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Standards for Water Body Health

Things You Can Do to Protect Water Quality

Nobody knows your community better than you do! We encourage you to take an active role in protecting the water resources in your community. The water quality standards in your state, territory or tribe are designed to protect all waters for:

  • Recreational use
  • Wildlife
  • Growth of a balanced population of aquatic life, and
  • Production of edible and marketable fish and shellfish

Your feedback and participation in your state, territory or tribe’s water quality standards review is an important component in revising these standards to protect the resources that are important to us all.

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Get Informed

Find out about the water quality standards in your state, territory or tribe. The most current EPA-approved WQS for your state can be found by clicking the link below or you can visit your state’s water quality standards website.


Group of people at a meeting

Participate in Public Events

Each time water quality standards are revised, The Clean Water Act requires states, territories and authorized tribes to hold public hearings. The public may make recommendations on improvements or modifications in the standards during the public hearing process.

Public hearings are a powerful vehicle through which citizens may make their concerns known to public officials. EPA and states, territories and authorized tribes also hold meetings and webinars to share updates and information.

Your regional EPA contact may also have more information about upcoming public events in your state, territory, or tribe.

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Map of United States

Provide Feedback

States, territories and authorized tribes regularly offer the public the opportunity to provide feedback or offer comments on topics such as upcoming rule making sessions. Consider submitting a written or verbal public comment during the next open public comment period.


People monitoring water
Volunteers helping monitor their local river

Get Involved

Participate in volunteer activities such as monitoring programs to help track the condition of your local rivers, streams, lakes, and other waters. For instance, the National Water Quality Monitoring Council (Council) provides a forum to improve the Nation's water quality through partnerships that foster increased understanding and stewardship of our water resources.

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Learn More about Water Quality Standards

EPA has designed free on-line training sessions useful to those seeking an introduction to the key concepts in water quality standards.

The online Water Quality Standards Academy covers the following subjects, and more:

  • specified uses for water bodies (designated uses)
  • policies for protecting high quality waters (antidegradation)
  • target conditions for protecting aquatic creatures and human health (criteria)
  • EPA’s approval process for water quality standards
  • implementation of standards by states, territories and authorized tribes
  • economic considerations
Boys performing a test
Students testing water quality.

Continue the Conversation

Reach out to your community through Social Media.

  • Like us on FacebookFacebook
  • Follow EPA’s Office of Water on TwitterTwitter
  • Follow EPA’s Greenversations blog Greenversations Blog

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More about What You Can Do

There are more ways you can get involved, including raising awareness about potential threats to your drinking water, local rivers, lakes, streams, wetlands, the fish and shellfish you eat, and aquatic ecosystems.

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