Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

Water: Nutrients

Alabama Criteria Development Progress

This page provides information about the progress Alabama has made towards the development of numeric criteria and shows what statewide and site-specific criteria are currently in effect.

Note: The information on the tabs below reflects the information available on EPA’s Water Quality Standards Repository. The criteria presented here will be updated as new water quality standards documents are posted to the Repository.


Numeric Criteria Development

The information presented below gives a summary of state progress towards the development of numeric criteria. The information comes from EPA’s “State Adoption of Numeric Nutrient Standards (1998-2008)” report, current water quality standards, program activity measures, and nutrient criteria development plans. Links to the Alabama’s Nutrient Criteria Plan and state water quality standards are also provided.


Existing Numeric Criteria

Waterbody Type N P Chl-a Clarity
Lakes and Reservoirs     W  
Rivers and Streams        
Estuaries        
Wetlands        

S = Statewide    W = For selected waterbody    N ⁄ A=Not Applicable

Note: See Statewide Criteria and Site-specific Criteria tabs for more information.

Top of Page


Plans:

WQS: Alabama Water Quality Standards
Alabama Department of Environmental Management, Water Quality Web page Exit EPA Disclaimer

Top of Page


Milestone Information

Milestone information updated May 2012.


Milestone
Rivers and Streams Lakes and Reservoirs Estuaries and Coastal Waters
TN TP TN TP TN TP
Planning for criteria development 12/31/2013  12/31/2013  12/31/2016  12/31/2016  12/31/2013  12/31/2013
Collection of information and data  12/31/2015  12/31/2015  12/31/2015  12/31/2015  12/31/2015  12/31/2015
Analysis of information and data  12/31/2015  12/31/2015  12/31/2015  12/31/2015  12/31/2015  12/31/2015
Proposal of criteria  12/31/2015  12/31/2015  12/31/2015  12/31/2015  12/31/2016  12/31/2016
Adoption of criteria (EPA-Approved) 12/31/2016  12/31/2016  12/31/2016  12/31/2016  12/31/2017  12/31/2017

TN: Total Nitrogen; TP: Total Phosphorus

Top of Page

Statewide Criteria

The information on this tab shows EPA-approved nutrient criteria for Alabama’s waterbodies. The language presented below comes directly from state water quality standards and applies to all waterbodies within the state (unless a waterbody type or designated use is noted). Criteria applicable to specific waterbodies within the state can be found on the “Site-specific Criteria” tab. For more information, refer to the Alabama water quality standards.

The following information reflects Alabama’s water quality standards posted to the Water Quality Standards Repository as of November 2010 (EPA-approved October 2008).

335-6-10-.09 Specific Water Quality Criteria.

(1) Outstanding Alabama Water

(a) Best usage of waters: activities consistent with the natural characteristics of the waters.

(c) Specific criteria:

6. Taste, odor, and color-producing substances attributable to sewage, industrial wastes, or other wastes: only such amounts, whether alone or in combination with other substances, as will not exhibit acute toxicity or chronic toxicity, as demonstrated by effluent toxicity testing or by application of numeric criteria given in rule 335-6-10-.07, to fish and aquatic life, including shrimp and crabs in estuarine and salt waters or adversely affect the propagation thereof; impair the palatability or marketability of fish and wildlife or shrimp and crabs in estuarine and salt waters; or unreasonably affect the aesthetic value of waters for any use under this classification.

(2) Public Water Supply

(a) Best usage of waters: source of water supply for drinking or food-processing purposes.

(e) Specific criteria:

5. Toxic substances; color producing; heated liquids; or other deleterious substances attributable to sewage, industrial wastes, or other wastes: only such amounts, whether alone or in combination with other substances, and only such temperatures as will not render the waters unsafe or unsuitable as a source of water supply for drinking or food-processing purposes, or exhibit acute toxicity or chronic toxicity, as demonstrated by effluent toxicity testing or by application of numeric criteria given in rule 335-6- 10-.07, to fish, wildlife and aquatic life, or adversely affect the aesthetic value of waters for any use under this classification.

6. Taste and odor producing substances attributable to sewage, industrial wastes, or other wastes: only such amounts, whether alone or in combination with other substances or wastes, as will not cause taste and odor difficulties in water supplies which cannot be corrected by treatment as specified under subparagraph (b), or impair the palatability of fish.

(3) Swimming and Other Whole Body Water-Contact Sports

(a) Best usage of waters: swimming and other whole body water-contact sports.

