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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Evaluation of Sediment Transport Data for Clean Sediment Tmdls

Authors
item Kuhnle, Roger
item Simon, Andrew

Submitted to: Laboratory Publication
Publication Type: Government Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: December 15, 2000
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Excess clean sediment (sediment carrying no attached contaminants)in the rivers and streams of the United States has been identified as one of the largest problems affecting the quality of the water of streams and rivers in the United States. The states of the country have been charged to develop plans to evaluate the causes of excess sediment affecting the nation's rivers and streams and to suggest remedies. These plans are termed TMDL's. The Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for clean sediment of a stream or river may be defined as the maximum amount of sediment that the water body can handle without negative impacts to its designated uses. Designated use may be defined as the use that has been specified for a given river or stream. These uses may include recreation, drinking water, navigation, and supporting an unimpaired biological community. This report is the result of a study conducted for the US Environmental Protection Agency to evaluate a technique for the assessment of streams that are suspected of being impacted by clean sediment. This technique was found to have problems and new procedures were suggested. These new procedures need to be tested nationwide using identified existing sets of stream flow and sediment movement data before being implemented.

Technical Abstract: Excessive erosion, transport, and deposition of sediment in surface waters is a major problem in the United States. A national strategy is needed to develop scientifically defensible procedures to facilitate the development of TMDL's for clean sediment in streams and rivers of the United States. In the first part of this study data sets which contain sediment transport and flow data were identified from non-USGS sites. In the second part of this study, an existing method for evaluating impairment of streams by sediment (Rosgen-Troendle technique) was evaluated, problems were identified and a revised technique was developed. This revised technique will be useful in the identification of problems, water quality indicators, and target values for clean sediment TMDLs in streams and rivers (USEPA, 1999).

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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