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Bacterial Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL): A new classification scheme for impaired waterbodies of Texas

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Under the Clean Water Act (CWA) program the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission (TNRCC) currently listed 110 stream segments with pathogenic bacteria impairment. The next logical step is to develop Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for each of these impaired waterbodies. A study is being conducted to characterize the watersheds associated with these impaired waterbodies. The primary aim of the study is to explore the possibility of clustering the waterbodies into groups having similar watershed characteristics. Studying the watersheds as a group will reduce the number of required TMDLs and thereby will help in reducing effort required for restoring the health of the impaired waterbodies in Texas. The main characteristics being considered for the classification of waterbodies are designated use of the waterbody, sources of pathogens, frequency of water quality violation, location and type of the waterbody, and the size of the watershed. The availability of observed in-stream fecal coliform bacteria concentration data is evaluated to obtain subgroups of data-rich and data-poor watersheds within a group. The climatic data and observed in-stream fecal coliform bacteria concentrations are analyzed to find out seasonal variability of the water quality. The possible sources of bacteria are found out using livestock counts, human population, wildlife counts, domestic pets and waterfowl density within the watershed.

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 These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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