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Special Protection Waters

Special Protection Waters

Chapter 93 of the Pennsylvania Code sets forth water quality standards for surface waters of the Commonwealth, including wetlands. These standards are based upon water uses which are to be protected and will be considered by the Department of Environmental Protection in implementing its authority under The Clean Streams Law and other statutes that authorize protection of surface water quality.

According to Chapter 93, the following are water uses which shall be protected, and upon which the development of water quality criteria shall be based, are set forth, accompanied by their identifying symbols:


 Protected Use

Aquatic Life


Cold Water Fishes—Maintenance or propagation, or both, of fish species including the family Salmonidae and additional flora and fauna which are indigenous to a cold water habitat.


Warm Water Fishes—Maintenance and propagation of fish species and additional flora and fauna which are indigenous to a warm water habitat.


Migratory Fishes—Passage, maintenance and propagation of anadromous and catadromous fishes and other fishes which ascend to flowing waters to complete their life cycle.


Trout Stocking—Maintenance of stocked trout from February 15 to July 31 and maintenance and propagation of fish species and additional flora and fauna which are indigenous to a warm water habitat.

Water Supply


Potable Water Supply—Used by the public as defined by the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act, 42 U.S.C.A. §  300F, or by other water users that require a permit from the Department under the Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act (35 P. S. § §  721.1—721.18), or the act of June 24, 1939 (P. L. 842, No. 365) (32 P. S. § §  631—641), after conventional treatment, for drinking, culinary and other domestic purposes, such as inclusion into foods, either directly or indirectly.


Industrial Water Supply—Use by industry for inclusion into nonfood products, processing and cooling.


Livestock Water Supply—Use by livestock and poultry for drinking and cleansing.


Wildlife Water Supply—Use for waterfowl habitat and for drinking and cleansing by wildlife.


Irrigation—Used to supplement precipitation for growing crops.

Recreation and Fish Consumption


Boating—Use of the water for power boating, sail boating, canoeing and rowing for recreational purposes when surface water flow or impoundment conditions allow.


Fishing—Use of the water for the legal taking of fish. For recreation or consumption.


Water Contact Sports—Use of the water for swimming and related activities.


Esthetics—Use of the water as an esthetic setting to recreational pursuits.

Special Protection


High Quality Waters—Surface waters having quality which exceeds levels necessary to support propagation of fish, shellfish, and wildlife and recreation in and on the water by satisfying §  93.4b(a).


Exceptional Value Waters—Surface waters of high quality which satisfy §  93.4b(b) (relating to antidegradation).



Navigation—Use of the water for the commercial transfer and transport of persons, animals and goods.

Perry County has streams in the Aquatic life and Special Protection designations within its boundaries. These waters fall under anti-degradation requirements and are protected in such a way that existing in stream water uses and the level of water quality necessary to protect the existing uses shall be maintained and protected. You can check out Perry County stream designations at the following website. Perry’s streams are in the Susquehanna River Basin (93.9M, 93.9N and 93.9O).
To view a Pennsylvania map that includes identification information on Special Protection waters (high quality and exceptional value) in Perry County visit Emap on the Department of Environmental Protection's website.