(c) Specific criteria:

5. Toxic substances; color producing substances; odor producing substances; or other deleterious substances attributable to sewage, industrial wastes, or other wastes: only such amounts, whether alone or in combination with other substances or wastes, as will not render the water unsafe or unsuitable for swimming and water-contact sports; exhibit acute toxicity or chronic toxicity, as demonstrated by effluent toxicity testing or by application of numeric criteria given in rule 335-6-10-.07, to fish, wildlife, and aquatic life or, where applicable, shrimp and crabs; impair the palatability of fish, or where applicable, shrimp and crabs; impair the waters for any other usage established for this classification or unreasonably affect the aesthetic value of waters for any use under this classification.

(4) Shellfish Harvesting

(a) Best usage of waters: propagation and harvesting of shellfish for sale or use as a food product.

(e) Specific criteria:

6. Color, taste, and odor-producing substances and other deleterious substances attributable to sewage, industrial wastes, or other wastes: only such amounts, whether alone or in combination with other substances, as will not exhibit acute toxicity or chronic toxicity, as demonstrated by effluent toxicity testing or by application of numeric criteria given in rule 335-6-10-.07, to fish and shellfish, including shrimp and crabs; adversely affect marketability or palatability of fish and shellfish, including shrimp and crabs; or unreasonably affect the aesthetic value of waters for any use under this classification.

(5) Fish and Wildlife

(a) Best usage of waters: fishing, propagation of fish, aquatic life, and wildlife, and any other usage except for swimming and water-contact sports or as a source of water supply for drinking or food-processing purposes.

(e) Specific criteria:

6. Taste, odor, and color- producing substances attributable to sewage, industrial wastes, or other wastes: only such amounts, whether alone or in combination with other substances, as will not exhibit acute toxicity or chronic toxicity, as demonstrated by effluent toxicity testing or by application of numeric criteria given in rule 335-6-10-.07, to fish and aquatic life, including shrimp and crabs in estuarine and salt waters or adversely affect the propagation thereof; impair the palatability or marketability of fish and wildlife or shrimp and crabs in estuarine and salt waters; or unreasonably affect the aesthetic value of waters for any use under this classification.

(6) Limited Warmwater Fishery

(b) Best usage of waters (May through November): agricultural irrigation, livestock watering, industrial cooling and process water supplies, and any other usage, except fishing, bathing, recreational activities, including water-contact sports, or as a source of water supply for drinking or food-processing purposes.

(e) Specific criteria:

2. Toxic substances and taste-, odor-, and color-producing substances attributable to treated sewage, industrial wastes, and other wastes: only such amounts as will not render the waters unsuitable for agricultural irrigation, livestock watering, industrial cooling, and industrial process water supply purposes; interfere with downstream water uses; or exhibit acute toxicity or chronic toxicity, as demonstrated by effluent toxicity testing or by application of numeric criteria given in rule 335-6-10-.07, to fish and aquatic life, including shrimp and crabs in estuarine or salt waters or the propagation thereof.

(7) Agricultural and Industrial Water Supply

(a) Best usage of waters: agricultural irrigation, livestock watering, industrial cooling and process water supplies, and any other usage, except fishing, bathing, recreational activities, including water-contact sports, or as a source of water supply for drinking or food-processing purposes.

(c) Specific criteria:

5. Color, odor, and taste-producing substances, toxic substances, and other deleterious substances, including chemical compounds attributable to sewage, industrial wastes, and other wastes: only such amounts as will not render the waters unsuitable for agricultural irrigation, livestock watering, industrial cooling, industrial process water supply purposes, and fish survival, nor interfere with downstream water uses.

Site-specific Criteria

The information on this tab shows EPA-approved site-specific nutrient criteria for Alabama’s waterbodies. Criteria on this page apply only to the waterbodies listed below. Criteria applicable to all waterbodies within the state are found on the “Statewide Criteria” tab. For more information, refer to the Alabama water quality standards.

The following information reflects Alabama’s water quality standards posted to the Water Quality Standards Repository as of November 2010 (EPA-approved October 2008).

335-6-10-.11 Water Quality Criteria Applicable to Specific Lakes.

(2) The following lake-specific criteria apply to the waters listed below, in addition to any other applicable criteria commensurate with the designated usage of such waters.

(a) The Alabama River Basin

1. Claiborne Lake

(i) Chlorophyll a (corrected, as described in Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th Edition, 1998): the mean of the photic-zone composite Chlorophyll a samples collected monthly April through October shall not exceed 15 ug/L, as measured at the deepest point, main river channel, dam forebay.

