Laws, to tell you the truth, we were not excited about researching this section. There are so many laws at the federal, state, and local level that most of the time they interfere with each other, making the whole situation confusing.
The spirit behind the many water pollution laws in this country is to make our water safe for us to use. Basically, if you don't want to pour it in a glass and drink it or swim in it or take a bath in it, don't put that substance in creeks or lakes anywhere.
If you're intrested in learning more about California laws and regulations regarding water issues go to this waterboard website and look up your region. At this website you will be able to navigate the political scene and get the information you seek.
Here are the basics:
The Clean Water Act, passed in 1972, is a federal law that regulates the amount of pollution that enters our nations lakes, rivers, and streams. It includes businesses applying for federal permits to pollute into waterways.
This Act makes it illegal to dump oil into the river.
The Federal Water Pollution Control Administration approves the water quality standards of each state in the US (Nemerow 204).
In the US there is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) working on lessening the water pollution effects in our daily lives, while still using our freshwater supply as effectively as possible.