Water Quality in Georgia

Table of contents

Georgia 305(b)/303(d) Integrated Report

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Section 305(b) of the Clean Water Act requires States to assess its water quality every two years.  To develop this report, Georgia compares water quality data collected across the State against our Water Quality Standards using the State’s Listing Assessment Methodology and places each water into one of three broad assessment categories; 1) supporting their designated use; 2) not supporting their designated use; or 3) assessment pending.  Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act requires States to submit a list of all waters that are not supporting their designated uses and need to have a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) developed.

Georgia publishes the 305(b)/303(d) integrated report which is titled “Water Quality in Georgia”, the 305(b)/303(d) list of waters is found in Appendix A of this report. This list is organized by waterbody type (e.g. Rivers/Streams, Lakes/Reservoirs, etc.), provides the name, location, and assessment category. If the designated use is not being supported, causes of impairment are listed along with potential sources of pollutants. 

Prioritization Framework for Georgia 303(d) Waters

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US EPA has developed a Long-Term Vision for assessment, restoration, and protection of waters under the Clean Water Act Section 303(d) Program.  This Vision focuses on six elements including 1) Prioritization, 2) Assessment, 3) Protection, 4) Alternatives, 5) Engagement and 6) Integration.  In accordance with this Vision, GA EPD has developed a Draft Priority Framework that describes how GA EPD will prioritize waters on the 303(d) list for development of TMDLs or TMDL alternatives. EPD has prepared Georgia's List of Priority Waters.

Guidance for Submitting Data For 305(b)/303(d) Integrated Report

Most data used to develop the 305(b)/303(d) list of waters is collected by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, one of our sister agencies (Wildlife Resource Division, Coastal Resources Division, Parks and Historic Sites Division) or the USGS.  Third parties such as local governments, universities, environmental groups, industries, etc. also submit data for use in development of the 305(b)/303(d) list.  In accordance with Chapter 391-3-6-.03(13) of the Rules and Regulations for Water Quality Control, outside parties who wish to submit data for use in the 305(b)/303(d) listing process must submit and receive approval of a Sampling Quality Assurance Plan (SQAP).  The purpose of this plan is to ensure that the data collected is of sufficient quality and quantity to make sound assessment decisions.  Guidance for preparing a submitting a SQAP is provided below.

Deadlines for Submitting Data for Use in the 305(b)/303(d) Integrated Report

A public notice soliciting data for use in the development of the 2020 305(b)/303(d) list of waters was issued on February 21, 2019.  Data is to be submitted by July 1, 2019.  Details regarding requirements for submission of data can be found in the public notice.

Georgia 2018 305(b)/303(d) List Documents – Approved by U.S. EPA June 14, 2019

2018 305(b)/303(d) Integrated Report (Water Quality in Georgia 2016-2017)

Appendix A – 2018 List of Waters

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The supporting documents below provide additional information regarding the 2018 305(b)/303(d) List of Waters.  A brief explanation as to how the list was developed and a description of how it is organized is provided in “Description of the 2018 305(b)/303(d) List of Waters”.  It is recommended that those not familiar with the 305b/303d List of Waters read this document.

Supporting Documents

Historical 305(b)/303(d) Documents

2016 305(b)/303(d) Integrated Report (Water Quality in Georgia 2014-2015)

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Approved by USEPA October 4, 2018

Appendix A (2016 List of Waters)

Supporting Documents

2014 305(b)/303(d) Integrated Report (Water Quality in Georgia 2012-2013)

Appendix A (2014 List of Waters)

2012 305(b)/303(d) Integrated Report (Water Quality in Georgia 2010-2011)

Appendix A (2012 List of Waters)

2010 305(b)/303(d) Integrated Report (Water Quality in Georgia 2008-2009)

Appendix A (2010 List of Waters)

2008 305(b)/303(d) Integrated Report (Water Quality in Georgia 2006-2007)

Appendix A (2008 List of Waters)

Appendix B – Fish Consumption Guidelines for Year 2007

2006 305(b)/303(d) Integrated Report (Water Quality in Georgia 2004-2005)

Appendix A (2006 List of Waters)

Appendix B – Waters Added to Georgia’s 305(b)/303(d) List by US EPA

Appendix C – Fish Consumption Guidelines for Year 2005

2004 305(b)/303(d) Integrated Report (Water Quality in Georgia 2002-2003)

2002 305(b)/303(d) Integrated Report (Water Quality in Georgia 2000-2001)

305(b)/303(d) GIS Data Sets

GIS Data Sets (state-wide version) for Georgia's Integrated 305(b)/303(d) Reports can be found here. Also on this page are coverages of river basins, groundwater recharge areas, hydrologic unit codes (HUCs), landfills, RiverCare 2000, and the Georgia GIS Clearinghouse.