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What is a TMDL Project and Why Are We Conducting One on the Root River? Root River Turbidity TMDL Stakeholder’s Introduction Meeting November 20 th, 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "What is a TMDL Project and Why Are We Conducting One on the Root River? Root River Turbidity TMDL Stakeholder’s Introduction Meeting November 20 th, 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is a TMDL Project and Why Are We Conducting One on the Root River? Root River Turbidity TMDL Stakeholder’s Introduction Meeting November 20 th, 2008

2 Meeting Outline Part One: Project Introduction – MPCA –Background on TMDL process –Root River Turbidity TMDL Specifics Part Two: Project Details – Fillmore SWCD –Monitoring sites: responsibilities and locations –Sampling protocol and equipment Break out session for questions and discussion Comment Box Sign up for Stakeholder Advisory Group

3 Presentation Outline What does ‘TMDL’ mean? The TMDL Process –How are waters assessed? –What makes a water impaired? –What are water quality standards? –What are designated uses? –What does a TMDL study entail? Root River Turbidity Impairments –What is turbidity? –Why are they impaired? What happens after the TMDL?

4 What does TMDL mean? Total Maximum Daily Load What ‘load’ of a pollutant can the water body take before it can’t be used for it’s designated uses?

5 The TMDL Process Assess the state’s waters List those that do not meet standards Identify sources and reductions needed (TMDL study) Implement restoration activities (Implementation Plan) Evaluate water quality

6 How Does the MPCA Assess? 1.Call for Data –MPCA compiles data that has been collected from them, other state agencies, local government and volunteers –Data must meet rigorous quality assurance protocols 2.Data Analysis –MPCA analyzes to identify potential impairments 3.Professional Judgment Teams –MPCA staff, data collectors, other regional and local experts –Confirm or refine preliminary impairment listings 4.Informational Meetings –Held across state to review list and answer questions 5.Public Notice and Comment Period 6.US EPA Approval to place on Impaired Waters 303(d) List This happens every two years

7 What is “Impaired”? A water is “impaired” or polluted if it does not meet one or more of the water quality standards Therefore, they are “impaired” for one or more of their designated uses As of 2008, MN has 1,475 impairments on 336 rivers and 510 lakes

8 What Are Water Quality Standards? Define how much of a pollutant can be in a water and still let it meet its designated uses Water Quality Standards from EPA Criterion –state can adopt more stringent, or more lenient standard based on local information –state can develop standard for something EPA has not if there is a need (ex: certain herbicides in MN)

9 What Are Designated Uses? Each MN stream and lake was assigned a designated beneficial use in the 1970s Some uses: aquatic life, recreation, drinking water, agriculture, wildlife, other Aquatic Life –‘fishable’ –all reaches impaired in the Root River are impaired for aquatic life Root River Outfitters

10 Aquatic Life in the Root Watershed Brown Trout Brook Trout Small Mouth Bass Caddis fly larvae Stone fly larvae Dragon fly larvae Crayfish Red tail hawk Directly dependant on aquatic life: Swallow Mussels

11 The TMDL Study Identifies sources of a pollutant and sets reductions needed to meet designated use

12 What is a TMDL? Total Maximum Daily Load –Process: 2-4 years of technical study –Number: calculation of the maximum amount of a pollutant the water body can receive and still meet water quality standards –Results in a pollution reduction plan Identifies sources (point and non-point) and allocates reductions Total Maximum Daily Load = Non Point Source Loads + Point Source Loads + Margin of Safety + Reserve Capacity

13 Point Sources Non Point Sources Point Sources Non Point Sources Map out current sources -why is the water not meeting the water quality standards? Implement strategies to reduce load and meet water quality standards IMPLEMENTATION IDENTIFICATION (TMDL STUDY)

14 Why Do A TMDL? Federal requirement under the Clean Water Act –State required to identify and restore impaired waters Public support for clean water is strong -Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment Restores beneficial uses of surface waters Protects community assets and quality of life –development potential –protects property values –tourism benefits –opportunity for local leadership

