Normative definitions of ecological status classifications 


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Normative definitions of ecological status classifications



Table 1.2. General definition for rivers, lakes, transitional waters and coastal waters

The following text provides a general definition of ecological quality. For the purposes of classification the values for the quality elements of ecological status for each surface water category

are those given in tables 1.2.1 to 1.2.4 below.

Element High status Good status Moderate status

General There are no, or only very minor, anthropogenic alterations

to the values of the physico-chemical and hydromorphological

quality elements for the surface water body type

from those normally associated with that type under undisturbed

conditions.

The values of the biological quality elements for the surface

water body reflect those normally associated with that type

under undisturbed conditions, and show no, or only very

minor, evidence of distortion.

These are the type-specific conditions and communities.

The values of the biological quality elements for the surface

water body type show low levels of distortion resulting

from human activity, but deviate only slightly from those

normally associated with the surface water body type under

undisturbed conditions.

The values of the biological quality elements for the surface

water body type deviate moderately from those normally

associated with the surface water body type under

undisturbed conditions. The values show moderate signs

of distortion resulting from human activity and are significantly

more disturbed than under conditions of good

status.

Waters achieving a status below moderate shall be classified as poor or bad.

Waters showing evidence of major alterations to the values of the biological quality elements for the surface water body type and in which the relevant biological communities deviate substantially

from those normally associated with the surface water body type under undisturbed conditions, shall be classified as poor.

Waters showing evidence of severe alterations to the values of the biological quality elements for the surface water body type and in which large portions of the relevant biological communities

normally associated with the surface water body type under undisturbed conditions are absent, shall be classified as bad.

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1.2.1. Definitions for high, good and moderate ecological status in rivers

Biological quality elements

Element High status Good status Moderate status

Phytoplankton The taxonomic composition of phytoplankton corresponds

totally or nearly totally to undisturbed conditions.

The average phytoplankton abundance is wholly consistent

with the type-specific physico-chemical conditions and is not

such as to significantly alter the type-specific transparency

conditions.

Planktonic blooms occur at a frequency and intensity

which is consistent with the type-specific physico-chemical

conditions.

There are slight changes in the composition and abundance

of planktonic taxa compared to the type-specific communities.

Such changes do not indicate any accelerated growth of

algae resulting in undesirable disturbances to the balance of

organisms present in the water body or to the physico-chemical

quality of the water or sediment.

A slight increase in the frequency and intensity of the typespecific

planktonie blooms may occur.

The composition of planktonie taxa differs moderately from

the type-specific communities.

Abundance is moderately disturbed and may be such as to

produce a significant undesirable disturbance in the values of

other biological and physico-chemical quality elements.

A moderate increase in the frequency and intensity of planktonie

blooms may occur. Persistent blooms may occur during

summer months.

Macrophytes and

phytobenthos

The taxonomic composition corresponds totally or nearly

totally to undisturbed conditions.

There are no detectable changes in the average macrophytic

and the average phytobenthic abundance.

There are slight changes in the composition and abundance

of macrophytic and phytobenthic taxa compared to the typespecific

communities. Such changes do not indicate any accelerated

growth of phytobenthos or higher forms of plant

life resulting in undesirable disturbances to the balance of organisms

present in the water body or to the physico-chemical

quality of the water or sediment.

The phytobenthic community is not adversely affected by

bacterial tufts and coats present due to anthropogenic activity.

The composition of macrophytic and phytobenthic taxa differs

moderately from the type-specific community and is significantly

more distorted than at good status.

Moderate changes in the average macrophytic and the average

phytobenthic abundance are evident.

The phytobenthic community may be interfered with

and, in some areas, displaced by bacterial tufts and coats

present as a result of anthropogenic activities.

Benthic invertebrate

fauna

The taxonomic composition and abundance correspond

totally or nearly totally to undisturbed conditions.

The ratio of disturbance sensitive taxa to insensitive taxa

shows no signs of alteration from undisturbed levels.

The level of diversity of invertebrate taxa shows no sign of

alteration from undisturbed levels.

