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Water: Nutrients

Hawaii Criteria Development Progress

Hawaii State 

This page provides information about the progress Hawaii 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 Hawaii’s Nutrient Criteria Plan and state water quality standards are also provided.


Existing Numeric Criteria

Waterbody Type N P Chl-a Clarity
Lakes & Reservoirs        
Rivers & Streams S S   S
Estuaries S S S S
Wetlands        

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

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

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Plan:

  • No plan is available at this time.

WQS: Hawaii Water Quality Standards
Hawaii Department of Health: Water Quality Management Program Exit EPA Disclaimer

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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  Complete  Complete  Not applicable  Not applicable  Complete  Complete
Collection of information and data  Complete  Complete  Not applicable  Not applicable  Complete  Complete
Analysis of information and data  Complete  Complete  Not applicable  Not applicable  Complete  Complete
Proposal of criteria  Complete  Complete  Not applicable  Not applicable  Complete  Complete
Adoption of criteria (EPA-Approved)  Complete  Complete  Not applicable Not applicable  Complete  Complete

TN: Total Nitrogen; TP: Total Phosphorus

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Statewide Criteria

The information on this tab shows EPA-approved nutrient criteria for Hawaii’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 Hawaii water quality standards.

The following information reflects Hawaii’s water quality standards posted to the Water Quality Standards Repository as of November 2010 (EPA-approved October 2004).

§11-54-4 Basic water quality criteria applicable to all waters.

(a) All waters shall be free of substances attributable to domestic, industrial, or other controllable sources of pollutants, including:

(3) Substances in amounts sufficient to produce taste in the water or detectable off-flavor in the flesh of fish, or in amounts sufficient to produce objectionable color, turbidity or other conditions in the receiving waters;

(5) Substances or conditions or combinations thereof in concentrations which produce undesirable aquatic life.

§11-54-5.2 Inland water criteria.

(b) Specific criteria for streams. Water column criteria for streams shall be as provided in the following table:

Parameter   Geometric mean not to exceed the given value Not to exceed the given value more than ten percent of the time Not to Exceed the given value more than two percent of the time
Total Nitrogen (ug N/L)   250.0*   
180.0**  
520.0*   
380.0**  
800.0*   
600.0**  
Nitrate + Nitrite Nitrogen  
(ug [NO3+NO2] -N/L)
70.0*   
30.0**   
180.0*   
90.0**   
300.0*
170.0**   
Total Phosphorus (ug P/L)   50.0*   
30.0**  
100.0*   
60.0**  
150.0*
80.0**
Total Suspended Solids (mg/L)   20.0*   
10.0**   
50.0*   
30.0**   
80.0*
55.0**   
Turbidity (N.T.U.)   5.0*   
2.0**  
15.0*
5.5**  
25.0*   
10.0**  

* Wet season - November 1 through April 30.
** Dry season - May 1 through October 31.

(d) Specific criteria for estuaries.

1. The following table is applicable to all estuaries except Pearl Harbor:

Parameter   Geometric mean not to exceed the given value Not to exceed the given value more than ten percent of the time Not to Exceed the given value more than two percent of the time
Total Nitrogen (ug N/L) 200.00   350.00   500.00  
Nitrate + Nitrite Nitrogen (ug [NO3+NO2] -N/L)   8.00   25.00   35.00  
Total Phosphorus (ug P/L) 25.00   50.00   75.00  
Chlorophyll a (ug/L)   2.00   5.00   10.00  
Turbidity (N.T.U.)   1.5   3.00   5.00  

§11-54-6 Uses and specific criteria applicable to marine waters.

(a) Embayments.

(3) The following criteria are specific for all embayments excluding those described in section 11-54-06(d). (Note that criteria for embayments differ based on fresh water inflow.)

Parameter   Geometric mean not to exceed the given value Not to exceed the given value more than ten percent of the time Not to Exceed the given value more than two percent of the time
Total Nitrogen (ug N/L) 200.00*   
150.00**  
350.00*   
250.00**  
500.00*   
350.00**  
Nitrate + Nitrite Nitrogen (ug NO3+NO2] -N/L)   8.00*   
5.00**  
20.00*   
14.00**  
35.00*   
25.00**  
Total Phosphorus (ug P/L) 25.00*   
20.00**  
50.00*   
40.00*  
75.00*   
60.00**  
Chlorophyll a (ug/L)   1.50*   
0.50**  
4.50**   
1.50**  
8.50*   
3.00**  
Turbidity (N.T.U.)   1.5*   
0.40**  
3.00*   
1.00**  
5.00*   
1.50**  

* "Wet" criteria apply when the average fresh water inflow from the land equals or exceeds one percent of the embayment volume
per day.
** "Dry" criteria apply when the average fresh water inflow from the land is less than one percent of the embayment volume per day.
Applicable to both "wet" and "dry" conditions:

(b) Open coastal waters.

