TMDL Plan for the Milwaukee River Basin

As a team member under contract to MMSD, OTIE assisted with developing total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) for regulated pollutants entering the Milwaukee River Basin based on all contributing land uses and point and non-point sources. The project allocates fractions of maximum pollutant load to the various municipalities and permitted outfalls that are tributary to the basin. Development of the TMDLs involved extensive use of water quality models and data management to develop TMDLs by reach for the entire Milwaukee River Basin. The project studied the Kinnickinnic River, the Menomonee River, the Milwaukee River, and the Milwaukee Harbor Estuary.

OTIE assisted with the following:

  • Collection of existing information and describing water bodies and pollutants of concern
  • Description of water quality standards for water bodies and with the development of numeric water quality targets
  • Development of TMDLs for phosphorus, sediment, and bacteria within the Milwaukee River Basin, providing assistance with determining load capacity, and linking water quality and pollutant sources
  • Calculation of TMDLs and allocating loads to sources, as well as running final allocated loads with hydrology
  • Allocation of loads to sources to support a watershed based permitting/trading framework and preparing a draft TMDL report
  • Development of a database to manage modeled pollutant loads and calculate the TMDLs; the database was used for other watersheds resulting in process efficiencies