The purpose of these standards is to define what a given waterbody should be and what is must not be allowed to become because of a discharge.

Below are some important definitions from MA water quality standards (MAWQS).

Class B. These waters are designated as a habitat for fish, other aquatic life, and
wildlife, including for their reproduction, migration, growth and other critical functions, and
for primary and secondary contact recreation. Where designated in 314 CMR 4.06, they shall
be suitable as a source of public water supply with appropriate treatment (“Treated Water
Supply”). Class B waters shall be suitable for irrigation and other agricultural uses and for
compatible industrial cooling and process uses. These waters shall have consistently good
aesthetic value.

All of the rivers in the upper Taunton including the mainstem which have permitted discharges are defined as class B waters.

More info on Class B definitions..... HERE

 


Why are the two definitions below from MAWQS important?

Aquatic Life. A native, naturally diverse, community of aquatic flora and fauna including, but
not limited to, wildlife and threatened and endangered species.

Biological Integrity. The capability of supporting and maintaining a balanced, integrated,
adaptive community of organisms having species composition, diversity, and functional
organization comparable to that of the natural habitat of the region.

Because they tell us that a discharge shall not disrupt or destroy the aquatic integrity of the receiving waters. The use of the words "Native" and "Natural" are important in both definitions.

Taunton River Basin Maps & Classifications.....HERE

Full Text Massachusetts Water Quality Standards......HERE