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Louisiana water quality studies and modeling

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Michael Waldon
added a research item
Minimum levels of dissolved oxygen concentration and maximum diel oxygen variation are specified in the "Louisiana Water Quality Standards." In this study, dissolved oxygen deficit and diel fluctuations have been related to commonly measured stream characteristics. The approach which is applied here combines concepts used in stream modeling, with a statistical analysis of stream water quality data collected by the Water Pollution Control Division of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality. Relationships established in this study will also provide a methodology for recognition of anomalous situations which may be of interest in future scientific and engineering investigations.
Michael Waldon
added a research item
This report, The Louisiana Total Maximum Daily Load Technical Procedures (LTP), outlines and defines procedures to be followed in determining total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) and in performing waste load allocations (WLAs) for Louisiana dischargers. Activities that support the development of TMDLs and WLA5 are also described. This 1994 LTP revision was the first major revision of the LTP which was first submitted to USEPA Region VI as a draft memorandum of understanding (MOU) in 1988 by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ). This 1994 version is made available here as a reference to accompany modeling, TMDL, and Wasteload allocation documents for Louisiana waterbodies from this time period. Contact the LDEQ for a current version of Louisiana TMDL procedures.
Michael Waldon
added 2 research items
The City of Crowley, Louisiana, USA, operates a treatment facility discharging into Bayou Plaquemine Brule. This wastewater treatment facility (permit number LA0041254) uses innovative treatment processes including artificial marshes, rock-plant filters, and UV disinfection. The facility currently has a design flow of 4.0 MGD (6.2 cfs). Based on an intensive water quality survey of Bayou Plaquemine Brule performed in 1993, a water quality model was calibrated. A dynamic water quality modeling computer program, BLTM, was selected for use in this project. This model application was developed to provide a projection of the impact of the Crowley sewage treatment facility on Bayou Plaquemine Brule. Within the study area, Bayou Plaquemine Brule is heavily impacted by agriculture and hydrologic modification. It was found that Bayou Plaquemine Brule is highly sensitive to loading of oxygen-demanding pollutants. It is projected that no reasonable level of treatment will result in a dissolved oxygen concentration (DO) meeting the current criterion of 5 mg/L. It is recommended that because of uncertainty in appropriate DO criteria, and uncertainty in model projection, interim seasonal limitations be applied.
A fecal coliform bacteria model has been completed for Big Creek above East Fork in the Tangipahoa River basin. This study is aimed at providing a preliminary analysis of the water quality improvements which are expected to result from installation of no-discharge lagoon systems at dairy milking facilities within the basin. A better initial estimate of the magnitude and patterns of this improvement is needed in order to design effective and efficient monitoring studies. Additionally, an evaluation and management tool is needed to evaluate additional alternative management practices and technologies. OUAL2E, a USEPA supported water quality model, was used to develop this water quality model. The model demonstrates that the implementation of no-discharge lagoon systems for dairy milking parlor runoff control will significantly decrease the loading of fecal coliform bacteria to the Tangipahoa River during periods of low runoff and stream discharge. During high runoff and high discharge, the fecal coliform levels in Big Creek are more dependent on bacterial levels in pasture runoff, and are relatively insensitive to dairy barn bacterial loads. Conclusions related to improving design of future monitoring studies are discussed in this report. It is additionally concluded that the numerical criterion for fecal coliform bacteria is probably unattainable under conditions of high runoff. These criteria and their application in Big Creek might therefore be reassessed.
