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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.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2000

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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