Stream Quality Assessments in the Developing Community
Bourne, Robert L.
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As requirements for local municipalities under the Clean Water Act expand, it is important for the local municipalities to fmd less expensive, yet effective means to conduct stream, watershed, and stormwater management programs. In Georgia, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GaEPD) will be instituting a Phase II program which will include cities and counties which have a population of 50,000 - 100,000. This will mean that governments in transition from mostly agriculture to suburban areas may find themselves being required for the first time to apply for NPDES Stormwater Discharge Permits and initiate a new and potentially expensive compliance regimen. In Cobb County, a growing urban area north west of Atlanta, Georgia, efforts have been made to utilize existing personnel, resources, and State/Federal funding to establish Stream Monitoring Program and develop activities to ensure compliance with its NPDES Stormwater Discharge Permit. Beginning with a Stream Monitoring Program, Cobb County has moved forward in developing a comprehensive water quality compliance program to address Georgia NPDES permitting requirements, reposit water quality documentation generated by other county agencies and citizens, and research more effective measures for gather and analyzing meaningful water quality data.The remainder of this article covers the history of the Cobb County Stream Monitoring Program, its field and laboratory work, and the benefits of the Stream Monitoring Program to compliance with the Clean Water Act requirements. It is the contention of the Water Quality Section that a shift in emphasis on stream monitoring will result in a more accurate and useful presentation of the watershed water quality profile.