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Introduction How Rivers Run Stories Value Of A River What We Can Do
Quality of a River - Water Quality
Status (pg 1 of 2)

The framework for controlling the discharge of pollutants into streams and other waterways was set by the federal Clean Water Act, passed in 1972 as amendments to the federal Water Pollution Control Act. The Clean Water Act authorized the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to set up pollution control programs. These programs established and enforced quality standards for contaminants in surface waters, regulated discharges according to those standards, and required comprehensive water quality monitoring.

The Act banned the discharge of pollutants into navigable waters from a point source without a permit. The Act also funded the construction of sewage treatment plants. The overall goal: restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation's waters.

Early on, federal, state, and tribal governments emphasized the control of point sources, such as industrial discharges and municipal sewage treatment effluent. As those sources of pollution were controlled, regulators turned to the more difficult task of controlling nonpoint sources, such as street and farmland runoff. Likewise, regulators at first concentrated on the chemical aspects of clean water. Recently, attention has shifted to physical and biological measures of water quality.


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Introduction
Flow
Shape
Connections
Quality
Description
Temperature
Oxygen
Alkalinity
Nutrients
Sediment
Contaminants
Status
Life
Summary
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