There are slight changes in the composition and abundance

of invertebrate taxa from the type-specific communities.

The ratio of disturbance-sensitive taxa to insensitive taxa

shows slight alteration from type-specific levels.

The level of diversity of invertebrate taxa shows slight

signs of alteration from type-specific levels.

The composition and abundance of invertebrate taxa differ

moderately from the type-specific communities.

Major taxonomic groups of the type-specific community

are absent.

The ratio of disturbance-sensitive taxa to insensitive taxa,

and the level of diversity, are substantially lower than the

type-specific level and significantly lower than for good

status.

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Element High status Good status Moderate status

Fish fauna Species composition and abundance correspond totally

or nearly totally to undisturbed conditions.

All the type-specific disturbance-sensitive species are

present.

The age structures of the fish communities show little

sign of anthropogenic disturbance and are not indicative

of a failure in the reproduction or development of any

particular species.

There are slight changes in species composition and

abundance from the type-specific communities attributable

to anthropogenic impacts on physico-chemical and

hydromorphological quality elements.

The age structures of the fish communities show signs

of disturbance attributable to anthropogenic impacts on

physico-chemical or hydromorphological quality elements,

and, in a few instances, are indicative of a failure in

the reproduction or development of a particular species,

to the extent that some age classes may be missing.

The composition and abundance of fish species differ

moderately from the type-specific communities attributable

to anthropogenic impacts on physico-chemical or

hydromorphological quality elements.

The age structure of the fish communities shows major

signs of anthropogenic disturbance, to the extent that a

moderate proportion of the type specific species are absent

or of very low abundance.

Hydromorphological quality elements

Element High status Good status Moderate status

Hydrological

regime

The quantity and dynamics of flow, and the resultant connection

to groundwaters, reflect totally, or nearly totally,

undisturbed conditions.

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

River continuity The continuity of the river is not disturbed by anthropogenic

activities and allows undisturbed migration of

aquatic organisms and sediment transport.

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

Morphological

conditions

Channel patterns, width and depth variations, flow velocities,

substrate conditions and both the structure and

condition of the riparian zones correspond totally or

nearly totally to undisturbed conditions.

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

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Physico-chemical quality elements ()

Element High status Good status Moderate status

General conditions

The values of the physico-chemical elements correspond

totally or nearly totally to undisturbed conditions.

Nutrient concentrations remain within the range normally

associated with undisturbed conditions.

Levels of salinity, pH, oxygen balance, acid neutralising

capacity and temperature do not show signs of anthropogenic

disturbance and remain within the range normally

associated with undisturbed conditions.

Temperature, oxygen balance, pH, acid neutralising capacity

and salinity do not reach levels outside the range

established so as to ensure the functioning of the type

specific ecosystem and the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

Nutrient concentrations do not exceed the levels established

so as to ensure the functioning of the ecosystem

and the achievement of the values specified above for the

biological quality elements.

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

Specific synthetic

pollutants

Concentrations close to zero and at least below the limits

of detection of the most advanced analytical techniques

in general use.

Concentrations not in excess of the standards set in accordance

with the procedure detailed in section 1.2.6

without prejudice to Directive 91/414/EC and Directive

98/8/EC. (<EQS)

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

Specific non-synthetic

pollutants

Concentrations remain within the range normally associated

with undisturbed conditions (background

levels = bgl).

Concentrations not in excess of the standards set in accordance

with the procedure detailed in section 1.2.6 ()

without prejudice to Directive 91/414/EC and Directive

98/8/EC. (<EQS)

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

1 The following abbreviations are used: bgl = background level, EQS = environmental quality standard.

2 Application of the standards derived under this protocol shall not require reduction of pollutant concentrations below background levels: (EQS >bgl).

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1.2.2. Definitions for high, good and moderate ecological status in lakes

Biological quality elements

Element High status Good status Moderate status

Phytoplankton The taxonomic composition and abundance of phytoplankton

correspond totally or nearly totally to undisturbed

conditions.

The average phytoplankton biomass is consistent with

the type-specific physico-chemical conditions and is not

such as to significantly alter the type-specific transparency

conditions.

