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Water: Module 2

Basic Course: Key Concepts (Module 2.g)

Designated Uses: Subcategories

Module 2. Designated Uses

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Section 101(a) Goal Uses

Protection and propagation of fish, shellfish, and wildlife

Considered a CWA "interim goal." To protect aquatic life uses, different uses and criteria may be established to differentiate between coldwater and warmwater fisheries.

Recreation in and on the water

Considered a CWA "interim goal." Recreational uses are often divided into two subcategories:

  • Primary Contact. Protects people from illness due to immersion in water. May include swimming, water-skiing, skin diving, and surfing—all activities where ingestion is likely.
  • Secondary Contact. Protects people when engaging in activities where ingestion is unlikely, such as boating and wading. These subcategories may be further divided.
Key Point. States may adopt seasonal uses as an alternative to reclassifying a water body or segment thereof to uses requiring less stringent water quality criteria. If seasonal uses are adopted, water quality criteria should be adjusted to reflect the seasonal uses, however, such criteria shall not preclude the attainment and maintenance of a more protective use in another season. (Sec. 131.10(f))

For informational purposes only–Not official statements of EPA policy.

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