15 Root River Turbidity TMDL 11 turbidity listings affecting aquatic life –listed on 2008 impaired waters list Contract between MPCA and Fillmore County SWCD –sub contracts with: DNR (fisheries and waters); modeling portion 3 years of technical study (2008-2010) Final report due June 2011

16 Turbidity Measure of water clarity (transparency tube) Indicator of water quality Caused by suspended and dissolved matter –clay, silt, organic matter and algae Measured in NTUs (Nephelometric Turbidity Units) –25 NTU is State standard High levels limit light penetration in water –Can inhibit aquatic plant growth, fish gill function, damage spawning habitat, make it difficult for aquatic organisms to find food 5, 50, 500 NTUs 1.5 cm >60 cm

17 Turbidity Visuals ~0-3 NTU ~12-20 NTU ~12-30 NTU??

18 Sources of Turbidity 1.Erosion: –construction sites –stream banks –farm fields 2.Urban run off during precipitation events 3.Bottom feeders such as carp 4.Excessive algal growth 4 3 1 1 2 1

19 1.Root River Main Stem - Thompson Creek to Mississippi River 2.Root River South Fork - T102 R9W S26, west line to Wisel Creek 3.Money Creek - T105 R7W S21, north line to Root River 4.Root River South Branch - Willow Creek to Camp Creek 5.Root River South Branch - Canfield Creek to Willow Creek 6.Root River South Branch – T102 R12W S21, north line to Canfield Creek 7.Judicial Ditch #1 – Unnamed Creek to South Branch Root River 8.Forestville Creek - Unnamed Creek to South Branch Root River 9.Root River South Branch – Headwaters to T102 R12W S16, south line 10.Root River North Branch – Unnamed Creek to Mill Creek 11.Root River North Branch – Headwaters to Carey Creek Listings for Turbidity in the Root River 1 2 3 4-9 10 11

20 How were the Root River turbidity listings assessed? For transparency, a transparency tube measurement of less than 20 centimeters indicates a violation of the 25 NTU turbidity standard. For TSS, a measurement of more than 60 mg/L in the Western Corn Belt Plains eco-region indicates a violation. Turbidity is a highly variable water quality measure. Because of this variability, and the use of TSS and transparency as surrogates, a total of 20 independent observations (rather than 10) are now required for a turbidity assessment. If sufficient turbidity measurements exist, only turbidity measurements will be used to determine impairment. If there are insufficient turbidity measurements, any combination of independent turbidity, transparency, and total suspended solids observations may be combined to meet assessment criteria. If there are multiple observations of a single parameter in one day, the mean of the values will be used in the assessment process. If there are observations of more than one of the three parameters in a single day, the hierarchy of consideration for assessment purposes will be turbidity, then transparency, then total suspended solids. For a water body to be listed as impaired for turbidity, at least 3 observations and 10% of observations must be in violation of the turbidity standard. This is an increase in the number of violations required, which was previously 10% of 10 required observations. From MPCA’s Guidance Manual for Assessing the Quality of Minnesota’s Surface Waters:

21 Transparency tube data: need 10% to list, had 21% at Money Creek (25 exceedences of the 25 NTU standard) From the Document: Data Summary Report, 305b/303d Preliminary Assessments. 2008 Assessment Cycle, MPCA

22 Identification of sources (TMDL study) Point Sources Non Point Sources What happens after the study?... Assessed Listed

23 What Happens After the TMDL study? TMDL Implementation Plan –Strategy for implementing practical management measures for the Root River to achieve needed reductions to restore water quality Some examples of implementation strategies: (from Lower Cannon River Turbidity TMDL) –Erosion Control: ex. conservation tillage –Landscape Buffers –Rotational Grazing –Cover Crops –Water Retention Projects –Urban Stormwater Management –Point Source Permits Evaluation

24 What Makes a Good TMDL study? Citizen involvement is a key component to a successful TMDL Need local expertise to develop a management strategy that will work for the area

25 For More Information on Monitoring Sites as Data Comes In: Environmental Data Access:

26 Root River Watershed North Boundary

27 End of Part One

28 Part Two Joe Magee – Fillmore SWCD

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