Michael Waldon
added a research item
This report documents how the University of Southwestern Louisiana Center for Inland Water Studies located, mapped, and made recommendations for an evaluation of storm water drainage (pump) stations within the Barataria - Terrebonne (B-T) estuarine system. The major objective of the study was to assist the Barataria - Terrebonne National Estuary Program in developing a storm water runoff management strategy for inclusion in a Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan (CCMP). The primary focus of the study was to analyze storm water runoff discharge and its potential contribution to elevated levels of fecal coliform bacteria in areas of the B-T system which support recreation and shellfish production. Based on runoff discharge, quantity and location data determined under this proposal, and fecal coliform data made available from other studies, recommendations are made for evaluation studies of selected potential high impact areas within the B-T system. Geographic information system (GIS) software was used to map the locations of storm water pumping station and georeference operational data associated with each pump station. The GIS was also used to georeference the locations of fecal coliform monitoring stations. U. S. Geological Survey 1:100,000 digital line graph hydrography and transportation graphical data form the background graphical model over which the georeferenced data were located. Over 50% of the pump station locations were verified using the global positioning system. The GIS was used to spatially compare pump station locations and fecal coliform monitoring stations and pertinent associated data to select potential study sites. (KEY WORDS: Wetlands, storm water runoff, storm water pumping, estuarine system, GIS, GPS)
Michael Waldon
added 2 research items
This report presents the results of the development of an empirical equation describing mixing of a wastewater treatment discharge into a Class V waterbody {LDEO Water Quality Standards,~ 1992). The primary purpose of this study was to utilize site-specific data _to develop a more appropriate mixing model for Louisiana flow conditions. These data were used to estimate a preliminary effluent dilution at the edge of the zone of initial dilution, ZID {25 ft from the source) and mixing zone, MZ (100 ft from the source). The equation was developed using survey data from Jim's Trailer Park, owned and operated by Major Sanitary and Sewerages Services, a community wastewater facility, discharging into False River Lake. The survey was conducted 28 July, 1992. The "equivalent dilution flow, {EDF)" proposed in this study is the discharge rate necessary to dilute a slug-loaded pollutant discharge of 0.05 lbs by > 99% at the ZID. It is proposed to be substituted for the "critical flow," used in the current mixing algorithm for Class V waterbodies. Although this study consisted of data from only one site, the procedure suggests that more widely applicable nomographs may be developed. The algorithm, EDF, ft3/sec = 0.87{DISTANCE, ft)^0.63, is in convenient and frequently presented flow units. For example, if distance to be measured is the ZID or MZ, the required EDF would be 6.5 and 15.5 ft3/sec, respectively.
This report presents the results of a calibrated model for Beaucoup Creek near Sikes, Louisiana in Winn Parish. It is included in LDEQ water quality management subsegment 081503 of the Ouachita River Basin. The intensive survey of Beaucoup Creek was conducted by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) on 9-10 October, 1995. Survey information is presented elsewhere (Smythe, 1996a). The purpose of the survey was to determine background loading loads and reasonable decay rates for the undisturbed reference stream, Beaucoup Creek. Data available from the survey activities included measurements of stream geometry, tapedowns, water quality and in situ field parameters (continuous and grab samples). The stream was found to be nonflowing; thus, no discharge measurements were made and time-of-travel data were not collected. For the single site study segment, the average width was 27.5 feet, average depth was calculated to be 2.18 feet with an average cross-sectional area of 59.95 ft2. All the measured parameters except DO met the numerical criteria to support the stream's uses. Dissolved oxygen for the site indicated a diurnal swing ranging from a daytime maximum of 3.2 mg/L to a nighttime minimum of 1.7 mg/L. LIMNOSS, a well documented and frequently used, one-dimensional, steady-state version of the USEPA AUTOQUAL model, was utilized to provide a baseline stream response model of Beaucoup Creek. A single modeling element was used to simulate the 300 ft study reach with trapezoidal dimensions of 0.056 ft length and 27.5 ft width). Areally distributed sediment flux (nonpoint) loads for CBOD and NBOD were determined during calibration to be 5.25 and 15.25 lbs/mi-day, respectively. Laboratory decay rates for CBOD and NBOD (COXY and NOXY) were verified during calibration to be 0.109 and 0.173 day-l, respectively. Sediment oxygen demand (SEDI) was determined to be 3.95 g-Oim2-day. A reaeration coefficient of 1.0 day-1 was calculated for the reach using the Louisiana equation (Waldon, 1996).