Planktonic blooms occur at a frequency and intensity

which is consistent with the type specific physico-chemical

conditions.

There are slight changes in the composition and abundance

of planktonic taxa compared to the type-specific

communities. Such changes do not indicate any accelerated

growth of algae resulting in undesirable disturbance

to the balance of organisms present in the water body or

to the physico-chemical quality of the water or sediment.

A slight increase in the frequency and intensity of the

type specific planktonie blooms may occur.

The composition and abundance of planktonie taxa differ

moderately from the type-specific communities.

Biomass is moderately disturbed and may be such as to

produce a significant undesirable disturbance in the condition

of other biological quality elements and the physico-

chemical quality of the water or sediment.

A moderate increase in the frequency and intensity of

planktonie blooms may occur. Persistent blooms may occur

during summer months.

Macrophytes

and phytobenthos

The taxonomic composition corresponds totally or nearly

totally to undisturbed conditions.

There are no detectable changes in the average macrophytic

and the average phytobenthic abundance.

There are slight changes in the composition and abundance

of macrophytic and phytobenthic taxa compared

to the type-specific communities. Such changes do not

indicate any accelerated growth of phytobenthos or higher

forms of plant life resulting in undesirable disturbance

to the balance of organisms present in the water body or

to the physico-chemical quality of the water.

The phytobenthic community is not adversely affected

by bacterial tufts and coats present due to anthropogenic

activity.

The composition of macrophytic and phytobenthic taxa

differ moderately from the type-specific communities

and are significantly more distorted than those observed

at good quality.

Moderate changes in the average macrophytic and the average

phytobenthic abundance are evident.

The phytobenthic community may be interfered with,

and, in some areas, displaced by bacterial tufts and coats

present as a result of anthropogenic activities.

Benthic invertebrate

fauna

The taxonomic composition and abundance correspond

totally or nearly totally to the undisturbed conditions.

The ratio of disturbance sensitive taxa to insensitive taxa

shows no signs of alteration from undisturbed levels.

The level of diversity of invertebrate taxa shows no sign of

alteration from undisturbed levels.

There are slight changes in the composition and abundance

of invertebrate taxa compared to the type-specific

communities.

The ratio of disturbance sensitive taxa to insensitive taxa

shows slight signs of alteration from type-specific levels.

The level of diversity of invertebrate taxa shows slight

signs of alteration from type-specific levels.

The composition and abundance of invertebrate taxa differ

moderately from the type-specific conditions.

Major taxonomic groups of the type-specific community

are absent.

The ratio of disturbance sensitive to insensitive taxa, and

the level of diversity, are substantially lower than the

type-specific level and significantly lower than for good

status.

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Element High status Good status Moderate status

Fish fauna Species composition and abundance correspond totally

or nearly totally to undisturbed conditions.

All the type-specific sensitive species are present.

The age structures of the fish communities show little

sign of anthropogenic disturbance and are not indicative

of a failure in the reproduction or development of a particular

species.

There are slight changes in species composition and

abundance from the type-specific communities attributable

to anthropogenic impacts on physico-chemical or

hydromorphological quality elements.

The age structures of the fish communities show signs

of disturbance attributable to anthropogenic impacts on

physico-chemical or hydromorphological quality elements,

and, in a few instances, are indicative of a failure in

the reproduction or development of a particular species,

to the extent that some age classes may be missing.

The composition and abundance of fish species differ

moderately from the type-specific communities attributable

to anthropogenic impacts on physico-chemical or

hydromorphological quality elements.

The age structure of the fish communities shows major

signs of disturbance, attributable to anthropogenic impacts

on physico-chemical or hydromorphological quality

elements, to the extent that a moderate proportion of

the type specific species are absent or of very low abundance.

Hydromorphological quality elements

Element High status Good status Moderate status

Hydrological

regime

The quantity and dynamics of flow, level, residence time,

and the resultant connection to groundwaters, reflect totally

or nearly totally undisturbed conditions.

