DENR Administrative Order No. 34 Series of 1990 (Philippines)
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DENR Administrative Order No. 34 Series of 1990

Year of Enactment and Implementation Enacted in 1990
Purpose Water Usage and Classification
Control Area Nationwide
Overview Water classification is the primary component in water quality management for which goals/objectives of each of the water bodies are met. Three activities are involved namely: establishments of water bodies beneficial use, identification of water quality indicators (or criteria pollutants) and water quality suitable for each use. In the Philippines classification is a very important component of water quality management since the application of effluent standards are dependent on this classification. This administrative order classifies water bodies into five (5) classes, ie.e AA, A, A, C for inland fresh waters and four (4) classes for marine and coastal water, i.e. SA, SB, SC and SD.
Features

Effluent Standards for different water quality parameters are described below:

Water Usage and Classifications
A) Fresh Surface Water (river, lakes, reservoir, etc.)

Classification Beneficial Use
Class AA Public Water Supply Class 1. This class is intended primarily for waters having watersheds which are uninhabited and otherwise protected and which require only approved disinfection in order to meet the National standards for Drinking Water (NSDW) of the Philippines.
Class A Public Water Supply Class 2. For sources of water supply that will require complete treatment (coagulation, sedimentation, filtration, and disinfection) in order to meet the NSDW.
Class B Recreational Water Class 1. For primarily contact recreation such as bathing, swimming, skin diving, etc. (particularly those designated for tourism purpose.)
Class C
  1. Fishery Water for the propagation and growth of fish and other aquatic resources.
  2. Recreational water class 2 (boating, etc)
  3. Industrial Water supply class 1 (from manufacturing processes after treatment)
Class D
  1. For agriculture, irrigation, live stocks watering, etc.)
  2. Industrial Water supply class 2 (e.g. cooling, etc.)Other
  3. inland waters by their quality belong to this classification.

Coastal and Marine Waters

Classification Beneficial Use
Class SA
  1. Waters suitable for the propagation survival and harvesting of selfish, for commercial purposes.
  2. Tourist Zones and national marine parks and reserves established under Presidential Proclamation No. 1801; existing laws and/or declared as such by appropriate government agency.
  3. Coral reef parks and reserves designated by law and concerned authorities.
  4. Waters suitable for the propagation survival and harvesting of selfish, for commercial purposes.
  5. Tourist Zones and national marine parks and reserves established under Presidential Proclamation No. 1801; existing laws and/or declared as such by appropriate government agency.
  6. Coral reef parks and reserves designated by law and concerned authorities.
Class SB
  1. Recreational Water Class 1 (areas regularly used by the public for bathing swimming, skin diving, etc.)
  2. Fishery Water class 3 (spawning areas for Chanos chanos or “Bangus” and similar species.
Class CS
  1. Recreational Water class 3 (e.g. boating, etc.)
  2. Fishery Water class 2 (commercial and sustenance fishing).
  3. Marchy and/or mangrove areas declared as fish and wildlife sanctuaries.
Class SD
  1. Industrial Water supply class 2 (e.g. cooling, etc.)
  2. Other coastal and marine waters, by their quality, belong to this classification.

Water Quality Criteria

(a) Minimum Criteria for Surface Waters. All surface waters of the country shall be free from:

1. Domestic, industrial, agricultural, or other man-induced non-thermal components of discharges which, alone or in combination with other substances or in combination with other components of discharges (whether thermal or non-thermal)

  1. That settle to form putrescent deposits or otherwise create a nuisance; or
  2. That float as debris, scum, oil, or other matter in such amounts as to form nuisances; or
  3. That produce color, odor, taste, turbidity, or other conditions in such degree as to create a nuisance; or
  4. That are acutely toxic; or
  5. That are present in concentrations which are carcinogenic, mutagenic, or teratogenic to human beings or to significant, locally occurring wildlife or aquatic species; or
  6. That pose a serious danger to the public health, safety or welfare.

2. Thermal components of discharges which alone, or in combination with other discharges or components of discharges (whether thermal or non-thermal):

  1. That produce conditions so as to create nuisance; or
  2. That increase the temperature of the receiving body of water (RBW) so as to cause substantial damage or harm to the aquatic life or vegetation therein or interfere with the beneficial uses assigned to the RBW.

