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Western Michigan University MS4 Compliance Planning for a Phosphorus TMDL

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Western Michigan University (WMU) is a permitted Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) along Arcadia Creek and the West Fork of Portage Creek in Kalamazoo, Michigan. WMU is included in the nonpoint source (NPS) load allocation in a total maximum daily load (TMDL) for phosphorus developed for the Kalamazoo River and Lake Allegan in Southwest Lower Michigan. Established in 2001, this TMDL requires a 50% reduction in total phosphorus (TP) originating from NPSs using a 1998 watershed load as the baseline. The original TMDL implementation timeline set 2009 as the target date for meeting the NPS TP reduction goal. Prior to the current analysis, no other MS4s (or any other NPSs) in the watershed have been able to document progress or demonstrate an ability to meet this goal.

In 2010, the environmental consulting firm of Kieser & Associates, LLC (K&A) was contracted by WMU to serve as the technical consultant for a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) TMDL Compliance Planning Grant. This project demonstrated that WMU has achieved TP load reductions sufficient to meet TMDL load allocation reduction goals. The final TMDL Compliance Plan document provided a “road map” outlining future implementation of on-campus and off-campus stormwater BMPs to move WMU into a position of becoming “Stormwater Neutral™”. A framework for a water quality monitoring program also was included in the plan to enable successful measurement of stormwater BMP effectiveness. To complement the compliance plan, several BMP treatment recommendations for future implementation were pre-designed. These designs clearly defined costs and environmental benefits in terms of water quality and hydrology improvements to ensure that efforts are reasonable, feasible and beneficial.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-01-01

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