Here’s another “snapshot” of a local Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) process in Virginia watersheds. A $267,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation will help the Rivanna River Basin Commission (RRBC), Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District, Thomas Jefferson Planning District, and StreamWatch address the bacteria-impairment TMDL in an approximately six-mile section of Moores Creek in Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville. According to the RRBC’s January 2012 announcement of the grant, the sources of bacterial pollution are livestock operations, failing or non-existent septic systems, and pet waste. This grant will focus on activities that citizens and property-owners can take to reduce bacterial contamination, including fencing cattle out of streams, maintaining and pumping-out residential septic systems, and collecting pet waste, with over 60 percent of the grant to be used cost-share money for citizens to implement pollution-prevention practices. The funds come primarily from the U.S. EPA, along with some Virginia state funds. The same section of Moores Creek, along with sections of some tributaries, is also impaired by sediment impacts on benthic (stream-bottom) aquatic life; for a recent Water Central News Grouper post on this TMDL in Moores Creek and several other area streams, please see Sediment TMDL Implementation Plan Presented for Four Albemarle County/Charlottesville, Va. Area Streams, posted 9/26/12.
Sources and additional information: Moores Creek Bacteria TMDL Implementation Project, Rivanna River Basin Commission Web site, accessed 10/3/12; and Moores Creek Clean Up Plan Receives Funding, Rivanna River Basin Commission Blog, 1/23/12. Fact sheets on impairments in Moores Creek, from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) 2012 biennial water-quality and impaired-waters report, are available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/fs2012/FactSheets.aspx?str=James+River+Basin|Moores&style=0. The DEQ’s main TMDL Web page is http://www.deq.state.va.us/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/TMDL.aspx.