Water Quality Policy 1-11

Learn about the 2016 Policy 1-11 Update Process

Water Quality Policy 1-11 is the guiding policy that Ecology uses to assess water quality data, determine if water bodies are polluted, and decide if further action is needed. This policy also explains data submittal and the data quality necessary for inclusion in the water quality assessment (Assessment). The policy is comprised of two chapters:

Chapter 1: Assessment of Water Quality for the Clean Water Act Sections 303(d) and 305(b) Integrated Report (PDF) was revised in July 2012. It will be used to develop the 2012 Water Quality Assessment for fresh waters and future assessments. Chapter 1 describes how water-body segments will generally be assessed to determine attainment with WAC 173-201A (surface water quality standards) and WAC 173-204 (sediment management standards). Based on this assessment, the segments are then placed in various categories. These categories identify the status of the water-body segment and denote future regulatory actions. The chapter also provides specifications for data submittal and data quality necessary for inclusion in the assessment. This chapter, in combination with the guidance documents referenced therein, constitute the “Listing Methodology” for the Integrated Report, which is made up of the Section 303(d) list and 305(b) report as required by the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Chapter 2: Ensuring Credible Data for Water Quality Management (PDF) was established in September 2006. This chapter describes the quality assurance (QA) measures, guidance, regulations, and existing policies that help ensure the credibility of data and other information used in agency actions based on the quality of state surface waters. Agency actions include:

  1. Determinations of whether a surface water is supporting its designated use, such as the 303(d) and 305(b) assessment processes.
  2. Establishment of a total maximum daily load (TMDL) and the associated load allocations and wasteload allocations.
  3. Revisions to the water quality standards.

This chapter is required by the Water Quality Data Act (WQDA) codified in RCW 90.48.570 through 90.48.590.

For information or questions, please contact:

Susan Braley
Water Quality Program
WA Dept. of Ecology
Phone: 360-407-6414
Email: Susan.Braley@ecy.wa.gov



Last updated September 2016