Bacterial Water Quality Standards for Recreational Waters (Freshwater and Marine Waters) Status Report



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United States Environmental Protection Agency


The purpose of the Status Report is to provide a brief overview of the bacterial water quality standards that have been adopted by states for their marine and fresh recreational waters in the United States. This report is based on consultations with EPA water quality standards coordinators. The report is accurate as of September 1997; however, there may be revisions to standards that are not reflected in this report. EPA will update the report periodically to reflect new information. The following tables contain updated information on the bacterial water quality standards that have been adopted by states, territories, and tribes to protect human health from waterborne diseases within their jurisdictions. The information is presented in summary format for both states/territories and tribes. The standards are also described in more detail. The summary is organized first by EPA region, and then by state, territory, and tribe within each region. For the precise regulatory language applicable to a particular state, the reader should consult the water quality standards of that state. Copies of state water quality standards may be obtained from the state's water quality management agency or its equivalent. The reader should also note that these may not be the only guidelines or standards in effect for recreational waters in a particular location. It is not uncommon for a local health agency to develop and adopt site-specific guidelines as part of their public health codes. Although EPA is compiling a catalog of these guidelines, one should consult with the appropriate local health agency to obtain detailed information.


40 pages; available for download at the link below.


water quality standards, water quality, microbiology