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

Morphological

conditions

Lake depth variation, quantity and structure of the substrate,

and both the structure and condition of the lake

shore zone correspond totally or nearly totally to undisturbed

conditions.

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

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Physico-chemical quality elements ()

Element High status Good status Moderate status

General conditions

The values of physico-chemical elements correspond totally

or nearly totally to undisturbed conditions.

Nutrient concentrations remain within the range normally

associated with undisturbed conditions.

Levels of salinity, pH, oxygen balance, acid neutralising

capacity, transparency and temperature do not show

signs of anthropogenic disturbance and remain within

the range normally associated with undisturbed conditions.

Temperature, oxygen balance, pH, acid neutralising capacity,

transparency and salinity do not reach levels outside

the range established so as to ensure the functioning

of the ecosystem and the achievement of the values speci-

fied above for the biological quality elements.

Nutrient concentrations do not exceed the levels established

so as to ensure the functioning of the ecosystem

and the achievement of the values specified above for the

biological quality elements.

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

Specific synthetic

pollutants

Concentrations close to zero and at least below the limits

of detection of the most advanced analytical techniques

in general use.

Concentrations not in excess of the standards set in accordance

with the procedure detailed in section 1.2.6

without prejudice to Directive 91/414/EC and Directive

98/8/EC. (<EQS)

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

Specific nonsynthetic

pollutants

Concentrations remain within the range normally associated

with undisturbed conditions (background

levels = bgl).

Concentrations not in excess of the standards set in accordance

with the procedure detailed in section 1.2.6 ()

without prejudice to Directive 91/414/EC and Directive

98/8/EC. (<EQS)

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

1 The following abbreviations are used: bgl = background level, EQS = environmental quality standard.

2 Application of the standards derived under this protocol shall not require reduction of pollutant concentrations below background levels: (EQS >bgl).

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1.2.3. Definitions for high, good and moderate ecological status in transitional waters

Biological quality elements

Element High status Good status Moderate status

Phytoplankton The composition and abundance of the phytoplanktonic

taxa are consistent with undisturbed conditions.

The average phytoplankton biomass is consistent with

the type-specific physico-chemical conditions and is not

such as to significantly alter the type-specific transparency

conditions.

Planktonic blooms occur at a frequency and intensity

which is consistent with the type specific physico-chemical

conditions.

There are slight changes in the composition and abundance

of phytoplanktonic taxa.

There are slight changes in biomass compared to the typespecific

conditions. Such changes do not indicate any accelerated

growth of algae resulting in undesirable disturbance

to the balance of organisms present in the water

body or to the physico-chemical quality of the water.

A slight increase in the frequency and intensity of the

type specific planktonic blooms may occur.

The composition and abundance of phytoplanktonic taxa

differ moderately from type-specific conditions.

Biomass is moderately disturbed and may be such as to

produce a significant undesirable disturbance in the condition

of other biological quality elements.

A moderate increase in the frequency and intensity of

planktonie blooms may occur. Persistent blooms may occur

during summer months.

Macroalgae The composition of macroalgal taxa is consistent with

undisturbed conditions.

There are no detectable changes in macroalgal cover due

to anthropogenic activities.

There are slight changes in the composition and abundance

of macroalgal taxa compared to the type-specific

communities. Such changes do not indicate any accelerated

growth of phytobenthos or higher forms of plant

life resulting in undesirable disturbance to the balance of

organisms present in the water body or to the physicochemical

quality of the water.

The composition of macroalgal taxa differs moderately

from type-specific conditions and is significantly more

distorted than at good quality.

Moderate changes in the average macroalgal abundance

are evident and may be such as to result in an undesirable

disturbance to the balance of organisms present in

the water body.

Angiosperms The taxonomic composition corresponds totally or nearly

totally to undisturbed conditions.

There are no detectable changes in angiosperm abundance

due to anthropogenic activities.

There are slight changes in the composition of angiosperm

taxa compared to the type-specific communities.

Angiosperm abundance shows slight signs of disturbance.

The composition of the angiosperm taxa differs moderately

from the type-specific communities and is signifi-

cantly more distorted than at good quality.

