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Elimination of Whole Effluent Toxicity NPDES Permit Limits through the Use of an Alternative Testing Species and Reasonable Potential Analysis

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The cladoceran, Ceriodaphnia dubia (C. dubia), is required by the State of South Carolina to be used in whole effluent toxicity (WET) compliance tests in order to meet limits contained within National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. Westinghouse Savannah River Company (WSRC) experienced WET test failures for no clear reason over a long period of time. Toxicity identification evaluations on effluents did not indicate the presence of toxicants; therefore, the WET test itself was brought under suspicion. Research was undertaken with an alternate cladoceran, Daphnia ambigua (D. ambigua). It was determined that this species survives better in soft water, so approval was obtained from regulating authorities to use this “alternate” species in WET tests. The result was better test results and elimination of non-compliances. The successful use of D. ambigua allowed WSRC to gain approval from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) to remove WET limits from the NPDES permit.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2005

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