2. Dannelly Lake

(i) Chlorophyll a (corrected, as described in Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th Edition, 1998): the mean of the photic-zone composite Chlorophyll a samples collected monthly April through October shall not exceed 17 ug/L, as measured at the deepest point, main river channel, dam forebay.

(b) The Chattahoochee River Basin

1. Walter F. George Lake

(i) Chlorophyll a (corrected, as described in Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th Edition, 1998): the mean of photic-zone composite Chlorophyll a samples collected monthly April through October shall not exceed 15 ug/L, as measured at the deepest point, main river channel, dam forebay; or 18 ug/L, as measured at the deepest point, main river channel, approximately 0.25 miles upstream of U.S. Highway 82.

2. Lake Harding

(i) Chlorophyll a (corrected, as described in Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th Edition, 1998): the mean of the photic-zone composite Chlorophyll a samples collected monthly April through October shall not exceed 15 ug/L, as measured at the deepest point, main river channel, dam forebay.

3. West Point Lake

(i) Chlorophyll a (corrected, as described in Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th Edition, 1998): the mean of photic-zone composite Chlorophyll a samples collected monthly April through October shall not exceed 27 ug/L, as measured at the LaGrange, Georgia Water Intake.

(c) The Coosa River Basin

1. Weiss Lake

(i) Chlorophyll a (corrected, as described in Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th Edition, 1998): the mean of photic-zone composite Chlorophyll a samples collected monthly April through October shall not exceed 20 ug/L, as measured at the deepest point, main river channel, power dam forebay; or 20 ug/L, as measured at the deepest point, main river channel, immediately upstream of causeway (Alabama Highway 9) at Cedar Bluff. If the mean of photic-zone composite Chlorophyll a samples collected monthly April through October is significantly less than 20 ug/L for a given year, the Department will re-evaluate the Chlorophyll a criteria, associated nutrient management strategies, and available data and information, and recommend changes, if appropriate, to maintain and protect existing uses.

(d) The Lower Tombigbee River Basin

1. Coffeeville Lake

(i) Chlorophyll a (corrected, as described in Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th Edition, 1998): the mean of photic-zone composite Chlorophyll a samples collected monthly April through October shall not exceed 10 ug/L, as measured at the deepest point, main river channel, upstream of the lock canal.

(e) The Perdido/Escambia River Basin

1. Lake Jackson

(i) Chlorophyll a (corrected, as described in Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th Edition, 1998): the mean of the photic-zone composite Chlorophyll a samples collected monthly April through October shall not exceed 7 ug/L, as measured at mid-lake.

2. Point A Lake

(i) Chlorophyll a (corrected, as described in Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th Edition, 1998): the mean of the photic-zone composite Chlorophyll a samples collected monthly April through October shall not exceed 9 ug/L, as measured at the deepest point, main river channel, dam forebay.

3. Gantt Lake

(i) Chlorophyll a (corrected, as described in Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th Edition, 1998): the mean of the photic-zone composite Chlorophyll a samples collected monthly April through October shall not exceed 11 ug/L, as measured at the deepest point, main river channel, dam forebay.

(f) The Tallapoosa River Basin

1. Thurlow Lake

(i) Chlorophyll a (corrected, as described in Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th Edition, 1998): the mean of the photic-zone composite Chlorophyll a samples collected monthly April through October shall not exceed 5 ug/L, as measured at the deepest point, main river channel, dam forebay.

2. Yates Lake

(i) Chlorophyll a (corrected, as described in Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th Edition, 1998): the mean of the photic-zone composite Chlorophyll a samples collected monthly April through October shall not exceed 5 ug/L, as measured at the deepest point, main river channel, dam forebay.

3. Lake Martin

(i) Chlorophyll a (corrected, as described in Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th Edition, 1998): the mean of the photic-zone composite Chlorophyll a samples collected monthly April through October shall not exceed 5 ug/L, as measured at the deepest point, main river channel, dam forebay; or 5 ug/L, as measured at the deepest point main river channel, immediately upstream of Blue Creek embayment; or 5 ug/L as measured at the deepest point, main creek channel, immediately upstream of Alabama Highway 63 (Kowaliga) bridge.

4. R.L. Harris Lake

(i) Chlorophyll a (corrected, as described in Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th Edition, 1998): the mean of photic zone composite Chlorophyll a samples collected monthly April through October shall not exceed 10 ug/L, as measured at the deepest point, main river channel, dam forebay; or 12 ug/L, as measured at the deepest point, main river channel, immediately upstream of the Tallapoosa River - Little Tallapoosa River confluence.

