Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering
Critical flow-storm approach to total maximum
daily load (TMDL) development: an analytical conceptual model
1.CH2M HILL, 15010 Conference Center Drive; 2.Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Thornton Hall, University of Virginia
One of the key challenges in the total maximum daily load (TMDL) development process is how to define the critical condition for a receiving waterbody. The main concern in using a continuous simulation approach is the absence of any guarantee that the most critical condition will be captured during the selected representative hydrologic period, given the scarcity of long-term continuous data. The objectives of this paper are to clearly address the critical condition in the TMDL development process and to compare continuous and event-based approaches in defining critical condition during TMDL development for a waterbody impacted by both point and nonpoint source pollution. A practical, event-based critical flow-storm (CFS) approach was developed to explicitly addresses the critical condition as a combination of a low stream flow and a storm event of a selected magnitude, both having certain frequencies of occurrence. This paper illustrated the CFS concept and provided its theoretical basis using a derived analytical conceptual model. The CFS approach clearly defined a critical condition, obtained reasonable results and could be considered as an alternative method in TMDL development.