The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) monitors water quality in Virginia’s rivers, lakes and tidal waters to determine whether the waters can safely be used for swimming, fishing and drinking. If standards are not met, the waterway is deemed to be impaired. When waterways are deemed to be impaired. Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) are developed by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
TMDLs determine the total amount of those pollutants that a water body can handle and still be clean enough to meet water quality standards. An “impaired” designation begins a process that (1) develops a TMDL for the water body, (2) develops a plan for improving water quality, (3) having that plan approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, and (4) implementing that plan. To be eligible for implementation funding, the watershed must have a completed and approved plan for improvement.
Currently, within the TJSWCD, TMDL funding is available in the Hardware River Watershed and the Tye River Watershed. Click here to find out what watershed you are in.
Both of these TMDL watersheds are impaired due to bacterial (E. coli) contamination, so the implementation plan (and practices that are funded to improve water quality) target reductions in bacteria. Funding in our TMDL Watersheds can help property owners replace or repair failing septic systems, and it can help farmers install agricultural practices such as fencing livestock from streams, developing alternative watering systems, and installing riparian buffers.
For more information on local TMDLs:
Impaired Watersways in the TJSWCD
A Landowner’s Guide to the Hardware River
Hardware and North Fork Hardware River Water Quality Improvement Plan (public document)
Hardware and North Fork Hardware River Water Quality Improvement Plan (technical document)
Bacteria Total Maximum Daily Load Development for North Fork Hardware River and Hardware River
Tye River, Hat Creek, Rucker Run & Piney River Water Quality Improvement Plan (public document)
Tye River, Hat Creek, Rucker Run & Piney River Water Quality Improvement Plan (technical document)
Bacteria Total Maximum Daily Load Development for Hat Creek, Piney River, Rucker Run, Mill Creek, Rutledge Creek, Turner Creek, Buffalo River and Tye River in Nelson County and Amherst County, Virginia
In addition to local TMDLs, the TJSWCD’s work supports the TMDL Implementation Plans to clean up the Chesapeake Bay:
Virginia’s Watershed Implementation Plans for the Chesapeake Bay
Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)