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Water Monitoring and Assessment Program In Columbus, GA

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Abstract:

In today's regulatory environment, there is a demand for a “holistic, comprehensive monitoring program that serves all water quality management needs for all water body types” as delineated in a March 2003 EPA release of Guidance on State Water Monitoring and Assessment Programs. Such monitoring systems in the future will form the building blocks of a national environmental monitoring network using satellite technology as the backbone for that network. Water quality standards review, Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) allocations and determinations, watershed-based NPDES permit limits, source water protection controls, best management practices, security requirements, Combined Sewer (CSO) and sanitary sewer (SSO) overflow controls and stormwater management (MS4) controls all demand an effective watershed monitoring network to measure water quality problems and progress towards meeting these regulatory requirements.

The EPA state monitoring and assessment guidance recommends ten basic elements including partnerships between watershed stewards, a properly designed monitoring and data management system to insure measurable results and an effective implementation program. The Columbus Water Works, through its environmental infrastructure and water quality assessment programs, in the process of implementing its watershed monitoring network. This network will address of the regulatory requirements discussed above.

As early as 1990, the Columbus Water Works initiated ambient water quality monitoring to assess its CSO problems and has grown to a regional and interstate partnership to monitor and assess impacts on source water supplies, public health and aquatic biology. The current monitoring plan includes the implementation of an integrated program of river, tributary and environmental infrastructure discharge monitoring having an Internet based data management and dissemination mechanism. This mechanism is intended for integration with a national network including USGS monitoring stations.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2175/193864704790897017

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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