(g) The Tennessee River Basin

1. Pickwick Lake

(i) Chlorophyll a (corrected, as described in Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th Edition, 1998): the mean of the photic-zone composite Chlorophyll a samples collected monthly April through September shall not exceed 18 ug/L, as measured at the deepest point, main river channel, dam forebay.

2. Wilson Lake

(i) Chlorophyll a (corrected, as described in Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th Edition, 1998): the mean of the photic-zone composite Chlorophyll a samples collected monthly April through September shall not exceed 18 ug/L, as measured at the deepest point, main river channel, dam forebay.

3. Wheeler Lake

(i) Chlorophyll a (corrected, as described in Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th Edition, 1998): the mean of the photic-zone composite Chlorophyll a samples collected monthly April through September shall not exceed 18 ug/L, as measured at the deepest point, main river channel, dam forebay.

4. Guntersville Lake

(i) Chlorophyll a (corrected, as described in Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th Edition, 1998): the mean of photic-zone composite Chlorophyll a samples collected monthly April through September shall not exceed 18 ug/L, as measured at the deepest point, main river channel, dam forebay.

5. Cedar Creek Lake

(i) Chlorophyll a (corrected, as described in Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th Edition, 1998): the mean of the photic-zone composite Chlorophyll a samples collected monthly April through October shall not exceed 8 ug/L, as measured at the deepest point, main creek channel, dam forebay.

6. Little Bear Creek Lake

(i) Chlorophyll a (corrected, as described in Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th Edition, 1998): the mean of the photic-zone composite Chlorophyll a samples collected monthly April through October shall not exceed 8 ug/L, as measured at the deepest point, main creek channel, dam forebay.

(h) The Upper Tombigbee River Basin

1. Demopolis Lake

(i) Chlorophyll a (corrected, as described in Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th Edition, 1998): the mean of photic-zone composite chlorophyll g samples collected monthly April through October shall not exceed 10 ug/L, as measured at the deepest point, main river channel, dam forebay.

2. Gainesville Lake

(i) Chlorophyll a (corrected, as described in Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th Edition, 1998): the mean of photic-zone composite Chlorophyll a samples collected monthly April through October shall not exceed 14 ug/L, as measured at the deepest point, main river channel, dam forebay.

(i) The Warrior River Basin

1. Warrior Lake

(i) Chlorophyll a (corrected, as described in Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th Edition, 199.8): the mean of the photic-zone composite chlorophyll g samples collected monthly April through October shall not exceed 12 ug/L, as measured at the deepest point, main river channel, dam forebay.

2. Oliver Lake

(i) Chlorophyll a (corrected, as described in Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th Edition, 1998): the mean of the photic-zone composite Chlorophyll a samples collected monthly April through October shall not exceed 12 ug/L, as measured at the deepest point, main river channel, dam forebay.

3. Holt Lake

(i) Chlorophyll a (corrected, as described in Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th Edition, 1998): the mean of the photic-zone composite Chlorophyll a samples collected monthly April through October shall not exceed 16 ug/L, as measured at the deepest point, main river channel, dam forebay.

4. Lake Tuscaloosa

(i) Chlorophyll a (corrected, as described in Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th Edition, 1998): the mean of the photic-zone composite Chlorophyll a samples collected monthly April through October shall not exceed 8 ug/L, as measured at the deepest point, main  river channel, dam forebay.

5. Bankhead Lake

(i) Chlorophyll a (corrected, as described in Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th Edition, 1998): the mean of the photic-zone composite Chlorophyll a samples collected monthly April through October shall not exceed 16 ug/L, as measured at the deepest point, main river channel, dam forebay.

6. Smith Lake

(i) Chlorophyll a (corrected, as described in Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th Edition, 1998): the mean of the photic-zone composite Chlorophyll a samples collected monthly April through October shall not exceed 5 ug/L, as measured at the deepest point, main river channel, dam forebay; 5 ug/L, as measured at the deepest point, main river channel, at Duncan Creek/Sipsey River confluence (downstream of the Alabama Highway 257 bridge); and 5 ug/L, as measured at the deepest point, main river channel, immediately downstream of Brushy Creek confluence.

7. Inland Lake

(i) Chlorophyll a (corrected, as described in Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th Edition, 1998): the mean of the photic-zone composite Chlorophyll a samples collected monthly April through October shall not exceed 6 ug/L, as measured at the deepest point, main river channel, dam forebay.


Jump to main content.