Aquatic Toxicity Testing 


Toxicity monitoring is often used as a characterization tool to identify areas that are toxic and to provide a quantifiable measure of the observed toxicity. However, toxicity tests can also be used to (1) assess long-term changes in pollutant loading to receiving streams, (2) demonstrate changes in spatial and temporal patterns in the biological quality of water that result from environmental remediation actions and improvements in treatment systems, (3) assess water quality in those areas where community sampling is not performed (e.g., springs and tributaries which may not have sufficient biota to effectively monitor change), and (4) identify contaminants of concern when unexpected changes in water quality occur at sites where aquatic communities have stabilized.



Toxicity tests are most commonly conducted for compliance with limits established by regulatory agencies, thus EPA-recommended methods are most often used. Test methods include the 3-brood cladoceran (Ceriodaphnia dubia), Survival and Reproduction Test, and the Fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) Larval Survival and Growth Test.


Toxicity results are available for streams in:

For more information regarding Aquatic Toxicity Testing Studies, please contact Mark S. Greeley.

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Last Modified: April 17, 2001