(1) Waters classified C-3 are to be maintained suitable for bathing, swimming, and recreation, and growth and propagation of non-salmonid fishes and associated aquatic life, waterfowl, and furbearers. The quality of these waters is naturally marginal for drinking, culinary, and food processing purposes, agriculture, and industrial water supply.
(2) No person may violate the following specific water quality standards for waters classified C-3:
(a) Water quality criteria for Escherichia coli are expressed in colony forming units per 100 milliliters of water or as most probable number, which is a statistical representation of the number of organisms in a sample, as incorporated by reference in 40 CFR 136.3(b). The water quality standard for Escherichia coli bacteria (E-coli) varies according to season, as follows:
(i) from April 1 through October 31, the geometric mean number of E-coli may not exceed 126 colony forming units per 100 milliliters and 10 percent of the total samples may not exceed 252 colony forming units per 100 milliliters during any 30-day period; and
(ii) from November 1 through March 31, the geometric mean number of E-coli may not exceed 630 colony forming units per 100 milliliters and 10 percent of the samples may not exceed 1,260 colony forming units per 100 milliliters during any 30-day period.
(b) Dissolved oxygen concentration must not be reduced below the applicable standards specified in department Circular DEQ-7.
(c) Induced variation of hydrogen ion concentration (pH) within the range of 6.5 to 9.0 must be less than 0.5 pH unit. Natural pH outside this range must be maintained without change. Natural pH above 7.0 must be maintained above 7.0.
(d) The maximum allowable increase above naturally occurring turbidity is 10 nephelometric turbidity units, except as permitted in 75-5-318, MCA.
(e) A 3ºF maximum increase above naturally occurring water temperature is allowed within the range of 32ºF to 77ºF; within the range of 77ºF to 79.5ºF, no thermal discharge is allowed which will cause the water temperature to exceed 80ºF; and where the naturally occurring water temperature is 79.5ºF or greater, the maximum allowable increase in water temperature is 0.5ºF. A 2ºF per-hour maximum decrease below naturally occurring water temperature is allowed when the water temperature is above 55ºF. A 2ºF maximum decrease below naturally occurring water temperature is allowed within the range of 55ºF to 32ºF.
(f) No increases are allowed above naturally occurring concentrations of sediment or suspended sediment (except as permitted in 75-5-318, MCA), settleable solids, oils or floating solids, which will or are likely to create a nuisance or render the waters harmful, detrimental, or injurious to public health, recreation, safety, welfare, livestock, wild animals, birds, fish, or other wildlife.
(g) True color must not be increased more than five color units above naturally occurring color.
(h) Concentrations of carcinogenic, bioconcentrating, toxic, radioactive, nutrient, or harmful parameters may not exceed the applicable standards set forth in Department Circular DEQ-7 and, unless a nutrient standards variance has been granted, Department Circular DEQ-12A.
(i) Dischargers issued permits under ARM Title 17, chapter 30, subchapter 13, shall conform with ARM Title 17, chapter 30, subchapter 7, the nondegradation rules, and may not cause receiving water concentrations to exceed the applicable standards specified in Department Circular DEQ-7 and, unless a nutrient standards variance has been granted, Department Circular DEQ-12A when stream flows equal or exceed the design flows specified in ARM 17.30.635(2).
(j) If site-specific criteria for aquatic life are adopted using the procedures given in 75-5-310, MCA, the criteria shall be used as water quality standards for the affected waters and as the basis for permit limits instead of the applicable standards specified in Department Circular DEQ-7.
(k) In accordance with 75-5-306(1), MCA, it is not necessary that wastes be treated to a purer condition than the natural condition of the receiving water as long as the minimum treatment requirements, adopted pursuant to 75-5-305, MCA, are met.