Michael Waldon
added a research item
The municipality of Lake Arthur operates a POTW (publicly owned treatment works) facility discharging into an unnamed canal which is a tributary to the lake, Lake Arthur. This wastewater treatment facility (permit number LA0020133) is the only point source discharge to the unnamed canal. The facility has a design flow of 0. 75 MGD ( 1.16 cfs ). Based on an intensive water quality survey performed in 1992, a water quality model was calibrated. A dynamic water quality modeling computer program, BLTM, was selected for use in this project. This model application was developed to provide a projection of the impact of the Lake Arthur sewage treatment facility on the unnamed canal. The modeling of reaeration in water bodies significantly impacted by floating aquatic vegetation (FAV) is addressed in this report. Suggested citation: Waldon, M. G. (1997). TMDL for Unnamed Canal at Lake Arthur, Louisiana. Report CLIWS-WQR-97.01, Center for Louisiana Inland Water Studies, University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Michael Waldon
added a research item
Water diversions may have positive or negative effects on water quality. In this paper we examine the water quality in terms of dissolved oxygen concentration (DO) in the Vermilion River in southern Louisiana in the United States. A full half century of hydrologic and water quality monitoring data are now available spanning the period before and after implementation of pumped low flow augmentation into the Vermilion River from the Atchafalaya River. Following low flow augmentation in the 1980’s, Vermilion River DO markedly improved. It is concluded that flow augmentation projects have the potential to provide similar water quality enhancements in other Louisiana bayous and rivers. This current paper updates and extends an earlier paper (Waldon and Richards, 1992).
Michael Waldon
added a research item
Information on which management decisions are based is often incomplete, contradictory, or uncertain. Improvements in the accessibility, completeness, and quality of data supporting environmental management will result in lowering the environmental risks as well as lowering the economic costs associated with environmental management decisions. It is the policy of the Louisiana DEQ, that decisions are generally made in a way which insures compliance with the states standards for the quality of streams and lakes. Uncertainty therefore is more likely to result in excessively stringent limitations on dischargers, but undoubtedly also results in greater environmental risk. It has been estimated that $1 billion is need in Louisiana to fund improvements in publicly owned sewage treatment works to attain secondary treatment. Considering the additional expenditures which will be mandated by the state and federal governments for municipal advanced treatment systems, private sanitary treatment, and industrial treatment, the price tag for upgrading wastewater treatment systems in Louisiana must be measured in billions of dollars. Environmental managers need to have accessible, quality assured data available to them to assure that their decisions are environmentally sound and economically justified. The costs of providing such data to environmental regulators must be only a very small percentage of the anticipated investment in capital expenditures and operational costs of sewage treatment over the next decade, and could make a significant environmental and economic difference.
Michael Waldon
added a research item
There is a need for imporved low-flow frequency estimation to support water supply planning, and drought contingency planning. Additionally, water pollution discharge permitting is often based on a worst-case condition which is assumed to occur at low-flow. Here, the Thornthwaite-Mather daily water budget was applied to obtain improved estimates of 7Q10 flow defined as the annual low-flow with a recurrence interval of 10 years. Objectives were: (1) To improve low-flow frequency estimation by incorporating climate data with stream flow data. (2) To improve our understanding of mechanisms which determine and control low-flow frequency and duration. (3) To develop an empirical low-flow index based solely on water budget variables. (4) To apply the low-flow index to improve estimation of 7Q10 stream discharge. (5) To apply the low-flow index in investigation of long term low-flow trends through a statistical "declimatization" procedure. It was concluded that: (1) Climatic variations can be easily incorporated into low-flow assessments using the water budget. (2) For the streams considered in this study, the low-flow index was most useful for classification of years into wet/dry classes. (3) Incorporation of wet/dry year classification can provide improved confidence in 7010 estimates. (4) Historical trends in low-flow may be more appropriately analyzed by incorporating information on climatic variations through the low-flow index. (5) The water budget derived low-flow index may also be of value in projecting effects of climatic change on low-flow frequency and duration.
