The availability and suitability of existing information on municipal wastewater-treatment practices and effluent characteristics for use in a national water-quality assessment were evaluated. The information will be used to determine the effects of changes in wastewater-treatment practices on stream quality and ecosystem health. A large amount of information on treatment practices and effluent characteristics exists, and some of this information is available from Federal and State computer data bases. However, the suitability of existing information to accomplish the objectives of a national water-quality assessment is limited.
The suitability of this information would be improved by (1) increasing the number of water-quality constituents routinely analyzed for in samples of municipal effluent, (2) increasing the frequency of effluent sampling at some facilities, (3) developing a quality-assurance plan for wastewater flow-rate determinates, and (4) increasing the amount of effluent water-quality data entered into Federal and State computer data bases.