Water quality guidelines and standards in the marine
This Section provides tabulated summaries of the
water quality guidelines and standards used for
the protection of the marine environment. Once substances
of concern have been identified in relation to a
particular discharge and some understanding of the
fate, behaviour and effects of the substance has
been gleaned from Appendices B
and C, the appropriate standards,
where they exist, can be identified in the tables
The standards listed are those used by the competent
authorities in the management of water quality in
the marine environment. They have been derived for
a number of purposes, including:
- the protection of saltwater life (Environmental
Quality Standards) (EQSs).
- the protection of shellfish populations for
human consumption in designated shellfish waters;
- the protection of human health while bathing
in designated waters.
These are the statutory standards that must be
observed in receiving marine and estuarine waters
and are used in setting discharge consents.
All of the standards in Tables 1,2,3 & 4
are only applicable in the water column.
There are no equivalent EQSs for sediments in the
UK. However, sediment quality standards have been
developed elsewhere in Europe and Canada (Tables
Environmental Quality Standards
Standards needed to meet other
Sediment quality standards