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Atlas data, webinars, reports
About Wisconsin’s waters.
Standards
Goals for water resources.
Monitoring
Monitoring water quality.
Assessments & reporting
Evaluating condition.
Planning
Planning for water quality.
Management
Managing water resources.
Contact information
For information on surface water quality, contact:
Amanda Minks
Water Quality Bureau

Wisconsin water quality standards

Our water quality is constantly threatened by many different sources and types of pollution. Under the Clean Water Act, every state must adopt water quality standards to protect, maintain and improve the quality of our nation’s surface waters. These standards set the appropriate level of protection by:

  • Determining the types of activities the water should support [learn more]
  • Developing water quality criteria to protect these uses from excess pollution
  • Establishing an antidegradation policy to maintain and protect existing uses and high quality waters [learn more], and
  • Identifying general policies to implement these protection levels in point source discharge permits [learn more]

Water Quality Standards are important because they help water quality managers to protect and restore the quality of Wisconsin’s surface waters. Standards also support efforts to achieve and maintain protective water quality conditions. Any interested individual can have a role in the process of developing water quality standards. DNR reviews and, as appropriate, revises water quality standards at least once every three years. When water quality standards revisions are proposed, the public is notified of these revisions and a public hearing is held to gather input and comments. To find out which standards–related topics DNR is currently working on and how you can be involved, visit our triennial standard review page.

Last revised: Tuesday May 26 2015