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Source Molecular Speaks at Stormwater Conference in South Carolina
Source Molecular's Project Manager James Herrin presented evidence-based guidelines to crafting an effective plan to identify and eliminate bacteria sources through lessons learned and outcomes achieved in three microbial source tracking projects in Delaware and California.
Another case study presented was "Monitoring a Total Maximum Daily Load Stream for Bacteria – Where do they come from?" by Tanya Strickland, the Stormwater Manager for the City of North Augusta. She related that the City of North Augusta's small TMDL stream is located entirely within the boundaries of the city allowing a unique look at the stream geography, hydrology and impacts to it from the community.
"Monitoring data of bacteria concentrations and sources reveal that there is more than human contributions to the problem. Based on the study, communities need to take a critical look at the larger implications for development initiatives, stormwater management goals, natural resource demands and if regulators need to shift requirements to meet real world situations,"
Ms. Strickland said they are looking at MST to help them identify the sources of bacteria. In closing, Ms. Strickland posed this question: "How will regulators address the conundrum that SC MS4's are in when it comes to requiring us to implement BMPs to reduce E. coli with the current knowns and unknowns about this bacteria?"
Also presented at the conference was TMDL Alternative Plans. Beth McLaughlin of Amec Foster Wheeler related that MS4 managers must have the short term goal of complying with MS4 permits and a long term goal of protecting and/or improving in stream water quality while managing the community's risk. She discussed the development of TMDL alternative plans that put compliance strategies into the hands of the on-the-ground stakeholders.
Angela Vandelay and Kelli Garcia of Amec Foster Wheeler also talked about the development of Watershed Plans. They discussed how MS4s can develop watershed plans to protect water quality, the need for developing watershed plans, and what happens after a plan is developed. Four types of watershed plans were discussed for improving water quality include TMDL Implementation Plans, Watershed Based Plans, Alternative Restoration Plans and Source Protection Plans. "With many impaired water bodies and the increase in regulatory requirements for MS4s, developing watershed plans not only provides a clear outline on how the MS4 can improve and protect water quality within their jurisdiction and beyond, but developing a watershed plan provides MS4s with potential leverage for funding opportunities to protect their environmental assets while meeting regulatory requirements."
Mr. Herrin notes that the watershed plans discussed by Amec Foster Wheeler mentioned the need to set measurable criteria for addressing pollution. Mr. Herrin believes there is a great possibility that MST can be included in these plans as a way to measure pollution reduction of bacteria from targeted sources. For example, Mr. Herrin notes, when bacteria sources are coming birds, deer, and humans, stormwater managers could rule out the human component by repairing the sewers. When E. coli counts remain high due to birds and deer, stormwater managers can use the MST results to demonstrate their compliance, he added.
In his presentation, Mr. Herrin emphasized MST results can provide scientific evidence regarding the sources of bacteria. Remediation then becomes more effective, he said.
The press release can be found here - http://sourcemolecular.com/