Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Streams Lakes Rivers and Tidal Waters Quality Planning

Your Community Water Quality Plan should list all of the waters significant enough to have a name and their quality condition expressed as: 
Excellent waters are fit for all human uses and can support sensitive fish and other aquatic creatures; 
Good waters can support a high number of game fish but not highly-sensitive organisms;
Fair waters support few game fish and are not suitable for swimming;
Poor quality waters support only the most pollution-tolerant organisms. 
Quality Considerations are based on Fish and other Biological Samplings
Watershed Land Use can be related to quality issues such as: forest covered watersheds are usually of excellent quality; a mix of forest and farms with good soil-water conservation practices produces good quality waters; a mix of farms, forest and suburban development yields fair quality waters; intense suburban-urban development usually results in poor water quality.

Watershed Percentage covered by buildings, streets, parking lots and other impervious surfaces also relates to aquatic resource quality as: excellent less than 5% impervious area; good less than 10% impervious area; fair less than 15% impervious area; and poor greater than 15% impervious area.
In addition to current quality, your plan should show how the health of named streams, rivers, lakes, reservoirs and tidal waters will change with anticipated growth. This can be determined by estimating how watershed impervious area changes with future growth.
Development Driven Aquatic Resource Damage can be prevented if the runoff from all new impervious surfaces drains with effective best management practices BMP. Waters degraded by past development can be restored if existing impervious areas are redeveloped with highly effective BMPs. The plan should describe the steps taken to ensure that all future development will fully utilize these highly-effective BMPs or explain why not. It must also set forth actions that restore fair or poor quality waters to a good condition.
Actions may include: retrofitting existing impervious surfaces with highly-effective BMPs, upgrading wastewater treatment plants and fixing sewers prone to overflows.  Only after these three steps are taken should in-stream restoration or tree planting be considered.

Frequently Asked Questions does the plan provide:
criteria for assessing the impact of past and anticipated growth
current quality of all named waters within the planning area
the quality of all named waters with anticipated growth
recommended actions for poor or fair quality waters in terms of:
restoring the waters to a good condition and the factual basis for the effectiveness of each action
the quality of named waters with anticipated growth
If all named waters are of good to excellent quality both presently and with anticipated growth then the score for this quality of life factor is 5 or A.
A New Plan for Your Area if your current plan is about to expire or rates poorly based on the Quality of Life Growth Management system, we can assist you in carrying out the outlined steps and/or conduct a community workshop and assist you in formulating a planning strategy for your community.

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