(b) Water Quality Criteria for Fresh Waters.

1. Conventional and Other Pollutants Affecting Aesthetics and Oxygen Demand.– Please refer to Table 1 for the parameters and limits or specifications according to classification and use of the receiving body of water (RBW).

Table 1 - Water Quality Criteria for Conventional and Other Pollutants Contributing to Aesthetics and Oxygen Demand for Fresh Waters (a)
PARAMETER UNIT CLASS AA CLASS A CLASS B CLASS C CLASS D (b)
Color PCU 15 50 (c) (c) (c)
Temperature (d)
(max. rise in deg. Celcius)
°C rise   3 3 3 3
pH (range)   6.5 - 8.5 6.5 - 8.5 6.5 - 8.5 6.5 - 8.5 6.0 - 9.0
Dissolved Oxygen (e)
(Minimum)
% satnmg/L 705.0 705.0 705.0 605.0 403.0
5-Day 20°C BOD mg/L 1 5 5 7(10) 10(15)
Total Suspended Solids mg/L 25 50 (f) (g) (h)
Total Dissolved Solids mg/L 500 (i) 1,000 (i) - - 1,000 (i)
Surfactants (MBAS) mg/L nil 0.2(0.5) 0.3(0.5) 0.5 -
Oil/Grease (Petroleum Ether Extracts) mg/L nil 1 1 2 5
Nitrate as Nitrogen mg/L 1.0 10 nr 10(j) -
Phosphate as Phosphorus mg/L nil 0.1(k) 0.2(k) 0.4(k) -
Phenolic Substances as Phenols mg/L nil 0.002 0.005(l) 0.02(l) -
Total Coliforms MPN/100 mL 50(m) 1,000(m) 1,000(m) 5,000(m) -
Or Fecal Coliforms MPN/100 mL 20(m) 100(m) 200(m) - -
Chloride as Cl mg/L 250 250 - 350 -
Copper mg/L 1.0 1.0 - 0.05(o) -
Footnotes for Tables 1, 2, 3 and 4.
(a)-Except as otherwise indicated, the numerical limits in Tables 1 and 3 are yearly average values. Values enclosed in parentheses are maximum values.
(b)-For irrigation purposes, SAR should have a minimum value of 8 and a maximum value not to exceed 18. Boron should not exceed 0.75 mg/L.
(c)-No abnormal discoloration from unnatural causes
(d)-The allowable temperature increase over the average ambient temperature for each month. This rise shall be based on the average of the maximum daily temperature readings recorded at the site but upstream of the mixing zone over a period of one (1) month.
(e)-Sampling taken between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM
(f)-Not more than 30% increase
(g)-Not more than 30 mg/L increase
(h)-Not more than 60 mg/L increase
(i)-Do not apply if natural background is higher in concentration. The latter will prevail and will be used as baseline
(j)-Applicable only to lakes or reservoirs, and similarly impounded water
(k)-When applied to lakes or reservoirs, the Phosphate as P concentration should not exceed an average of 0.05 mg/L nor a maximum of 0.1 mg/L
(l)-Not present in concentrations to affect fish flavor/taste
(m)-These values refer to the geometric mean of the most probable number of coliform organism during a 3-month period and that the limit indicated shall not be exceeded in 20 percent of the samples taken during the same period
(n)-For spawning areas for Chanoschanos and other similar species
(o)-Limit is in terms of dissolved coppernil-Extremely low concentration and not detectable by existing equipment----Means the standard of these substances are not considered necessary for the present time, considering the stage of the country's development and DENR capabilities, equipment and resources
nr-Means No Recommendation made

2. Toxic and other Deleterious Substances. - The maximum limits for these types of pollutants according to classifications or use of the receiving body of water are found in Table 2.

