Bacterial total maximum daily load (TMDL): development and evaluation of a new classification scheme for impaired waterbodies of Texas
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Under the Clean Water Act (CWA) program the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) listed 110 stream segments with pathogenic bacteria impairment in 2000. The current study was conducted to characterize the watersheds associated with the impaired waterbodies. The main characteristics considered for the classification of waterbodies were designated use of the waterbody, land use distribution, density of stream network, average distance of a land of a particular use to the closest stream, household population, density of on-site sewage facilities (OSSF), bacterial loading due to the presence of different types of farm animals and wildlife, and average climatic conditions. The availability of observed in-stream fecal coliform bacteria concentration data was evaluated to obtain subgroups of data-rich and data-poor watersheds within a group. The climatic data and observed in-stream fecal coliform bacteria concentrations were analyzed to find out seasonal variability of the water quality. The watershed characteristics were analyzed using the multivariate statistical analysis techniques such as factor analysis/principal component analysis, cluster analysis, and discriminant analysis. Six groups of watersheds were formed as result of the statistical analysis. The main factors that differentiate the clusters were found to be bacterial contribution from farm animals and wildlife, density of OSSF, density of households connected to public sewers, and the land use distribution. Two watersheds were selected each from two groups of watersheds. Hydrological Simulation Program-FORTRAN (HSPF) model was calibrated for one watershed within each group and tested for the other watershed in the same group to study the similarity in the parameter sets due to the similarity in watershed characteristics. The study showed that the watersheds within a given cluster formed during the multivariate statistical analysis showed similar watershed characteristics and yielded similar model results for similar model input parameters. The effect of parameter uncertainty on the in-stream bacterial concentration predictions by HSPF was evaluated for the watershed of Salado Creek, in Bexar County. The parameters that control the HSPF model hydrology contributed the most variance in the in-stream fecal coliform bacterial concentrations corresponding to a simulation period between 1 January 1995 and 31 December 2000.
Paul, Sabu (2003). Bacterial total maximum daily load (TMDL): development and evaluation of a new classification scheme for impaired waterbodies of Texas. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from