Water Protection Program

Missouri Water Quality Criteria

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Criteria are elements of water quality standards, expressed as concentrations, levels, loads or narrative statements that represent the quality of water required to meet a designated or beneficial use.

Numeric criteria in the form of concentrations, loads, values etc. are applied to classified waters only. The majority of Missouri’s numeric criteria can be found in tables A and B in 10 CSR 20-7.031.

Listed below is the set of eight narrative or general criteria for Missouri that must be met in all waters of the state.

General Criteria

No water contaminant, by itself or in combination with other substances, shall prevent the waters of the state from meeting the following conditions:

  1. Waters shall be free from substances in sufficient amounts to cause the formation of putrescent, unsightly or harmful bottom deposits or prevent full maintenance of beneficial uses.
  2. Waters shall be free from oil, scum, and floating debris in sufficient amounts to be unsightly or prevent full maintenance of beneficial uses.
  3. Waters shall be free from substances in sufficient amounts to cause unsightly color or turbidity, offensive odor or prevent full maintenance of beneficial uses.
  4. Waters shall be free from substances or conditions in sufficient amounts to result in toxicity to human, animal, or aquatic life.
  5. There shall be no significant human health hazard from incidental contact with the water.
  6. There shall be no acute toxicity to livestock or wildlife watering.
  7. Waters shall be free from physical, chemical , or hydrologic changes that would impair the natural biological community.
  8. Waters shall be free from used tires, car bodies, appliances, demolition debris, used vehicles or equipment and solid waste as defined in Missouri’s Solid Waste Law, section 260.200, RSMo, except as the use of such materials is specifically permitted pursuant to section 260.200-260.247.