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Total Maximum Daily Load Program

Person aboard jet ski at sunset on a North Texas lake A view of the Trinity River with blue sky above. Great Blue Heron standing on a branch on the Trinity River

Total Maximum Daily Load and Impairment Programs

A total maximum daily load (TMDL) is like a budget for pollutants for impaired waterbodies. It estimates the amount of a pollutant that a water body can receive and still support its designated uses. Designated uses may include fishing, general use, and how the water supports aquatic life. The load is then allocated among the sources of pollution within the watershed, and measures to reduce pollutant loads are developed as necessary. Those measures are generally addressed within an Implementation Plan or I-Plan - which is formulated through a stakeholder driven effort to achieve improved water quality while giving stakeholders appropriate flexibility. A TMDL becomes part of the state's Water Quality Management Plan after it is adopted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

 

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Program Highlights

2016 TMDL Program Highlights

Cities in the watershed continue to address bacteria levels in the impaired waterways covered by the Implementation Plan. Highlights from 2016 include:

  • Hosted two workshops aimed at educating municipal and community representatives on challenges related to bacteria impairment in the Greater Trinity Region. Both the Sanitary Sewer Overflow workshop and the Green Infrastructure and Low Impact Development workshop had over 60 attendees.
  • Developed a spatial database and map of sanitary sewer overflow density by zip code in the TMDL area since 2011.
  • Supported the Doo the Right Thing campaign, with over 150 individuals taking a pet waste pledge to help reduce bacteria-laden runoff reaching local waterways.
  • Completed administrative and technical edits to the Implementation Plan (I-Plan) that were reviewed and approved by the subcommittees and Coordination Committee.
  • Continued partnership with AgriLife Stephenville, engaging regional stakeholders to implement strategies to reduce bacteria in impaired segments of the Upper Trinity River Basin.
  • Engaged subcommittees to define priority levels and status updates for each strategy and corresponding sub-strategy in the 2016 I-Plan Strategies Matrix. This tool will be used by the subcommittees to determine progress for the I-Plan strategies in 2017.

 

2015 TMDL Program Highlights

Cities in the watersheds continue to address bacteria levels in the impaired waterways covered by the Implementation Plan. Highlights from 2015 include:

  • Created the Water Quality BMP Library as a resource for regional stakeholders. The Library contains over 100 resources and will continued to be updated with new resources.
  • The Bacteria TMDL Coordination Committee voted to add 4 impaired segments to the Implementation Plan. If approved by the TCEQ, the total segments covered by the Implementation Plan will total 21 segments.
  • Supported Doo the Right Thing Pet Calendar with over 100 individuals take a pet waste pledge to help reduce bacteria laden runoff reaching local waterways.
  • Partnered with AgriLife Stephenville to address bacterial impairments in basin 0805 and those impaired sub-segments of the Trinity River. The first year of this effort increased education and outreach to raise stakeholders' water quality awareness.
  • Developed an Implementation Plan strategies matrix for prioritizing strategies for FY2016.

 

2014 TMDL Program Highlights

Although the I-Plan was not formally adopted until December 2013, cities in the impaired watersheds had already begun to make progress on addressing bacteria levels in the impaired waterways.

  • Created the Monitoring Coordination Forum to provide real-time analysis of water monitoring for better feedback on best management practices (BMPs).
  • Reviewed existing Regional Stormwater Management Program Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination materials to evaluate need to adapt for greater emphasis on bacteria.
  • Developed two age-appropriate stormwater education videos for students with bacteria-specific information included.
  • Adapted pet waste education promotional item, the annual DOO the Right Thing cutest dog calendar, to greater emphasize bacteria component in pet waste.
  • NCTCOG began seeking input into and development of Implementation Strategy 8.0 - the BMP Library (see I-Plan below).

I-Plan for Seventeen Total Maximum Daily Loads for Bacteria in the Greater Trinity River Region- adopted 12/11/2013

 

For more information on the Greater Trinity River TMDL Projects or on how to become involved, contact Rachel Evans at 817-695-9223 or revans@nctcog.org.

 

 
 
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