WV NUTRIENT CRITERIA COMMITTEE

2003 Definition of Impairment

BACK TO NCC HOME PAGE

"Proposed Definition of Nutrient Impairment"  - Revised 5/29/2003

A water of the State is impaired by nutrients if nitrogen, phosphorus, or a resulting water quality characteristic prevents attainment of a designated or existing use. In particular: 
bullet Category A - Public Water Supply.  A water of the State fails to attain this use if nutrients directly or indirectly threaten human health, produce unacceptable taste or odor of the water, or unreasonably impact conventional treatment (i.e.: settling and disinfection).   
bullet Category B - Propagation and maintenance of fish and other aquatic life.  A water of the State fails to attain this use if nutrients directly or indirectly cause a shift in community integrity. A shift in community integrity is defined as increasing or decreasing the relative abundance of species or diversity of indigenous communities of fish, shellfish, other aquatic life, or wildlife - outside the normal range of variability.  . 
bullet Category C - Water contact recreation.  A water of the State is impaired if nutrients directly or indirectly cause nuisance algae, unacceptable water clarity, unacceptable odor, or unacceptable microbial growth. 
bulletSuggestion to add human health Opposition was demonstrated to this suggestion because it was thought that Nitrogen and Phosphorus are not a health threat. Conclusion - Leave human health out until there is further evidence to support the idea.