The Clean Water Act (CWA) established the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States and regulating quality standards for surface waters. The CWA established a permitting system called the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) for these discharges. Wastewater effluents are monitored under the NPDES program. The program is also applicable to stormwater, surface waters, and sludges. The rules and regulations for the CWA are located in 40 CFR Part 136.

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