How we begin the process of getting to clean water
We assess polluted water bodies to determine the sources of pollution. We then decide whether straight to implemtation or a TMDL is the best approach to clean up the water body.
Straight to implementation cannot be used in watersheds where there are wastewater treatment plants or other point source dischargers that need more rigorous effluent limits in order for the water to meet water quality standards.
How straight to implementation works
If we decide to use a straight to implementation, then we need to determine which best management practices (BMPs) to use to address the pollutants. It generally takes a number of BMPs to fully address the pollution. In some cases, a single BMP may be sufficient.
Our goal is to eliminate pollution from all identified sources. To do this, our staff work with landowners and various groups in the project area. We provide information about pollution problems, identified solutions, and technical assistance. We may also help with identifying sources of financial assistance.
Why don't we use a TMDL?
TMDLs are useful to identify sources of pollution and set targets for reducing pollution. However, there are times when the sources of pollution and the steps to prevent it are obvious, so a TMDL is not necessary.
This happens most often in watersheds with a small set of similar land uses. In these situations, we may choose to work directly with landowners and other partners in the watershed to implement management practices that will eliminate the pollution problem