter for TDG shall not apply when the stream flow exceeds the seven-day, ten-year frequency flood.

(ii) The TDG criteria may be adjusted to aid fish passage over hydroelectric dams when consistent with a department approved gas abatement plan. This plan must be accompanied by fisheries management and physical and biological monitoring plans. The elevated TDG levels are intended to allow increased fish passage without causing more harm to fish populations than caused by turbine fish passage. The following special fish passage exemptions for the Snake and Columbia rivers apply when spilling water at dams is necessary to aid fish passage:

TDG must not exceed an average of one hundred fifteen percent as measured in the forebays of the next downstream dams and must not exceed an average of one hundred twenty percent as measured in the tailraces of each dam (these averages are measured as an average of the twelve highest consecutive hourly readings in any one day, relative to atmospheric pressure); and

A maximum TDG one hour average of one hundred twenty-five percent must not be exceeded during spillage for fish passage.

(g) Aquatic life pH criteria. Measurement of pH is expressed as the negative logarithm of the hydrogen ion concentration. Table 200 (1)(g) lists the pH levels for each of the aquatic life use categories.


Table 200 (1) (g)

Aquatic Life pH Criteria in Fresh Water

Use Category pH Units
Char pH shall be within the range of 6.5 to 8.5, with a human-caused variation within the above range of less than 0.2 units.
Salmon and Trout Spawning, Core Rearing, and Migration Same as above.
Salmon and Trout Spawning, Noncore Rearing, and Migration pH shall be within the range of 6.5 to 8.5 with a human-caused variation within the above range of less than 0.5 units.
Salmon and Trout Rearing and Migration Only Same as above.
Non-anadromous Interior Redband Trout Same as above.
Indigenous Warm Water Species Same as above.


(2) Recreational uses. The recreational uses are extraordinary primary contact recreation, primary contact recreation, and secondary contact recreation.

(a) General criteria. General criteria that apply to fresh water recreational uses are described in WAC 173-201A-260 (2)(a) and (b), and are for:

(i) Toxic, radioactive, and deleterious materials; and

(ii) Aesthetic values.

(b) Water contact recreation bacteria criteria. Table 200 (2)(b) lists the bacteria criteria to protect water contact recreation in fresh waters.


Table 200 (2)(b)

Water Contact Recreation Bacteria Criteria in Fresh Water

Category Bacteria Indicator
Extraordinary Primary Contact Recreation Fecal coliform organism levels must not exceed a geometric mean value of 50 colonies/100 mL, with not more than 10 percent of all samples (or any single sample when less than ten sample points exist) obtained for calculating the geometric mean value exceeding 100 colonies/100 mL.
Primary Contact Recreation Fecal coliform organism levels must not exceed a geometric mean value of 100 colonies /100 mL, with not more than 10 percent of all samples (or any single sample when less than ten sample points exist) obtained for calculating the geometric mean value exceeding 200 colonies /100 mL.
Secondary Contact Recreation Fecal coliform organism levels must not exceed a geometric mean value of 200 colonies/100 mL, with not more than 10 percent of all samples (or any single sample when less than ten sample points exist) obtained for calculating the geometric mean value exceeding 400 colonies /100 mL.


(i) When averaging bacteria sample data for comparison to the geometric mean criteria, it is preferable to average by season and include five or more data collection events within each period. Averaging of data collected beyond a thirty-day period, or beyond a specific discharge event under investigation, is not permitted when such averaging would skew the data set so as to mask noncompliance periods. The period of averaging should not exceed twelve months, and should have sample collection dates well distributed throughout the reporting period.

(ii) When determining compliance with the bacteria criteria in or around small sensitive areas, such as swimming beaches, it is recommended that multiple samples are taken throughout the area during each visit. Such multiple samples should be arithmetically averaged together (to reduce concerns with low bias when the data is later used in calculating a geometric mean) to reduce sample variability and to create a single representative data point.

(iii) As determined necessary by the department, more stringent bacteria criteria may be established for rivers and streams that cause, or significantly contribute to, the decertification or conditional certification of commercial or recreational shellfish harvest areas, even when the preassigned bacteria criteria for the river or stream are being met.

