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The total maximum daily load (TMDL) process consists of an accounting, allocation, and control strategy for the various sources of pollutants causing water quality impairments. External loadings to the receiving water are the primary focus of most TMDLs. However, internal sources, consisting primarily of pollutant loadings from sediments, can have an important impact on the TMDL process. A vast number of water bodies currently listed on the nation's 303(d) lists exhibit impairments involving pollutants that associate with bottom sediments. TMDLs conducted for pollutants such as nutrients, dissolved oxygen demand, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and pesticides, metals, ammonia, and mercury require consideration of sediment sources. This paper discusses the importance of, and describes a number of options for, considering sediment sources in the TMDL process.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2002

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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 These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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