TMDL for Impaired Water Bodies
Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)
Development of a TMDL is initiated when impairments are consistently above allowable limits and regulations are needed. A TMDL is a numerical value that represents the highest amount of a pollutant a surface water body can receive while still meeting the set standard. In addition, the TMDL plan determines the pollutant reduction target and load allocation reductions necessary to the source(s) of the pollutant.
Puyallup River TMDL
Fecal coliform is bacteria resulting from animal or human waste in our waters. The sources of fecal coliform include leaking septic systems, stormwater runoff, or cross-connections between the sewer and stormwater systems. Deer Creek has been identified as one of the Puyallup River tributaries that contribute to the elevated levels of fecal coliform.
What Have We Done?
Land near Shaw Road on Deer Creek was purchased by the city in 2012. In 2016 it was determined that the property would be inadequate in size and characteristics to serve a regional stormwater facility. The city has continued to acquire land that would create a large corridor of continuous city ownership along Deer Creek. This corridor will support a future stream restoration project to improve wetland function and natural stream channel meandering to reduce localized flooding. As part of that project, the city plans to monitor fecal coliform counts upstream and downstream of the project site to determine water quality improvements the project may provide by adding natural stream features. All property acquisition of the corridor was completed in 2018 and the 30% design has been completed for the project. The city applied for several grants and is looking at funding opportunities for the project.
Clarks Creek TMDL
Dissolved Oxygen (DO) and Sediment
Oxygen levels in waterways are measured as 'dissolved oxygen', which provides air for aquatic plants, fish, and the overall health of a waterway. Various factors, including excessive growth of elodea, less-than-adequate shading, and nutrient loading from landscape runoff decrease the available DO in Clarks Creek. A TMDL was created for the creek to help improve the dissolved oxygen levels and support the health of the creek.
What Have We Done?
The city has created a retrofit plan that identifies Water Quality Improvement Projects (WQIPs) that meet the set of goals in the NPDES Permit. The city is actively operating and maintaining the facilities in the plan as required to receive credit for the facilities.
In coordination with the Pierce Conservation district, the city has areas along Clarks Creek, Meeker Creek, and Silver Creek that are being used as active habitat restoration sites. The restoration work shades the creeks once the plantings and vegetation have been established. These habitat restoration areas provide both stewardship and education and outreach opportunities. In 2018 the city completed the Upper Clarks Creek Stabilization Project. This project removes sediment loading from Clarks Creek. The city inspects and maintains this project annually to ensure proper functionality. The Clarks Creek Elodea removal project is also completed annually to help reduce the impacts of Elodea on the creek. To review the retrofit plan, which contains a list of projects the city has implemented as part of the TMDL process, click here.
Fecal Coliform (FC)
Fecal coliform is bacteria resulting from animal or human waste in our waters. The sources of fecal coliform include leaking septic systems, stormwater runoff, or cross-connections between the sewer and stormwater systems. Meeker Creek has been identified as one of the Puyallup River tributaries that contribute to the elevated levels of fecal coliform
What We Do?
The city implements the activities outlined in the Clarks Creek TMDL Implementation Plan including the pet waste program, riparian plantings, restoration at streamside properties (public and private), management of city-owned shoreline properties, signage, and education and outreach to discourage the feeding of waterfowl in DeCoursey Park. The city also coordinates with the Fair to limit animal waste entering storm drains by allowing catch basins to drain to the sanitary sewer during fair events.