There are moderate distortions in the abundance of angiosperm

taxa.

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Element High status Good status Moderate status

Benthic invertebrate

fauna

The level of diversity and abundance of invertebrate taxa

is within the range normally associated with undisturbed

conditions.

All the disturbance-sensitive taxa associated with undisturbed

conditions are present.

The level of diversity and abundance of invertebrate taxa

is slightly outside the range associated with the type-specific

conditions.

Most of the sensitive taxa of the type-specific communities

are present.

The level of diversity and abundance of invertebrate taxa

is moderately outside the range associated with the typespecific

conditions.

Taxa indicative of pollution are present.

Many of the sensitive taxa of the type-specific communities

are absent.

Fish fauna Species composition and abundance is consistent with

undisturbed conditions.

The abundance of the disturbance-sensitive species shows

slight signs of distortion from type-specific conditions attributable

to anthropogenic impacts on physico-chemical

or hydromorphological quality elements.

A moderate proportion of the type-specific disturbancesensitive

species are absent as a result of anthropogenic

impacts on physicochemical or hydromorphological

quality elements.

Hydromorphological quality elements

Element High status Good status Moderate status

Tidal regime The freshwater flow regime corresponds totally or nearly

totally to undisturbed conditions.

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

Morphological

conditions

Depth variations, substrate conditions, and both the

structure and condition of the intertidal zones correspond

totally or nearly totally to undisturbed conditions.

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

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Physico-chemical quality elements ()

Element High status Good status Moderate status

General conditions

Physico-chemical elements correspond totally or nearly

totally to undisturbed conditions.

Nutrient concentrations remain within the range normally

associated with undisturbed conditions.

Temperature, oxygen balance and transparency do not

show signs of anthropogenic disturbance and remain

within the range normally associated with undisturbed

conditions.

Temperature, oxygenation conditions and transparency

do not reach levels outside the ranges established so as to

ensure the functioning of the ecosystem and the achievement

of the values specified above for the biological quality

elements.

Nutrient concentrations do not exceed the levels established

so as to ensure the functioning of the ecosystem

and the achievement of the values specified above for the

biological quality elements.

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

Specific synthetic

pollutants

Concentrations close to zero and at least below the limits

of detection of the most advanced analytical techniques

in general use.

Concentrations not in excess of the standards set in accordance

with the procedure detailed in section 1.2.6

without prejudice to Directive 91/414/EC and Directive

98/8/EC. (<EQS)

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

Specific nonsynthetic

pollutants

Concentrations remain within the range normally associated

with undisturbed conditions (background levels =

bgl).

Concentrations not in excess of the standards set in accordance

with the procedure detailed in section 1.2.6 (2)

without prejudice to Directive 91/414/EC and Directive

98/8/EC. (<EQS)

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

1 The following abbreviations are used: bgl = background level, EQS = environmental quality standard.

2 Application of the standards derived under this protocol shall not require reduction of pollutant concentrations below background levels: (EQS >bgl).

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1.2.4. Definitions for high, good and moderate ecological status in coastal waters

Biological quality elements

Element High status Good status Moderate status

Phytoplankton The composition and abundance of phytoplanktonic taxa

are consistent with undisturbed conditions.

The average phytoplankton biomass is consistent with

the type-specific physico-chemical conditions and is not

such as to significantly alter the type-specific transparency

conditions.

Planktonic blooms occur at a frequency and intensity

which is consistent with the type specific physico-chemical

conditions.

The composition and abundance of phytoplanktonic taxa

show slight signs of disturbance.

There are slight changes in biomass compared to typespecific

conditions. Such changes do not indicate any

accelerated growth of algae resulting in undesirable disturbance

to the balance of organisms present in the water

body or to the quality of the water.

A slight increase in the frequency and intensity of the

type-specific planktonic blooms may occur.

The composition and abundance of planktonie taxa show

signs of moderate disturbance.

Algal biomass is substantially outside the range associated

with type-specific conditions, and is such as to impact

upon other biological quality elements.