Michael Waldon
added 2 research items
This presentation described the status of water quality and water quality management in Southern Louisiana. New and innovative treatment methods were described including (1) boat clarifiers, (2) land treatment by overland flow and irrigation, (3) marsh/swamp discharge, (4) rock reed filters or constructed wetlands, (5) Lemna (duckweed) plant treatment. The Louisiana construction grant program, water quality standards, permitting and wasteload allocation process, and determination of permit limits was discussed. Status of water quality in the eight Southern Louisiana water quality basins (Pontchartrain, Mississippi River, Terrebonne, Atchafalaya, Vermilion-Teche, Mermentau, Calcasieu, and Sabine) was reviewed. The impact of population trends was also recognized. Pollution in Southern Louisiana originates from nonpoint sources (agricultural runoff, urban runoff, dredging and channelization) as well as point sources (industrial and municipal). Trends in the percentiles of dissolved oxygen concentration in various Southern Louisiana streams show a mixed pattern of improvement and degradation.
Michael Waldon
added 5 research items
The attached file contains all presentation graphics plus a transcript of the presentation. The full forum proceedings are available from EPA at https://nepis.epa.gov/
The Vermilion River, or Bayou Vermilion, is formed in south central Louisiana by the confluence of Bayou Bourbeaux and Bayou Fusilier. During low flow periods, much of the flow of the Vermilion River results from diversion of water from the Atchafalaya River. Low levels of dissolved oxygen concentration (DO) have historically been observed in the Vermilion River, as well as most other southern Louisiana streams, which characteristically have little or no slope, and may receive natural drainage high in turbidity and oxygen demanding organics. Human influences on water quality in the Vermilion River include point source discharges, urban and agricultural runoff, flow augmentation, and dredging. A water quality modeling study of the Vermilion River was undertaken to analyze the importance of the possible causes of the deteriorated water quality and to assess alternative strategies for water quality improvement. In order to calibrate and verify this model, data from various sources has been compiled including two intensive water quality surveys performed by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, and hydrologic data provided by the US Geological Survey. The model segments the Vermilion River into 807 elements which are organized into 74 reaches. Headwater flows appear at 35 tributary and main channel elements, and 34 junctions of tributaries with other tributaries or the main channel are considered. Point source discharges occur at 89 model locations. Concentration of chlorides, DO, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), organic nitrogen, ammonia, and nitrite-nitrate nitrogen are included in the model simulations. Comparison of model output with observed water quality data is facilitated through use of a set of SAS programs and data sets which display simulated and observed water quality variables.
Waste load allocation modeling has been conducted for the municipal and industrial discharges to the Vermilion River, segment 0608 (segments 0515, 0517, and 0519 under the previous basin segment designations of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality). The segment consists of the Vermilion River main stem from its headwaters (including Bayou Fusilier) to its intersection with the Intracoastal Waterway (ICWW) in south central Louisiana. The modeled discharges have design flows ranging from 0.01 to 12.95 MGD, and are located throughout the study area. This wastewater allocation analysis was conducted according to USEPA Region VI guidelines and Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality procedures. During the months of April through November under current operation policies of the Teche-Vermilion freshwater diversion project, it is proposed that effluent limits of 10/15/5/5 (10 mg/L 5-day nitrification-suppressed BOD, 15 mg/L total suspended solids, 5 mg/L ammonia-nitrogen, and 5 mg/L effluent DO) be required of all municipal dischargers with greater than 25,000 GPD (gallons per day) design flow. It is predicted in this study that at the target summer flow for the Vermilion River a minimum DO of 3.5 mg/L will result from this level of treatment. If diversion flow is increased by 320 cfs during these months, limits of 10/15/10/5 are proposed for these dischargers. Proposed limits with an increase in diversion flow of 390 cfs during the months of April through November (total increase above current operation) are 20/20/10/5. During the months of December through March, under