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2015 Assessment Methodology

The links below include a general overview of the suite of Assessment Methods used by the Department to collect and assess water quality data for use in compiling the biennial Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report, which satisfies requirements of the federal Clean Water Act sections 303(d) and 305(b). Following the narrative are links to individual monitoring and assessment protocols for surface waters of the Commonwealth.

Assessment and Listing Methodology for Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Reporting (PDF)

Assessment Protocols

Watershed Assessment Protocol

Macroinvertebrate Stream Protocols

Field Sampling Protocols

Lake Assessment Protocols

Chemistry and Bacteria

Natural Sources

Outside Agency


For questions, assistance or request for training on any of the Department’s protocols please contact the Division of Water Quality Standards staff in the Assessment Section at 717-787-9637 or send email to