A moderate increase in the frequency and intensity of

planktonie blooms may occur. Persistent blooms may occur

during summer months.

Macroalgae and

angiosperms

All disturbance-sensitive macroalgal and angiosperm

taxa associated with undisturbed conditions are present.

The levels of macroalgal cover and angiosperm abundance

are consistent with undisturbed conditions.

Most disturbance-sensitive macroalgal and angiosperm

taxa associated with undisturbed conditions are present.

The level of macroalgal cover and angiosperm abundance

show slight signs of disturbance.

A moderate number of the disturbance-sensitive macroalgal

and angiosperm taxa associated with undisturbed

conditions are absent.

Macroalgal cover and angiosperm abundance is moderately

disturbed and may be such as to result in an undesirable

disturbance to the balance of organisms present in

the water body.

Benthic invertebrate

fauna

The level of diversity and abundance of invertebrate taxa

is within the range normally associated with undisturbed

conditions.

All the disturbance-sensitive taxa associated with undisturbed

conditions are present.

The level of diversity and abundance of invertebrate taxa

is slightly outside the range associated with the type-specific

conditions.

Most of the sensitive taxa of the type-specific communities

are present.

The level of diversity and abundance of invertebrate taxa

is moderately outside the range associated with the typespecific

conditions.

Taxa indicative of pollution are present.

Many of the sensitive taxa of the type-specific communities

are absent.

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Hydromorphological quality elements

Element High status Good status Moderate status

Tidal regime The freshwater flow regime and the direction and speed

of dominant currents correspond totally or nearly totally

to undisturbed conditions.

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

Morphological

conditions

The depth variation, structure and substrate of the coastal

bed, and both the structure and condition of the intertidal

zones correspond totally or nearly totally to the undisturbed

conditions.

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

Physico-chemical quality elements ()

Element High status Good status Moderate status

General conditions

The physico-chemical elements correspond totally or

nearly totally to undisturbed conditions.

Nutrient concentrations remain within the range normally

associated with undisturbed conditions.

Temperature, oxygen balance and transparency do not

show signs of anthropogenic disturbance and remain

within the ranges normally associated with undisturbed

conditions.

Temperature, oxygenation conditions and transparency

do not reach levels outside the ranges established so as to

ensure the functioning of the ecosystem and the achievement

of the values specified above for the biological quality

elements.

Nutrient concentrations do not exceed the levels established

so as to ensure the functioning of the ecosystem

and the achievement of the values specified above for the

biological quality elements.

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

Specific synthetic

pollutants

Concentrations close to zero and at least below the limits

of detection of the most advanced analytical techniques

in general use.

Concentrations not in excess of the standards set in accordance

with the procedure detailed in section 1.2.6

without prejudice to Directive 91/414/EC and Directive

98/8/EC. (<EQS)

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

Specific nonsynthetic

pollutants

Concentrations remain within the range normally associated

with undisturbed conditions (background levels =

bgl).

Concentrations not in excess of the standards set in accordance

with the procedure detailed in section 1.2.6 ()

without prejudice to Directive 91/414/EC and Directive

98/8/EC. (<EQS)

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

1 The following abbreviations are used: bgl = background level, EQS = environmental quality standard.

2 Application of the standards derived under this protocol shall not require reduction of pollutant concentrations below background levels: (EQS > bgl).

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1.2.5. Definitions for maximum, good and moderate ecological potential for heavily modified or artificial water bodies

Element Maximum ecological potential Good ecological potential Moderate ecological potential

Biological quality

elements

The values of the relevant biological quality elements re-

flect, as far as possible, those associated with the closest

comparable surface water body type, given the physical

conditions which result from the artificial or heavily

modified characteristics of the water body.

There are slight changes in the values of the relevant biological

quality elements as compared to the values found

at maximum ecological potential.

There are moderate changes in the values of the relevant

biological quality elements as compared to the values

found at maximum ecological potential.

These values are significantly more distorted than those

found under good quality.

