Water Quality Standard & Criteria
How are water quality standards determined? The standard for water quality is determined by the National Recommended Water Quality Criteria. They first have to determine when water is considered polluted (Wright & Boorse, 2011). Some pollutants that are identified in water are due to human activity or interactions. Most of these type of pollutants come from chemicals in our laundry detergents and pesticides (Wright & Boorse, 2011). There are some natural forms of water pollution, like sediments, runoffs, and nutrients. Although this may sound strange, but pollution is permitted to be in our water, but only if the pollution is not an extraordinary amount that can be harmful to human or environmental health (Wright & Boorse, 2011). For this reason, the EPA developed the National Recommended Water Quality Criteria to estimate the quantity of water pollution, and detect our water quality standard (Wright & Boorse, 2011).
Distinguish between water quality criteria pollutants and maximum contaminant levels. Criteria pollutants are mostly toxic chemicals, although, some are natural and identify the state of the water i.e. nutrients, hardness (Wright & Boorse, 2011). The criteria are suggestions that are highly recommended and used by the people responsible for sticking to the water pollution laws (Wright & Boorse, 2011).
The maximum contaminant levels also referred to as MCLs are contaminants enforceable under the authority of the Safe Drinking Water Act (Wright & Boorse, 2011). They are the stern standard for drinking water, and often updated (Wright & Boorse, 2011). They are about 94 contaminants, and expressed as maximum contaminant levels (Wright & Boorse, 2011).
Wright, R.T. & Boorse, D.F. (2011). Environmental science: Toward a sustainable future 11th ed. San Francisco, CA:...