WATER QUALITY ASSESSMENT
Federal and State Water Quality Standards
Water quality is determined by assessing three classes of attributes affecting water bodies: biological, chemical, and physical. There are standards of water quality set for each of these three classes of attributes. The national standards are developed by the federal government's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). All municipal (public) water supplies and water bodies must be measured against these standards. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) has developed Watershed Basin Management Action Plans (BMAP’s). These are the "blueprint" for restoring impaired waters by reducing pollutant loadings to meet the allowable loadings established by EPA in a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). It represents a comprehensive set of strategies--permit limits on wastewater facilities, urban and agricultural best management practices, conservation programs, financial assistance and revenue generating activities, etc.--designed to implement the pollutant reductions established by the TMDL. These broad-based plans are developed by regulators with local stakeholders, and implemented through the work of consulting water quality engineers and scientists. WRMA engineers are very experienced in water quality assessment using aerial and satellite remote sensing data, and numeric point and non-point source mathematical models.