Hydromorphological

elements

The hydromorphological conditions are consistent with

the only impacts on the surface water body being those

resulting from the artificial or heavily modified characteristics

of the water body once all mitigation measures have

been taken to ensure the best approximation to ecological

continuum, in particular with respect to migration of

fauna and appropriate spawning and breeding grounds.

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

Physico-chemical

elements

General conditions

Physico-chemical elements correspond totally or nearly

totally to the undisturbed conditions associated with the

surface water body type most closely comparable to the

artificial or heavily modified body concerned.

Nutrient concentrations remain within the range normally

associated with such undisturbed conditions.

The levels of temperature, oxygen balance and pH are

consistent with the those found in the most closely comparable

surface water body types under undisturbed conditions.

The values for physico-chemical elements are within the

ranges established so as to ensure the functioning of the

ecosystem and the achievement of the values specified

above for the biological quality elements.

Temperature and pH do not reach levels outside the ranges

established so as to ensure the functioning of the ecosystem

and the achievement of the values specified above

for the biological quality elements.

Nutrient concentrations do not exceed the levels established

so as to ensure the functioning of the ecosystem

and the achievement of the values specified above for the

biological quality elements.

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

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Element Maximum ecological potential Good ecological potential Moderate ecological potential

Specific synthetic

pollutants

Concentrations close to zero and at least below the limits

of detection of the most advanced analytical techniques

in general use.

Concentrations not in excess of the standards set in accordance

with the procedure detailed in section 1.2.6

without prejudice to Directive 91/414/EC and Directive

98/8/EC. (<EQS)

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

Specific nonsynthetic

pollutants

Concentrations remain within the range normally associated

with the undisturbed conditions found in the surface

water body type most closely comparable to the artificial

or heavily modified body concerned (background levels

= bgl).

Concentrations not in excess of the standards set in accordance

with the procedure detailed in section 1.2.6 (1)

without prejudice to Directive 91/414/EC and Directive

98/8/EC. (< EQS)

Conditions consistent with the achievement of the values

specified above for the biological quality elements.

1 Application of the standards derived under this protocol shall not require reduction of pollutant concentrations below background levels.

EU Water Framework Directive Водна Рамкова директива ЄС 89

1.2.6. Procedure for the setting of chemical quality standards by Member States

In deriving environmental quality standards for pollutants listed in points 1 to 9 of Annex VIII

for the protection of aquatic biota, Member States shall act in accordance with the following provisions.

Standards may be set for water, sediment or biota.

Where possible, both acute and chronic data shall be obtained for the taxa set out below which

are relevant for the water body type concerned as well as any other aquatic taxa for which data

are available. The ‚base set‘ of taxa are:

— algae and/or macrophytes

— daphnia or representative organisms for saline waters

— fish.

Setting the environmental quality standard

The following procedure applies to the setting of a maximum annual average concentration:

(i) Member States shall set appropriate safety factors in each case consistent with the nature and

quality of the available data and the guidance given in section 3.3.1 of Part II of Technical

guidance document in support of Commission Directive 93/67/EEC on risk assessment for

new notified substances and Commission Regulation (EC) No 1488/94 on risk assessment

for existing substances’ and the safety factors set out in the table below:

Safety factor

At least one acute L(E)C50 from each of three trophic levels of the base set 1000

One chronic NOEC (either fish or daphnia or a representative organism for

saline waters)

Two chronic NOECs from species representing two trophic levels (fish and/or

daphnia or a representative organism for saline waters and/or algae)

Chronic NOECs from at least three species (normally fish, daphnia or a representative

organism for saline waters and algae) representing three trophic

levels

Other cases, including field data or model ecosystems, which allow more precise

safety factors to be calculated and applied

Case-by-case

assessment

(ii) where data on persistence and bioaccumulation are available, these shall be taken into account

in deriving the final value of the environmental quality standard;

(iii) the standard thus derived should be compared with any evidence from field studies. Where

anomalies appear, the derivation shall be reviewed to allow a more precise safety factor to be

calculated;

(iv) the standard derived shall be subject to peer review and public consultation including to allow

a more precise safety factor to be calculated.

EU Water Framework Directive Водна Рамкова директива ЄС 90



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