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Pollutant-specific Tmdls: Developing a Bayesian Network Model for Supporting Fecal Coliform TMDL Assessments

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Fate and transport processes related to bacteriological contamination of recreational and shell fish harvesting waters are complicated and often poorly understood with a broad range of historic modeling efforts and associated varying degrees of success. Developing water quality models which re flect implicit causal relationships between environmental phenomena, land use patterns, and surface water quality are vital to the long-term success of the USEPA Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Program. This paper explores the development and application of a simple Bayesian network model intended to support fecal coliform TMDL assessment in shell fishing harvesting waters. System components are graphically presented and discussed as a critical initial step in successful model development, followed by establishment of probabilistic relationships between system components. The model developed as a product of our research efforts is suggested as an innovative tool for successful implementation of future TMDLs for microbial contaminants.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-10-01

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