3. The following criteria are specific for all open coastal waters, excluding those described in section 11-54-6(d). (Note that criteria for open coastal waters differ, based on fresh water discharge.)

Parameter Geometric mean not to exceed the given value Not to exceed the given value more than ten percent of the time Not to Exceed the given value more than two percent of the time
Total Nitrogen (ug N/L) 150.00*   
110.00**  
250.00*   
180.00**  
350.00*   
250.00**  
Nitrate + Nitrite Nitrogen (ug [NO3+NO2] -N/L)   5.00*   
3.50**  
14.00*   
10.00**  
25.00*   
20.00**  
Total Phosphorus (ug P/L) 20.00*   
16.00**  
40.00*   
30.00**  
60.00*   
45.00**  
Chlorophyll a (ug/L)    0.30*   
0.15**  
0.90*   
0.50**  
1.75*   
1.00**  
Turbidity (N.T.U.)    0.50*   
0.20**  
1.25*
0.50**  
2.00*   
1.00**  

* "Wet" criteria apply when the open coastal waters receive more than three million gallons per day of fresh water discharge per shoreline mile.
** "Dry" criteria apply when the open coastal waters receive less than three million gallons per day of fresh water discharge per shoreline mile.
Applicable to both "wet" and "dry" conditions:

(c) Oceanic waters.

(3) The following criteria are specific for oceanic waters:

Parameter Geometric mean not to exceed the given value Not to exceed the given value more than ten percent of the time Not to Exceed the given value more than two percent of the time
Total Nitrogen (ug N/L) 50.00   80.00   100.00  
Nitrate + Nitrite Nitrogen (ug [NO3+NO2] -N/L)   1.50 2.50 3.50
Total Phosphorus (ug P/L) 10.00 18.00 25.00
Chlorophyll a (ug/L) 0.06 0.12 0.20
Turbidity (N.T.U.)   0.03 0.10 0.20

Site-specific Criteria

The information on this tab shows EPA-approved site-specific nutrient criteria for Hawaii’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 Hawaii water quality standards.

The following information reflects Hawaii’s water quality standards posted to the Water Quality Standards Repository as of November 2010 (EPA-approved October 2004).

§11-54-5.2 Inland water criteria.

(d) Specific criteria for estuaries.

(2) The following table is applicable only to Pearl Harbor Estuary.

Parameter   Geometric mean not to exceed the given value Not to exceed the given value more than ten percent of the time Not to Exceed the given value more than two percent of the time
Total Nitrogen (ug N/L) 300.00 550.00 750.00
Nitrate + Nitrite Nitrogen (ug [NO3+NO2] -N/L)   15.00 40.00 70.00
Total Phosphorus (ug P/L) 60.00 130.00 200.00
Chlorophyll a (ug/L)   3.50 10.00 20.00
Turbidity (N.T.U.)   4.00 8.00 15.00

§11-54-6 Uses and specific criteria applicable to marine waters.

(c) Oceanic waters.

(d) Area-specific criteria for the Kona (west) coast of the island of Hawaii.

(i) in areas where nearshore marine water salinity is greater than 32.00 parts per thousand the following specific criteria apply:
Parameter   Geometric mean not to exceed the given single value
Total Dissolved Nitrogen (ug N/L) 100.00
Nitrate + Nitrite  Nitrogen (ug [NO3+NO2] -N/L)   4.50
Total Dissolved Phosphorus (ug P/L) 12.50
Phosphate  (ug PO4 -P/L)   5.00
Chlorophyll a (ug/L) 0.30
Turbidity (N.T.U.)   0.10

(ii) if nearshore marine water salinity is less than or equal to 32.00 parts per thousand the following parameters shall be related to salinity on the basis of a linear least squares regression equation:
Y = MX + B
where:
Y = parameter concentration(in ug/L)
X = salinity (in ppt)
M = regression coefficient (or "slope")
B = constant (or "Y intercept").
The absolute value of the upper 95 percent confidence limit for the calculated sample
regression coefficient (M) shall not exceed the absolute value of the following values:

Parameter    M  
Nitrate and Nitrite Nitrogen (ug [NO3+NO2] -N/L)   -31.92  
Total Dissolved Nitrogen (ug N/L) -40.35  
Phosphate (ug PO4 -P/L) -3.22  
Total Dissolved  Phosphorus (ug P/L)   -2.86  

The specific criteria for ammonia nitrogen, Chlorophyll a, and turbidity given in (i) above, also apply.


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