The Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership is hosting meetings to bring together local stakeholders with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to partner in a process of determining the level of pollutants in local water sources, to provide direction for future remediation projects. The first meeting is Thursday, Oct. 19 at 6 p.m. at the Ouray Community Center.
Information available on the EPA’s website describes the TMDL Process as follows:
A TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) is the calculation of the maximum amount of a pollutant allowed to enter a waterbody so that the waterbody will meet and continue to meet water quality standards for that particular pollutant. A TMDL determines a pollutant reduction target and allocates load reductions necessary to the source(s) of the pollutant.
The objective of a TMDL is to determine the loading capacity of the waterbody and to allocate that load among different pollutant sources so that the appropriate control actions can be taken and water quality standards achieved. The TMDL process is important for improving water quality because it serves as a link in the chain between water quality standards and implementation of control actions designed to attain those standards.
Local citizens sometimes know more about what is happening in their watersheds than state agencies, and this knowledge can be a valuable aspect of TMDL development. The public often contributes useful data and information about an impaired waterbody. The public can often offer insights about their community that may ensure the success of one pollutant reduction strategy over another. Citizen information and participation can improve the quality of TMDLs that are developed and can ultimately speed cleanup of impaired waters or secure protection of threatened waters. Public/stakeholder roles in the TMDL process can include:
- Providing data and information to the states.
- Reviewing and commenting on impaired water list.
- Reviewing and commenting on draft TMDLs.
- Assisting in the development of TMDLs.
Read more on the EPA website’s TMDL page.