Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the Deschutes Watershed
The Washington State Department of Ecology (DOE), with the help of a number of other stakeholders to develop a water cleanup plan, known as a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), for the Deschutes watershed. The goal of a TMDL is to set limits on the amount of pollution that can enter into a waterway every day. Setting TMDLs help cities create plans to meet these stormwater goals.
What's the Problem?
Portions of the Deschutes River, Percival Creek, Capitol Lake, Budd Inlet, and other tributaries do not meet state water quality standards. In particular, they don't meet water quality standards for fecal coliform bacteria, temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, and fine sediment. If these variables are too high they can be dangerous for human, animal, and aquatic life. Fecal coliform bacteria is a result of human or animal waste and is a health hazard if not dealt with properly. Warm water temperatures, low dissolved oxygen, or pH values that fall outside healthy ranges can negatively impact aquatic life, like salmon.
Temperature, nutrient levels, and dissolved oxygen are three of the biggest issues for water bodies in the Deschutes River Watershed.
What is Being Done?
With the help of an advisory group made up of Deschutes Watershed stakeholders, special interest groups, and interested citizens, the Department of Ecology worked to develop a TMDL plan to tackle the pollution problems the Deschutes Watershed is facing. The Dechutes River, Percival Creek, and Budd Inlet Tributaries Water Quality Improvement plan provides a framework for how the stakeholders will track, monitor, and implement water quality improvement efforts.