In British Columbia, the Ministry of Environment develops Water Quality Criteria (provincially applicable guidelines) and site specific Water Quality Objectives. Dissolved gas supersaturation (DGS) has been identified as a potential threat to fish populations in many water courses throughout the province. DGS has been examined in terms of its causes, environmental levels, and potential impacts on fresh water and marine environments. Based on scientific data from the literature, B.C. Water Quality Guidelines were developed for DGS which protect fresh water and marine life from the effects of gas bubble trauma (GBT). These guidelines were derived primarily from information describing the adverse physiological effects of DGS on fish and invertebrates. Additional factors, such as environmental variables and organism behavioural patterns which can intensify or mitigate these effects, are considered in the guideline application. Local information can also be used to develop site-specific objectives for a specific water body and water use. At this time, no other water uses (i.e. drinking water, agricultural, recreational or industrial) could be identified which would require guidelines for DGS.
Fidler, L.E., Miller, S.B.. 1997. British Columbia Water Quality Guidelines for the Protection of Aquatic Biota from Dissolved Gas Supersaturation - Technical Report. BC Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks
Keywords: dissolved gas, subdermal emphysema, exophthalmia, GBT, gas bubble trauma
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