(iv) Where information suggests that sample results are due primarily to sources other than warm-blooded animals (e.g., wood waste), alternative indicator criteria may be established on a site-specific basis by the department.

(3) Water supply uses. The water supply uses are domestic, agricultural, industrial, and stock watering.

General criteria. General criteria that apply to the water supply uses are described in WAC 173-201A-260 (2)(a) and (b), and are for:

(a) Toxic, radioactive, and deleterious materials; and

(b) Aesthetic values.

(4) Miscellaneous uses. The miscellaneous fresh water uses are wildlife habitat, harvesting, commerce and navigation, boating, and aesthetics.

General criteria. General criteria that apply to miscellaneous fresh water uses are described in WAC 173-201A-260 (2)(a) and (b), and are for:

(a) Toxic, radioactive, and deleterious materials; and

(b) Aesthetic values.



[Statutory Authority: Chapters 90.48 and 90.54 RCW. 03-14-129 (Order 02-14), 173-201A-200, filed 7/1/03, effective 8/1/03.]




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173-201A-210
Marine water designated uses and criteria.
The following uses are designated for protection in marine surface waters of the state of Washington. Use designations for specific water bodies are listed in WAC 173-201A-612.

(1) Aquatic life uses. Aquatic life uses are designated using the following general categories. It is required that all indigenous fish and nonfish aquatic species be protected in waters of the state.

(a) The categories for aquatic life uses are:

(i) Extraordinary quality salmonid and other fish migration, rearing, and spawning; clam, oyster, and mussel rearing and spawning; crustaceans and other shellfish (crabs, shrimp, crayfish, scallops, etc.) rearing and spawning.

(ii) Excellent quality salmonid and other fish migration, rearing, and spawning; clam, oyster, and mussel rearing and spawning; crustaceans and other shellfish (crabs, shrimp, crayfish, scallops, etc.) rearing and spawning.

(iii) Good quality salmonid migration and rearing; other fish migration, rearing, and spawning; clam, oyster, and mussel rearing and spawning; crustaceans and other shellfish (crabs, shrimp, crayfish, scallops, etc.) rearing and spawning.

(iv) Fair quality salmonid and other fish migration.

(b) General criteria. General criteria that apply to aquatic life marine water uses are described in WAC 173-201A-260 (2)(a) and (b), and are for:

(i) Toxic, radioactive, and deleterious materials; and

(ii) Aesthetic values.

(c) Aquatic life temperature criteria. Except where noted, temperature is measured as a 1-day maximum temperature (1-DMax). Table 210 (1)(c) lists the temperature criteria for each of the aquatic life use categories.


Table 210 (1)(c)

Aquatic Life Temperature Criteria in Marine Water

Category Highest 1-DMax
Extraordinary quality 13C (55.4F)
Excellent quality 16C (60.8F)
Good quality 19C (66.2F)
Fair quality 22C (71.6F)


(i) When a water body's temperature is warmer than the criteria in Table 210 (1)(c) (or within 0.3C (0.54F) of the criteria) and that condition is due to natural conditions, then human actions considered cumulatively may not cause the 7-DADMax temperature of that water body to increase more than 0.3C (0.54F).

(ii) When the natural condition of the water is cooler than the criteria in Table 210 (1)(c), the allowable rate of warming up to, but not exceeding, the numeric criteria from human actions is restricted as follows:

(A) Incremental temperature increases resulting from individual point source activities must not, at any time, exceed 12/(T-2) as measured at the edge of a mixing zone boundary (where "T" represents the background temperature as measured at a point or points unaffected by the discharge and representative of the highest ambient water temperature in the vicinity of the discharge); and

(B) Incremental temperature increases resulting from the combined effect of all nonpoint source activities in the water body must not, at any time, exceed 2.8C (5.04F).

(iii) Temperatures are not to exceed the criteria at a probability frequency of more than once every ten years on average.

