Skip to main content

Benthic Community Impairments and TMDLs: The Development of a Methodology to Address a Narrative Standard and Multiple Stressors

Buy Article:

$17.50 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Or sign up for a free trial

Aquatic life impairments make up a large proportion of the 303(d) listed water bodies nationwide. In Virginia, approximately 35 percent of the impaired streams are listed on the 303(d) list because of violations of the General Standard (9 VAC 25-260-20).

The Commonwealth of Virginia and EPA, working with Tetra Tech, Inc., has developed a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) methodology to address streams with impaired benthic communities. The first such TMDLs are being developed for Cooks Creek and Blacks Run in Rockingham County. These streams are located in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley and together drain an area with extensive urban and agricultural development. Blacks Run drains much of the City of Harrisonburg and is a major tributary to Cooks Creek, which flows into the North River.

The TMDL process establishes a link between the impairment and benthic community stressors. A reference watershed approach was used for the identification of benthic community stressors and appropriate TMDL endpoints. The reference watershed selection process is based upon a comparative analysis of key watershed attributes and the results of the Virginia Ridge and Valley Multimetric Bioassessment Index (VRVMBI) that was developed specifically for this project using metric discrimination analyses. The stressor identification process involved the review of water and sediment quality data, toxicity test results, and physical processes (i.e. hydromodification, riparian buffer disturbance, etc.) to determine the primary causes of impairment. Impaired and reference watersheds were modeled to determine the conditions necessary to support a healthy benthic community. This technical approach provides guidance on the development of future TMDLs in Virginia and other states that do not have established numeric criteria for benthic community stressors.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Data/Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-01-01

More about this publication?
  • 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.

    A subscription to the Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation includes access to most papers presented at the annual WEF Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) and other conferences held since 2000. Subscription access begins 12 months after the event and is valid for 12 months from month of purchase. A subscription to the Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is included in Water Environment Federation (WEF) membership.

    WEF Members: Sign in (right panel) with your IngentaConnect user name and password to receive complimentary access. Access begins 12 months after the conference or event
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • About WEF Proceedings
  • WEFTEC Conference Information
  • Learn about the many other WEF member benefits and join today
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more