Environmental Protection

EPA Research on Recreational Water Criteria Now Available

New criteria to protect people from potential illness will be developed by October 2012.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has completed studies that serve as a scientific foundation for developing new or revised water quality criteria for recreational waters, such as lakes, rivers, and oceans, by October 2012.

The research studies were focused on predictive modeling, method development and validation, and epidemiological studies. The new or revised criteria will replace the current criteria recommendations the agency issued in 1986 and are to be used by states, tribes, and territories in their adoption of new water quality standards. These standards are to protect people who engage in recreational water activities from potential illness associated with fecal contamination in the water.

The completion notices and reports from the studies are available on EPA’s website. Some of the studies have also been published in professional journals and others are in the process of being submitted for publication.

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