Surface Water Quality Standards
In 1972, Congress passed the federal Clean Water Act. One of the requirements of the Clean Water Act is that each state develop standards for their waters to ensure the beneficial uses, such as swimming and fishing, were protected.
A water quality standard defines the water quality goals of a water body, or a portion of the water body. The water quality standards regulations establish the use or uses to be made of a water body, set criteria necessary to protect the uses, and establish policies to maintain and protect water quality. South Dakota has developed surface water quality standards for all waters of the state, as required by the Clean Water Act. South Dakota's water quality standards are designed to protect public health and welfare, enhance the quality of water, and uphold the goals of the federal Clean Water Act.
The Administrative Rules of South Dakota (ARSD 74:51:01, :02, and :03) contain South Dakota's surface water quality standards. Chapter 74:51:01 contains both the numeric and narrative criteria to protect the uses of the state's water bodies. Chapters 74:51:02 and 74:51:03 designate the beneficial uses assigned to each specific water body in the state.