Government of British Columbia: Ministry of Environment: Water Quality Guidelines for Selenium
Ambient Water Quality Guidelines for Selenium
Prepared pursuant to Section 2(e) of the
Environment Management Act, 1981
Original signed by Margaret Eckenfelder
Assistant Deputy Minister
Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection
August 22, 2001
Canadian Cataloguing in Publication Data
Nagpal, N. K.
Ambient water quality guidelines for selenium : overview
Prepared by N. K. Nagpal. Cf. p.
The technical report with overview published as a separate document.
Also available on the Internet. ISBN 0-7726-4626-0
1. Water quality - Standards - British Columbia.
2. Selenium - Environmental aspects - British Columbia.
I. British Columbia. Water Protection Branch. II. Title.
TD227.B7N34 2001 363.739'462'09711 C2001-960248-0
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Table 1: Summary of Water Quality Guidelines for Selenium
Application of the Guidelines
This document is one in a series that establishes ambient water quality guidelines (Table 1). This document is mainly based on a report originally prepared by the British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks in 1997 and then updated in year 2001. It sets guidelines for selenium (Se) to protect drinking water, freshwater and marine aquatic life, and agricultural water uses.
Guidelines were not set for recreational and industrial water uses, since relevant Se toxicity data for these uses were not available in the literature.
Selenium can be both beneficial as well as toxic to biota. In aquatic environments, organisms accumulate Se from both water and food. The bioaccumulation of Se through the diet, however, is usually greater than the direct uptake from water. Therefore, toxic effects of selenium in food may be more significant than the waterborne Se.
The guidelines are summarized in Table 1.