A TMDL or Total Maximum Daily Load, is a scientifically-derived target that tells us the greatest amount of a particular substance that we can add to a waterway and still keep it healthy. These substances are not necessarily harmful in and of themselves. For example, phosphorus is an essential nutrient, but too much phosphorus can lead to an overgrowth of algae, which in turn can make the water taste bad and reduce the amount of oxygen available to fish and other creatures that live in the water.
Another example is bacteria, which occur naturally in both human and animal waste. But too much bacteria can make it more hazardous to swim or wade in a creek, lake, or bay—activities called “contact recreation” in the state’s standards for water quality.
The TMDL gives us a measurable way to target our efforts to protect and improve the quality of our streams, lakes, and bays.
To find out more about the TMDL for Lake O the Pines, please click HERE