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Approved by EPA on March 6, 2018

DEQ released the Final 2016 305(b)/303(d) Water Quality Assessment Integrated Report (Integrated Report) on April 2, 2018. The 2016 Integrated Report is a summary of the water quality conditions in Virginia from January 1, 2009, through December 31, 2014.

This biennial report satisfies the requirements of the U.S. Clean Water Act sections 305(b) and 303(d) and the Virginia Water Quality Monitoring, Information and Restoration Act. The goals of Virginia's water quality assessment program are to determine whether waters meet water quality standards, and to establish a schedule to restore waters with impaired water quality.

Water quality standards designate uses for waters. There are six designated uses for surface waters in Virginia:

  • aquatic life
  • fish consumption
  • public water supplies (where applicable)
  • recreation (swimming)
  • shellfishing
  • wildlife

Additionally, several subcategories of aquatic life use have been adopted for the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries. The standards define the water quality needed to support each of these uses. If a water body contains more contamination than allowed by water quality standards, it will not support one or more of its designated uses. Such waters have 'impaired' water quality. In most cases, a cleanup plan (called a 'total maximum daily load') must be developed and implemented to restore impaired waters.

The Draft Integrated Report was released on August 7, 2017 and made available for public comment through September 6, 2017. Comments were received from the public and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In response to comments, the report was revised and resubmitted to EPA on November 9, 2017 and February 22, 2018. EPA approved the revised report on March 6, 2018. The Public Comments and Response document contains comments received on the draft report and DEQ’s responses.

The Summary Presentation of the Draft 2016 Water Quality Assessment contains statistics presented at the public information webinar on August 24, 2017. A link to the recording of the presentation is available. Also, questions posed at the webinar were compiled and are addressed in the FAQ document.

The entire Final 2016 305(b)/303(d) Water Quality Assessment Integrated Report is a 79.6 MB bookmarked PDF available for download or scroll down to view and download the smaller individual components of the report.

All chapters of the report and the supplemental files are PDF documents. Please visit DEQ’s help page if you are unable to view these files.

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures


Executive Summary

Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 State Background Information

Chapter 3 Surface Water Monitoring Programs

Chapter 4 Surface Water Quality Assessment
    Chapter 4.1 Assessment Methodology
    Chapter 4.2 Statewide Water Quality Assessment Summary
    Chapter 4.3 Individual River Basin Assessment Results
    Chapter 4.4 Freshwater Probabilistic Monitoring Results
    Chapter 4.5 Estuarine Probabilistic Monitoring Results
    Chapter 4.6 Chesapeake Bay Assessment Results

Chapter 5 Non-Point Source Assessment

Chapter 6 Groundwater Programs Assessment

Chapter 7 Water Quality Programs
    Chapter 7.1 Water Pollution Control Programs (VPDES and TMDLs)
    Chapter 7.2 303(d) Program Visions
    Chapter 7.3 Pollution Prevention Programs
    Chapter 7.4 Cost/Benefit Associated with Construction Assistance Program
    Chapter 7.5 Public Health/Aquatic Life Concerns
    Chapter 7.6 Coastal Resources Management Program Initiatives
    Chapter 7.7 Chesapeake Bay Program Initiatives
    Chapter 7.8 Wetlands Program Initiatives
    Chapter 7.9 Regional Water Quality Initiatives

Appendix 1 Integrated List of All Waters in Virginia
    1a List of Category 5 Impaired Waters (303(d) List)
    1b Supplemental List of Category 5 Waters Newly Impaired in 2016 (303(d) List)
    1c List of Category 4A Impaired Waters
    1d List of Category 4C Impaired Waters
Appendix 2 Water Quality Based Limited Sources - Category 4B and 5E Waters
    2a Category 4B and 5E Waters Identified for Delisting since the 2014 Report
Appendix 3 Waters Identified for Delisting since the 2014 Report
Appendix 4 Waters Delisted Due to Removal of Designated Use
Appendix 5 Fact Sheets for Category 5 Waters (includes all basins)
     Chesapeake Bay, Atlantic Ocean and Small Coastal Basin Fact Sheets
     Chowan River and Dismal Swamp Basin Fact Sheets
     James River Basin Fact Sheets
     New River Basin Fact Sheets
     Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers Basin Fact Sheets
     Rappahannock River Basin Fact Sheets
     Roanoke and Yadkin Rivers Basin Fact Sheets
     Tennessee and Big Sandy Rivers Basin Fact Sheets
     York River Basin Fact Sheets
Appendix 6 Clean Water Act References
Appendix 7 List of Significant Lakes
Appendix 8 Current Status of TMDL Development in Virginia
Appendix 9 Water Monitoring Station Key (Stations provided by basin below)
     Chesapeake Bay, Atlantic Ocean and Small Coastal Basin Stations
     Chowan River and Dismal Swamp Basin Stations
     James River Basin-Lower Stations
     James River Basin-Middle Stations
     James River Basin-Upper Stations
     Potomac River Basin Stations
     Rappahannock River Basin Stations
     Roanoke and Yadkin Rivers Basin Stations
     Shenandoah River Basin Stations
     Tennessee and Big Sandy Rivers Basin Stations
     York River Basin Stations

STATEWIDE, BASIN and CHESAPEAKE BAY MAPS - Electronic versions of the assessment maps are available for download/viewing. Each map is a PDF between 1 MB and 12 MB formatted to fit on an 11x17 page except for the Chesapeake Bay maps which are 8.5x11. For more detailed information on impaired waters identified on these maps, please use the Virginia Environmental Geographic Information Systems (VEGIS) application.

DEQ Regional Offices
Virginia's 6th Order Watersheds
Assessment Regions per 6th Order Watershed
Watersheds with Assessed Use(s) 2002-2016
Virginia's Section 303(d) Waters
Distribution of Impaired Waters
Waters Impaired for Fish Consumption
Bacteria Impairments
Dissolved Oxygen Impairments
Benthic Impairments
TMDL Completion Status
Water Quality Restoration Progress
Shellfishing Designated Use Support Status

Chesapeake Bay/Atlantic Ocean and Small Coastal Basin Map
Chowan River and Dismal Swamp Basin Map
Lower James River Basin Map
Middle James River Basin Map
Upper James River Basin Map
New River Basin Map
Potomac River Basin Map
Rappahannock Basin Map
Roanoke and Yadkin Rivers Basin Map
Shenandoah River Basin Map
Tennessee and Big Sandy Rivers Basin Map
York River Basin Map

Summary of All Impairment Causes in Virginia's Bay Waters
Shallow Water-Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Assessment
Open Water Dissolved Oxygen Criteria Assessment
Deep Water and Deep Channel D.O. Assessment
Benthic Index of Biological Integrity Assessment
James River Chlorophyll a Criteria Assessment

Attention GIS users:
GIS data used in the production of the Integrated Report is available for download from this website.

Interactive Mapping:
Virginia Environmental Geographic Information Systems (VEGIS) - The impaired waters identified in this report can be viewed using DEQ's online GIS application which allows users to zoom to an area of interest and retrieve assessment information for specific waters.

Additional Information:
To obtain reports from previous assessment cycles, please contact Cleo Baker or Amanda Shaver.

The Final 2016 305(b)/303(d) Water Quality Assessment Guidance Manual, released September 6, 2016, is also available.

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

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