Table 2 - Water Quality Criteria for Toxic and Other Deleterious Substances for Fresh Waters (For the Protection of Public Health)
PARAMETER UNIT CLASS AA CLASS A CLASS B CLASS C CLASS D
Arsenic (i) mg/L 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.01
Cadmium (i) mg/L 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.05
Chromium (i) (hexavalent) mg/L 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.05 -----
Cyanide mg/L 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.05 -----
Lead (i) mg/L 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.05 -----
Total Mercury (i) mg/L 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002
Organophosphate mg/L nil nil nil nil nil
Aldrin mg/L 0.001 0.001 - - -
DDT mg/L 0.05 0.05 - - -
Dieldrin mg/L 0.001 0.001 - - -
Heptachlor mg/L nil nil - - -
Lindane mg/L 0.004 0.004 - - -
Toxaphane mg/L 0.005 0.005 - - -
Methoxychlor mg/L 0.10 0.10 - - -
Chlordane mg/L 0.003 0.003 - - -
Endrin mg/L nil nil - - -
PCB mg/L 0.001 0.001 - - -
Note:
  1. Limiting values of organophosphates and organochlorines may in the meantime serve as guidelines in the interim period pending the procurement and availability of necessary laboratory equipment. For Barium, Cobalt, Fluoride, Iron, Lithium, Manganese, Nickel, Selenium, Silver and Vanadium, the 1978 NPCC Rules and Regulations, Section 69 may be considered.
  2. For footnotes please refer to Table 1.

(c) Coastal and Marine Waters Criteria.

1. Conventional and Other Pollutants Affecting Aesthetics and Oxygen Demand. The criteria for Class SA, SB, SC and SD are found in Table 3.

Table 3 - Water Quality Criteria for Conventional and Other Pollutants Affecting Aesthetics and Exerting Oxygen Demand for Coastal and Marine Waters. (A)
PARAMETER UNIT CLASS SA CLASS SB CLASS SC CLASS SD
Color PCU (c) (c) (c) (c)
Temperature (d) (max. rise in deg. Celsius) °C rise 3 3 3 3
pH (range)   6.5 - 8.5 6.0 - 8.5 6.0 - 8.5 6.0 - 9.0
Dissolved Oxygen (e)
(Minimum)
% satnmg/L 705.0 705.0 705.0 502.0
5-Day 20°C BOD mg/L 3 5 7(10) -
Total Suspended Solids mg/L (f) (g) (g) (h)
Surfactants (MBAS) mg/L 0.2 0.3 0.5 -
Oil/Grease (Petroleum Ether Extract) mg/L 1 2 3 5
Phenolic Substances as Phenols mg/L nil 0.01 (1) -
Total Coliforms MPN/100 mL 70(m) 1,000(m) 5,000(m) -
Fecal Coliforms MPN/100 mL nil 200(m) - -
Copper Mg/L - 0.02(n) (o) 0.05 (o) -
Note: For footnotes please refer to Table 1.

2. Toxic and Other Deleterious Substances. The maximum limits for toxic and other deleterious substances for waters classified as Class SA, SB, SC and SD waters are found in Table 4.

Table 4 - Water Quality Criteria for Toxic and Other Deleterious Substances for Coastal and Marine Waters (for the Protection of Public Health)
PARAMETER UNIT CLASS SA CLASS SB CLASS SC CLASS SD
Arsenic (i) mg/L 0.05 0.05 0.05 -
Cadmium (i) mg/L 0.01 0.01 0.01 -
Chromium (i)(hexavalent) mg/L 0.05 0.1 0.1 -
Cyanide mg/L 0.05 0.05 0.05 -
Lead (i) mg/L 0.05 0.05 0.05 -
Total Mercury (i) mg/L 0.002 0.002 0.002 -
Organophosphate mg/L nil nil nil -
Aldrin mg/L 0.001 - - -
DDT mg/L 0.05 - - -
Dieldrin mg/L 0.001 - - -
Heptachlor mg/L nil - - -
Lindane mg/L 0.004 - - -
Toxaphane mg/L 0.005 - - -
Methoxychlor mg/L 0.10 - - -
Chlordane mg/L 0.003 - - -
Endrin mg/L nil - - -
PCB mg/L 0.001 - - -
Note:
  1. Limiting values of organophosphates and organochlorines may in the meantime serve as guidelines in the interim period pending the procurement and availability of necessary laboratory equipment. For Barium, Cobalt, Fluoride, Iron, Lithium, Manganese, Nickel, Selenium, Silver and Vanadium, the 1978 NPCC Rules and Regulations, Section 69 may be considered.
  2. For footnotes please refer to Table 1.

(d) Methods of analysis. - For purposes of these regulations, any water sample taken for the purpose of classification or for determining compliance with the water quality criteria shall be analyzed in accordance with the methods enumerated in Table 5. The table also applies to determine compliance to effluent regulations

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