NPDES Training-Whole Effluent Toxicity Training and Videos
The NPDES permitting program offers training courses, workshops, and webinars to explain the regulatory framework and technical considerations of the NPDES permit program. These courses are designed for permit writers, dischargers, EPA officials, and other interested parties.
These recorded presentations enable participants to review the material on demand in a self-paced environment.
Whole Effluent Toxicity Training
EPA headquarters' NPDES Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) online training course covers the key elements of EPA’s NPDES WET permits program. These recorded web-based course modules cover most of the material presented during the live EPA NPDES WET courses provided to EPA regional offices and to the states.
The online NPDES WET modules are for persons implementing or permitted under the NPDES WET permits program. The modules familiarize viewers with EPA’s NPDES WET permits program and important WET technical concepts.
How to Navigate through Each Presentation:
Use the TABS on the left-hand side of the screen to access the online course menu to select: slide(s) from any of the modules, the audio transcript, and the acronym definition list available throughout all the modules. If you want to send a question click on the button at the top for Email EPA HQ’s WET Coordinator. The Resources button at the same location lets you access pdfs of several EPA NPDES WET documents and the WET analysis spreadsheet. The online course allows you to pause, advance to the next slide, or return to a previous slide similar to a DVD player.
The core modules in the online course focus on EPA’s freshwater acute and short-term chronic toxicity WET test methods. The course also includes information about EPA’s acute marine and short-term chronic estuarine and marine WET test methods used by states on the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico; as well as short-term chronic WET test methods used by west coast states on the Pacific Ocean by clicking on a blue button when it appears. By clicking the blue button additional slides will appear with the relevant estuarine and marine WET test methods information. After viewing these additional slides, you will be automatically returned to where you were in the core NPDES WET course.
There is a quiz at the end of each module. You must pass this quiz in order to complete the module and be able to print a certificate of completion. A passing score of 80% is required. If you do not pass the quiz, you will be able to review the quiz or retry the quiz. You can review the module or any of the slides before repeating the quiz.
- Module 1: Overview of the NPDES WET Permitting Program – Provides a general introduction to Sections 101 and 301 of the Clean Water Act that are applicable to EPA’s NPDES WET program; WET technical concepts; EPA’s recommended WET criteria; and WET implementation under EPA’s NPDES permits program. [42 minutes viewing time; 15 minutes to complete quiz]
- Module 2: NPDES Testing Methods for Whole Effluent Toxicity -- Provides an overview of WET test methods including the: WET test design; test species used in EPA’s WET tests; dilution water used to dilute effluent samples tested; and other important EPA WET test method recommendations and requirements. [29 minutes viewing time; 15 minutes to complete quiz]
- Module 3: NPDES Reviewing WET Tests and WET QA/QC -- Provides an overview of key EPA WET test methods requirements and recommendations regarding Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC) used to ensure WET test data quality and when evaluating whether WET test data are considered valid. (35 minutes viewing time; 15 minutes to complete quiz)
- Module 4: NPDES WET Statistical Analysis and Data Interpretation -- Provides an overview of EPA’s recommended statistical approaches for evaluating valid WET test data to determine whether the responses of EPA WET test organisms to various effluent test concentrations indicate a level of toxicity that would result in an excursion of state WET water quality standards or an exceedance of a NPDES WET permit limit. [47 minutes viewing time; 15 minutes to complete quiz]
- Module 5: Determining WET Reasonable Potential for NPDES Permitting -- Provides an introduction to EPA’s NPDES WET permits program requirements and recommendations for determining WET Reasonable Potential (RP). The module includes an outline of EPA’s step-by-step approach for determining if an NPDES effluent discharge has RP as prescribed in EPA’s NPDES RP permit regulations and permit guidance. [43 minutes viewing time; 15 minutes to complete quiz]
- Module 6: NPDES WET Permit Development -- Provides an overview of EPA’s NPDES permitting approaches including: key factors to consider when developing NPDES WET permit requirements; recommended permit conditions and language; suggested WET monitoring frequencies; how to address some common WET permitting concerns; how to calculate NPDES WET permit limits; and other important NPDES WET permit considerations. [59 minutes viewing time; 15 minutes to complete quiz]
- Module 7: NPDES WET Testing Decision-Making and WET Permit Language Review -- Provides and illustrates some of the NPDES permit decision-making approaches used when implementing WET under NPDES permits. Includes sample permit examples to describe a few of the decisions considered when implementing WET in NPDES permits. Contains examples of permit language reviews to emphasize possible mistakes when developing NPDES WET permits. [40 minutes viewing time; 15 minutes to complete quiz]
- Module 8: NPDES WET Compliance and Enforcement -- Provides an overview of EPA’s enforcement approaches including enforcement discretion with respect to NPDES WET permits. Includes a general overview of EPA’s NPDES national policy and guidance enforcement documents. [24 minutes viewing time; 15 minutes to complete quiz]
- Module 9: NPDES Toxicity Reduction Evaluations and Toxicity Identification Evaluations -- Provides a general overview of EPA's Toxicity Reduction Evaluations (TREs) and Toxicity Identification Evaluations (TIEs) procedures used to identify, reduce, and/or eliminate toxicity measured by EPA WET tests which results in excursions of state WET water quality standards and/or exceedances of NPDES permit limits. [42 minutes viewing time; 15 minutes to complete quiz]
Whole Effluent Toxicity Videos
EPA Freshwater Series
- Ceriodaphnia Survival and Reproduction Toxicity Test
- Culturing Fathead Minnows (Pimephales promelas)
- Fathead Minnow (Pimephales promelas) Larvel Survival and Growth Toxicity Test
EPA Saltwater Series
- Mysid (Americamysis bahia) Survival, Growth, and Fecundity Toxicity Tests
- Culturing Mysids (Americamysis bahia)
- Sperm Cell Toxicity Tests Using the Sea Urchin (Arbacia punctulata)
- Red Algal (Champia parvula) Sexual Reproduction Toxicity Tests
- Sheepshead Minnow (Cyprinodon variegatus) and Inland Silverside (Menidia beryllina) Larval Survival and Growth Toxicity Tests