Ala. Admin. Code r. 335-6-11-.01 - The Use Classification System

(1) Use classifications utilized by the State of Alabama are as follows:

Outstanding Alabama Water ...................


Public Water Supply .........................


Swimming and Other Whole Body

Shellfish Harvesting ........................


Fish and Wildlife ...........................


Limited Warmwater Fishery ...................


Agricultural and Industrial

Water Supply ................................


(2) Use classifications apply water quality criteria adopted for particular uses based on existing utilization, uses reasonably expected in the future, and those uses not now possible because of correctable pollution but which could be made if the effects of pollution were controlled or eliminated. Of necessity, the assignment of use classifications must take into consideration the physical capability of waters to meet certain uses.
(3) Those use classifications presently included in the standards are reviewed informally by the Department's staff as the need arises, and the entire standards package, to include the use classifications, receives a formal review at least once every three years. Efforts currently underway through local 201 planning projects will provide additional technical data on certain waterbodies in the State, information on treatment alternatives, and applicability of various management techniques, which, when available, will hopefully lead to new decisions regarding use classifications. Of particular interest are those segments which are currently classified for any usage which has an associated degree of quality criteria considered to be less than that applicable to a classification of "Fish and Wildlife." As rapidly as it can be demonstrated that new classifications are feasible and attainable on these segments from an economic and technological viewpoint, based on the information being generated pursuant to water quality studies and the planning efforts previously outlined, such improvement will be proposed. For those segments where such a demonstration cannot be made, use attainability analyses describing in detail the factors preventing attainment of the "Fish and Wildlife" use will be prepared pursuant to federal requirements and updated as new information becomes available.
(4) Although it is not explicitly stated in the classifications, it should be understood that the use classification of "Shellfish Harvesting" is only applicable in the coastal area and, therefore, is included only in the Mobile River Basin, Escatawpa River Basin, and the Perdido River Basin. It should also be noted that with the exception of those segments in the "Public Water Supply" classification, every segment, in addition to being considered acceptable for its designated use, is also considered acceptable for any other use with a less stringent associated criteria.
(5) Not all waters are included by name in the use classifications since it would be a tremendous administrative burden to list all waterbody segments in the State. In addition, in virtually every instance where a segment is not included by name, the Department has no information or waterbody data upon which to base a decision relative to the assignment of a particular classification. An effort has been made, however, to include all major waterbody segments and all segments that, to the Department's knowledge, are currently recipients of point source discharges. Those segments which are not included by name will be considered to be acceptable for a "Fish and Wildlife" classification unless it can be demonstrated that such a generalization is inappropriate in specific instances.


Ala. Admin. Code r. 335-6-11-.01
Originally Adopted: May 5, 1967. Amended: June 19, 1967. Amended: April 1, 1970. Amended: October 16, 1972. Amended: September 17, 1973. Amended: May 30, 1977. Amended: December 19, 1977. Amended: February 4, 1981. Amended: April 5, 1982. Amended: December 11, 1985. Amended: March 26, 1986. Amended: Filed August 3, 2000; effective September 7, 2000. Amended: Filed April 22, 2008; effective May 27, 2008. Amended: Filed February 25, 2014; effective April 1, 2014. Amended by Alabama Administrative Monthly Volume XXXV, Issue No. 03, December 30, 2016, eff. 2/3/2017.

Authors: James E. Mclndoe, Chris L. Johnson

Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, ยงยง 22-22 -9, 22-22A-5, 22-22A-6, 22-22A-8.

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