This page has been developed by the Watershed Assessment Section
of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental
Control (DNREC) to provide information about Surface Water Quality
Management in the State.
The National Clean Water Act of 1972 set in place a program that
is intended to restore the chemical, physical and biological integrity
of the nations waters. To reach these goals, a series of steps were
mandated by Congress for the Environmental Protection Agency and
the States to take.
The first step was for the States to set their own standards for
their waters. More information about standards
in general and Delaware's Standards.
DNREC monitors water quality in order to determine compliance with
its standards. An annual monitioring plan is developed and implemented.
Delaware's Fiscal year 2000 Surface
Water Quality Monitoring Plan.
States are also required to document their progress every two years
in their Watershed Assessment Reports (known as 305(b) Reports)
that are submitted to the EPA. EPA then rolls up all the States
reports into a National report to Congress. States are also required
to prepare a list of waters (the 303(d) list) that do not meet their
standards and submit those to the EPA every two years. More information
about Delaware's 305(b) Report and
For waters that fail to meet their standards, Total Maximum Daily
Loads (TMDLs) must be developed. Information
about TMDLs in general and Delaware's TMDL activities.