What Are Ambient Water Quality Standards in NJ?
Have you ever given it much thought as to what the ambient water quality standards are in NJ, let alone what ambient water even is?
Pollution in our lakes and rivers is a bigger problem than many people realize: in fact, one of the most polluted lakes in the U.S was only cleaned up two years ago. After all, polluted lakes not only kill off local wildlife and make the fish swimming in their depths toxic but help breed nasty water-borne diseases.
Thankfully, states have taken steps to institute ambient water quality standards to keep these consequences from occurring. But what are these standards like in your local area?
Well, it’s time to answer the question of “What are ambient water quality standards in New Jersey?” once and for all! But first, it’s important to understand how ambient water gets classified.
Classifications of Ambient Water
Ambient water gets classified in New Jersey, based on the intended use for each body of water. The highest classification is FW1 (or Freshwater 1), which should stay untouched by humans and used solely as an ecological habitat.
PL bodies of water service agriculture, while FW2 is for the human water supply. The other classifications (SE 1-3 and SC) tend to involve “neutral” bodies where fish live that people use for fishing. These bodies consist of saline water as opposed to pure freshwater.
What Are Ambient Water Quality Standards in New Jersey?
One of the main standards New Jersey focuses on is monitoring the nutrient levels of water. Human pollution can lead to the water getting over-saturated with phosphorous and nitrogen.
While these are nutrients that assist the ecological cycle in normal doses, too much chokes the oxygen out of the water and produces algal blooms. These algal blooms increase the toxicity of the water and will harm humans if the water they grow in gets consumed. So, the state works to make sure all the nutrient levels in the water stay at a balanced level.
PL bodies of water are set to 2 milligrams of nitrogen per liter and a P.H scale of 3.5 to 5.5. While FW1 bodies vary based on the ecological environment they need to provide, all other bodies of water go on a scale similar to PL ambient water. As for phosphorus, the limit is a 0.1% concentration.
Toxic substances are also measured in these standards. Samples of the water get taken by experts and put through a formula to determine how high the concentration of metals like copper or zinc. Carcinogens are also measured and cannot pose a higher risk than 1 in a million of inflicting cancer on a human.
Human alterations can be made to the composition of the water. However, these alterations have to be in service of returning a body of water to a balanced state or for an approved function. These approved functions include any activity that is deemed to have social or economic worth to society.
A Cleaner Tomorrow
Now that you have the answer to the question of “What are ambient water quality standards in New Jersey?”, you’re free to continue your life confident of the fact that the state has regulations in place to protect your water. And if you need an organization to run water tests or perform other environmental contracts, please reach out to us. at All American Environmental.
Our professional consulting and contracting firm provides environmental services such as soil and groundwater, testing and investigation, site assessments and remediation, oil tank installation, removal, cleaning and sweeps, monitoring well installation, vacuum truck services, phase I and phase II evaluations, hydraulic lift removal, and COVID 19 disinfecting services.
We provide services for the counties of Morris, Sussex, Hunterdon, Ocean, Hudson, Essex, Warren, Mercer, Middlesex, Passaic, Monmouth, Bergen, Union, and Somerset.