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Development of Total Loading Management Objectives for the City of Edmonton

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The City of Edmonton, which is located in central Alberta, has a population base of about 700,000 people, with a metro area of approximately 1 million people. Flowing through the middle of the city is the North Saskatchewan River (NSR), a relatively large river that originates in the Rocky Mountains. To further protect the quality of the water flowing through this river system, the City of Edmonton initiated the North Saskatchewan River Impact Study. The primary objective of the study was to develop total loading management objectives for six core parameters: total suspended solids (TSS), ammonia, nitrate, phosphorus, fecal coliforms and carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand (CBOD). Using predictive computer modelling, in combination with protective in-stream thresholds, a numerical loading objective was developed for TSS. A similar objective was not developed for fecal coliforms, because further work is required to define an in-stream threshold that is both protective of human health and achievable. With respect to nutrients and CBOD, numerical, water quality-based objectives are not recommended. Instead, the City of Edmonton and other dischargers located within the study area should apply best management practices and use technology-based performance limits to control the release of these substances; these limits appear to be more restrictive than corresponding water quality-based loading objectives.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2007-10-01

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