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  Water Quality Standards Development and Review Back BWQP Home Page   

  Truckee River WQ Standards Review - The Bureau of Water Quality Planning of the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) has begun a review of the Truckee River water quality standards contained in Nevada Administrative Code 445A.1682 through 445A.1694.

  Lahontan Reservoir WQ Standards Review - The Bureau of Water Quality Planning of the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) has begun a review the water quality standards for Lahontan Reservoir in Nevada Administrative Code 445A.1792 and 445A.1824.


Water quality standards define water quality goals of a surface water body by designating beneficial uses of the water and by setting criteria necessary to protect the beneficial uses. Beneficial uses in Nevada include: Watering of livestock, Irrigation, Aquatic life, Recreation involving contact with the water, Recreation not involving contact with the water, Municipal or domestic supply, Industrial supply, Propagation of wildlife, Waters of extraordinary ecological or aesthetic value, and Enhancement of water quality. The Water quality standards for Nevada are contained in the Nevada Administrative Code (NAC) 445A.11704 through 445A.2234.

The NAC contains two types of water quality standards, narrative and numeric. The narrative standards are applicable to all surface waters of the state and consist mostly of statements requiring waters to be "free from" various pollutants including those that are toxic. The numeric standards for conventional pollutants cover most waterbodies in Nevada with waterbody specific numeric standards. These standards include both criteria designed to protect the beneficial uses and antidegradation requirements. The antidegradation is addressed through the establishment of "requirements to maintain existing higher quality" or RMHQs. RMHQs are set when existing water quality (as evidenced by the monitoring data) for individual parameters is higher than the criteria necessary to protect the beneficial uses. This system of directly linking antidegradation to water quality standards provides a manageable means for implementing antidegradation through the permit program and other programs.

Numeric standards for toxics for various beneficial uses can be found in NAC 445A.1236. Nevada relies on EPA criteria when establishing numeric water quality standards for toxics. EPA criteria are derived from laboratory studies of biological organisms' sensitivity to specific chemicals. In these studies, a variety of fish, benthic macro-invertebrates and zooplankton are exposed to known concentrations of a chemical under varying conditions.

The table below lists the water quality standards changes made since September 1993. Prior to September 1993, the water quality standards changes are kept on file within NDEP.

  Click on column header to sort column
Petition ID Adopted by SEC Effective On Petition to Change

R048-93

9/22/1993

10/29/1993

Truckee River standards

R060-94

5/26/1994

7/5/1994

Lake Mead Marina Campground Ammonia

R059-94

5/26/1994

7/5/1994

Aquatic standards for selected metals

R112-94

8/11/1994

9/15/1994

Carson River standards

R031-95

10/3/1995

11/9/1995

Lake Tahoe Basin standards

R127-95

11/7/1995

11/29/1995

Humboldt River standards

R128-95

11/7/1995

11/29/1995

Toxic materials and metals update

R086-96

10/22/1996

11/27/1996

Lake Tahoe Basin standards #2

R062-98

6/17/1998

8/4/1998

Las Vegas Bay satndards

R110-96

4/10/1999

5/25/1999

Lake Tahoe Basin Regulation Repeal

R017-99

9/9/1999

9/27/1999

Health Division drinking standard

R104-00

2/15/2001

Not Filed

Walker River and Lake standards

R128-01

12/11/2001

1/18/2002

Walker River standards

R129-01

12/11/2001

1/18/2002

Walker Lake standards

R099-02

11/19/2002

12/17/2002

Statewide Standards Amendments

R-226-03

2/26/2004

4/23/2004

Class Waters standards

R-136-04

11/30/2004

2/17/2005

Lake Mead and Las Vegas Bay standards

R-158-06

9/6/2006

9/18/2006

Toxic materials applicable to designated waters

R-159-06

9/6/2006

9/18/2006

Colorado River Salinity Standards

R160-06

6/17/2008

8/26/2008

Class water removal and standards tables

R083-08

6/17/2008

8/26/2008

Muddy River standards

R186-08

11/12/2008

12/17/2008

Molybdenum aquatic life standard

R127-10

10/5/2010

12/16/2010

Smoke, Bronco, and Gray Creeks standards

R130-10

10/5/2010

12/16/2010

Colorado River Salinity Standards

R133-10

10/5/2010

12/16/2010

Snake River Basin standards

R129-10

12/7/2010

1/13/2011

Class D Waters and Removal of Tribal waters

R128-12

10/11/2012

12/20/2012

Smoke, Bronco, and Gray Creeks revises DO and chloride standards

R129-12

10/11/2012

12/20/2012

Aquatic life toxics standards

R130-12

10/11/2012

12/20/2012

North Antelope Creek standards

R131-12

10/11/2012

12/20/2012

Statewide fecal coliform standards

R132-12

10/11/2012

12/20/2012

Colorado River Salinity Standards

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