What Does It Take to Retrofit an Urban Watershed to Meet Water Quality Standards and TMDLs?
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Fulton County sponsored a watershed management planning study and a retrofit plan was developed for the Sandy Springs area north of Atlanta. Detailed studies were conducted to determine existing water quality problems and to identify solutions to improve water quality and to reduce flooding. The plan identified 20 bridge and culvert replacements, 24 pond retrofits, 40 new ponds, 20 in-stream BMPs, 135 on-site BMPs (e.g. edge of parking lot filters, ecoroofs), and 4.8 miles of stream restoration. The total cost of the restoration project will be in the range of $68,700,000, of which 13% is for flood control. The BMPs are predicted to reduce the phosphorus load from the study area by 26% and will result in an average phosphorus concentration of 0.1 mg/1 in Sandy Springs streams without lakes and 0.05 mg/I for stream with lakes. These BMPs are expected to improve stream health so that aquatic integrity can improve from poor to fair conditions. The recommended strategy is being proposed to the State of Georgia as a plan to achieve a TMDL goal of compliance with State water quality standards.