Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Sediment and Michigan water quality standards

Perhaps useful info when dams along the Shiawassee River are removed in the near future,

Water Quality Standards

The water quality standards in Michigan pertaining to sediment do not
include any numeric values to serve as a benchmark for assessing the
amount of sediment in a water body.

Example taken from Clinton River watershed plan numeric sediment target
Suspended solids provide an estimate of the potential magnitude of sediment
Huron-Erie Lake Plain ecoregion  90th percentile TSS values
• Headwaters (< 20 square miles): 50 mg/L
• Wadeable (20 < 200 square miles): 65 mg/L
• Small Rivers (200 < 1000 square miles): 75 mg/L

Total suspended solids is a measurement usually abbreviated as TSS
The TSS target value presented above serves as the numeric goal for
suspended solids in the subwatershed. To determine if the current
amount of sediment entering the subwatershed will meet or exceed the
TSS target value, it is necessary to estimate the current amount of
sediment entering the subwatershed from a variety of sources.
This amount is referred to as the current sediment load.

In addition to determining the current load, it is also necessary
to identify the target load– the amount of sediment that sources
can contribute without exceeding the TSS target value for the watershed.
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