A Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources

Total Maximum Daily Loadings

The State of Georgia assesses its waterbodies for compliance with water quality standards as required by the Federal Clean Water Act (CWA) and 40 CFR 130.7. Assessed waterbodies are placed into one of three categories: 1) supporting, 2) assessment pending, or 3) not supporting.  If a waterbody is not supporting its Designated Use and does not have a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), it is placed on the 303(d) List and will require a TMDL be developed. The 303(d) List contains the list of waters, pollutants causing the impairments, and a priority ranking.

TMDLs are frequently developed using Water Quality Models.  This process establishes the allowable pollutant loadings that can be discharged into a waterbody and still meet the water quality standards.  TMDLs are described by the following equation:



WLA = Waste Load Allocation assigned to existing and future point sources and constitutes a water quality based effluent limit.

LA = Load Allocation attributed to existing or future nonpoint sources of pollution and to natural background sources, tributaries, and adjacent segments. 

MOS = Margin of Safety that can be either implicit or explicit.

If Best Management Practices (BMPs) or other nonpoint source controls make the LA more stringent, then the WLAs can be made less stringent.  Therefore, the TMDL process provides for pollutant trading.

Proposed TMDLs





August 31, 2018


Notice is hereby given that the State of Georgia has proposed Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for bacteria for a number of rivers and streams segments in the Coosa and Tallapoosa River Basins. 

Section 303(d)(1)(C) of the Clean Water Act (CWA), 33 U.S.C. 1313(d)(1)(C), and the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency implementing regulation, 40 C.F.R. 130.7(c)(1), require the establishment of TMDLs for waters identified in accordance with Section 303(d)(2)(A) of the CWA. Each TMDL is to be established at a level necessary to implement applicable water quality standards with seasonal variations and a margin of safety. TMDLs are proposed for the following waters:

Coosa River Basin

  •    Blackwood Creek, Headwaters to Oothkalooga Creek – Fecal coliform
  •    Connesena Creek, Sipsey Creek to Etowah River – Fecal coliform
  •    Dry Creek, Little Dry Creek to Coosawattee River – Fecal coliform
  •    Pumpkinvine Creek, CR 231 to Weaver Creek – Fecal coliform
  •    Pumpkinvine Creek, Weaver Creek to Little Pumpkinvine Creek (north of Dallas) – Fecal coliform
  •    Swamp Creek, Stover Creek to Little Swamp Creek– Fecal coliform
  •    Tributary to Ruff Creek, Headwaters to Ruff Creek – Fecal coliform

Tallapoosa River Basin

  •    Little Tallapoosa River, Little Tallapoosa Lake to Sharpe Creek – Fecal coliform

A copy of this notice and a copy of each TMDL may be reviewed during normal business hours 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except official State holidays or EPD office closures) at the following location: Environmental Protection Division, Watershed Protection Branch, 200 Piedmont Ave. S.W., Suite 418, Atlanta, Georgia 30334, (404) 463-1508.

A single copy of each TMDL is available by written or phone request to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division. Please direct requests to Ms. Arnettia Murphy at the address or phone number given above. If additional copies are requested, a copying charge of 10 cents per page will be assessed. A copy of each TMDL is available by clicking each link above.

Written comments are welcomed. To insure their consideration, written comments should be received on or before 4:00 p.m., November 02, 2018. Written comments should be addressed to: Mr. Jac Capp, Branch Chief, Watershed Protection Branch, 2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Suite 1152, Atlanta, Georgia 30334. Comments may be emailed to EPDComments@dnr.ga.gov. If you choose to e-mail your comments, please be sure to include the words “TMDL Comments” somewhere in the subject line to help ensure that your comments will be forwarded to the correct staff.

For technical information contact Dr. Elizabeth Booth, Watershed Planning and Monitoring Program, (404) 463-4929.

After a review of comments, a final decision on each of the proposed TMDLs will 

be made, and the proposed TMDL will be submitted to the USEPA for approval.

Please bring the foregoing to the attention of persons whom you believe will be interested in this matter.

Final TMDLs



TMDL Alternatives

TMDL Implementation Plans and BMP Resources

Prior to 2012 individual TMDL Implementation Plans were prepared for each impaired stream segment.  After 2012 a more detailed Implementation Plan was included in the TMDL documents.  Resources regarding Watershed Assessment and Planning can be found below.