As currently designed, Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) limits are based on the assumptions that there is a direct correspondence between the total mass of waste loads and ambient water quality and that an annual cap on total wasteload allocations (WLAs) can sufficiently maintain water
quality. This study of the nutrient loads and water quality tidal freshwater Potomac River over the period 1985-1995 suggests that hydrology is an important factor to consider in developing adequate WLAs for metropolitan tidal rivers. Furthermore, the hydrograph could be a vital tool in designing
flexible and adaptive TMDLs for such areas.
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