In 1948, Congress passed legislation to manage the pollution of our nation's waters. The enacted legislation was given the title of the Water Pollution Control Act. It was revised and amended in 1972, and again in 1977. This Act is now known by its current title, the Clean Water Act (CWA). The CWA is the primary federal law that seeks to protect lakes, rivers, aquifers and coastal areas. Its two main goals are to:


  • Eliminate the discharge of pollutants into the nation's waters
  • Achieve water quality levels that are fishable and swimmable


According to the CWA, it is unlawful to discharge any pollutant from a point source (e.g. pipes, man made ditches, channels, etc.) into navigable waters without a permit (i.e., National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit). The EPA's Water Quality Protection Division is responsible for issuing NPDES permits, as well as, providing administrative support and enforcement of the law from State to State.

NPDES monitoring and reporting requirements are site-specific. Pollutants regulated are grouped as:


  • Conventional          Pollutants contained in the sanitary wastes of households, business, and industries.
  • Toxic                      Pollutants particularly harmful to animal or plant life, mainly organics and metals.
  • Nonconventional      Substances that are not conventional or toxic, this includes nutrients, such as, nitrogen and phosphorus.


In addition to performing analyses that meet NPDES requirements, ASSET Laboratories offers trained personnel to collect samples from wastewater discharge points. Wastewater analyses offered include:


  • Conventional              Oil & Grease (EPA 1664)
  • Toxic Organics        Pesticides & PCB’s (EPA 608), Volatile Organic Compounds (EPA 624) and Semi-Volatile Organic      Compounds (EPA 625)
  • Toxic Metals               Cadmium, Chromium, Copper, Lead, Mercury, Nickel, Silver, and Zinc (EPA 200.7; 200.8; 245.1; 6010B; 6020)
  • Nonconventional         Biochemical Oxygen Demand (EPA 405.1), Chemical Oxygen Demand (EPA 410.4), Nitrogen (EPA 353.3), pH (EPA 150.1), Phosphorus (EPA 365.3), Total Dissolved Solids (EPA 160.1), Total Suspended Solids (EPA 160.2) and Anions (EPA 300.0)

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