(iv) Temperature measurements should be taken to represent the dominant aquatic habitat of the monitoring site. This typically means samples should not be taken from shallow stagnant backwater areas, within isolated thermal refuges, at the surface, or at the water's edge.

(v) The department will incorporate the following guidelines on preventing acute lethality and barriers to migration of salmonids into determinations of compliance with the narrative requirements for use protection established in this chapter (e.g., WAC 173-201A-310(1), 173-201A-400(4), and 173-201A-410 (1)(c)). The following site-level considerations do not, however, override the temperature criteria established for waters in subsection (1)(c) of this subsection or WAC 173-201A-612:

(A) Moderately acclimated (16-20C, or 60.8-68F) adult and juvenile salmonids will generally be protected from acute lethality by discrete human actions maintaining the 7-DADMax temperature at or below 22C (71.6F) and the 1-DMax temperature at or below 23C (73.4F).

(B) Lethality to developing fish embryos can be expected to occur at a 1-DMax temperature greater than 17.5C (63.5F).

(C) To protect aquatic organisms, discharge plume temperatures must be maintained such that fish could not be entrained (based on plume time of travel) for more than two seconds at temperatures above 33C (91.4F) to avoid creating areas that will cause near instantaneous lethality.

(D) Barriers to adult salmonid migration are assumed to exist any time the 1-DMax temperature is greater than 22C (71.6F) and the adjacent downstream water temperatures are 3C (5.4F) or more cooler.

(vi) Nothing in this chapter shall be interpreted to prohibit the establishment of effluent limitations for the control of the thermal component of any discharge in accordance with 33 U.S.C. 1326 (commonly known as section 316 of the Clean Water Act).

(d) Aquatic life dissolved oxygen (D.O.) criteria. Except where noted, D.O. concentrations are measured as a 1-day minimum in milligrams per liter. Table 210 (1)(d) lists the D.O. criteria for each of the aquatic life use categories.
Table 210 (1)(d)

Aquatic Life Dissolved Oxygen Criteria in Marine Water

Category Lowest 1-Day Minimum
Extraordinary quality 7.0 mg/L
Excellent quality 6.0 mg/L
Good quality 5.0 mg/L
Fair quality 4.0 mg/L


(i) When a water body's D.O. is lower than the criteria in Table 210 (1)(d) (or within 0.2 mg/L of the criteria) and that condition is due to natural conditions, then human actions considered cumulatively may not cause the D.O. of that water body to decrease more than 0.2 mg/L.

(ii) Concentrations of D.O. are not to fall below the criteria in the table at a probability frequency of more than once every ten years on average.

(iii) D.O. measurements should be taken to represent the dominant aquatic habitat of the monitoring site. This typically means samples should not be taken from shallow stagnant backwater areas, within isolated thermal refuges, at the surface, or at the water's edge.

(e) Aquatic life turbidity criteria. Turbidity is measured in "nephelometric turbidity units" or "NTUs." Table 210 (1)(e) lists the one-day maximum turbidity allowed as a result of human actions for each of the aquatic life use categories.


Table 210 (1) (e)

Aquatic Life Turbidity Criteria in Marine Water

Category NTUs
Extraordinary quality Turbidity must not exceed:

? 5 NTU over background when the background is 50 NTU or less; or

? A 10 percent increase in turbidity when the background turbidity is more than 50 NTU.
Excellent quality Same as above.
Good quality Turbidity must not exceed:

? 10 NTU over background when the background is 50 NTU or less; or

? A 20 percent increase in turbidity when the background turbidity is more than 50 NTU.
Fair quality Same as above.


(i) The turbidity criteria established under WAC 173-201A-210 (1)(e) shall be modified, without specific written authorization from the department, to allow a temporary area of mixing during and immediately after necessary in-water construction activities that result in the disturbance of in-place sediments. This temporary area of mixing is subject to the constraints of WAC 173-201A-400 (4) and (6) and can occur only after the activity has received all other necessary local and state permits and approvals, and after the implementation of appropriate best management practices to avoid or minimize disturbance of in-place sediments and exceedances of the turbidity criteria. A temporary area of mixing shall be as follows: (continued)