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Fish pathogens have received increased attention as a factor impacting chronic Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) tests (i.e., as “interference” in these tests) and NPDES permit compliance determinations. Although various regulatory approaches can be applied to address the problem, confirming the presence of pathogens can be difficult. The goal of this study was to develop a systematic approach for identification and confirmation of fish pathogens based on studies with industrial effluents where fish pathogens were identified as the causative “toxicants” using the techniques presented herein. The study resulted in a very functional “weight of evidence” approach that provides three levels of certainty (symptomatic, preliminary identification, confirmation) regarding the causative role of fish pathogens. This allows a cost-effective, phased approach in resolving WET permit compliance issues. Various precedents exist for revising NPDES permit conditions once the role of effluent pathogens has been confirmed.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/193864702784900354

Publication date: January 1, 2002

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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