current diversion or any increased diversion flow, limits of 20/20/10/5 are proposed for all municipal dischargers with greater than 25,000 GPD design flow. Required effluent limits for industrial dischargers included in this waste load allocation are proposed to be identical to those required for municipal dischargers, with the exception of Cargill Salt Company. The Cargill Salt discharge is composed of condensate, boiler blowdown, and cooling water which typically have low BOD. The cargill permit application does not show BOD-S or ammonia as pollutants. Model projections at critical conditions indicate that Vermilion River dissolved oxygen levels are not sensitive to wastewater loadings from discharges of less than 25,000 GPD (0.025 MGD). For this reason, it is recommended that those dischargers with 25,000 GPD (gallons per day) or less should.be permitted at the less restrictive limits of 30/30 (30 mg/L 5-day non-suppressed BOD, 30 mg/L total suspended solids) for mechanical treatment plants and 30/90 for oxidation ponds. No ammonia nitrogen limits are proposed for these dischargers. It is further proposed that specific limits for the Lafayette municipal plants be set in .consultation with local representatives to maintain the total TMDL allocation for these plants, but to allow the most economically preferred distribution of treatment levels and design flows. Redistribution of this allocated TMDL should have no significant impact on the minimum DO level because these discharges are located far upstream of the projected minimum DO location and river flow at Lafayette is dominated by diversion flow rather than effluent flow. Finally, it is recommended that individual waste load allocations be considered for dischargers located far from the main channel. These dischargers were necessarily considered in this modeling effort, but may have their major impact on the receiving tributary, rather than on the River. The tributary data used in calibration was inadequate to consider the tributary projections to be calibrated.
Michael Waldon
added 2 research items
Frequency of low-flow occurrences in streams is a key parameter in water supply and water pollution planning and management. In this study, the 7-day average annual minimum lowflow is investigated in relation to a climatologically derived hydrologic model, the Thornthwaite-Mather daily water budget. Climatic input data for this model are readily available, and often provide a considerably longer period of record than corresponding stream discharge records. Based on the water budget model's daily soil moisture throughout the year, an empirical annual soil moisture index is proposed. This annual index is shown to reliably classify years into "wet" years, in which the 7-day annual minimum low-flow is generally high, and "dry" years, in which low flow is likely to be nearer the 7Q10 flow, that is, the 7-day average low-flow which occurs with a frequency of once in ten years. The annual soil moisture index may be applied in improved low-flow frequency estimation, for estimation of low-flow for years in which stream gauging data are limited or unavailable, for improved detection of historical trends in low-flow frequency caused by land use changes, and in estimating the impact of future climatic change on low-flow frequencies.
This study compiles and documents data available from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, the Louisiana district of the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Louisiana Office of State Climatology. Daily water budgets were calculated for the three Tangipahoa Parish climate stations. It was found that fecal coliform levels in the Tangipahoa River at Robert, Louisiana, are more highly correlated to the water budget estimated runoff (r=0.65) than with stream discharge (r=0.58). Bacteria are also significantly negatively correlated with water temperature (r=-0.29). Runoff and water temperature were used to classify sampling dates into categories of warm, cool, wet, and dry. The correlation of fecal coliforms with runoff was significant (r=0.71 and 0.63) for cool and warm dates. Fecal coliforms were significantly correlated with temperature on wet dates (r=-0.31), but not in dry weather (r=-0.10). Citation: Waldon, M.G., and E.D. Smythe, 1993. Patterns of Fecal Coliform Contamination in the Tangipahoa River. Louisiana Academy of Sciences, Annual Meeting, Lafayette, February 1993.
Michael Waldon
added a research item
As a pumped distributary of the Mississippi River, Bayou Lafourche drinking water intakes and industrial or industrial water users are at risk from spills on the Mississippi River upstream of the pump intakes, or from spills directly into the bayou. This short presentation describes the development and application of the RTOT spill time-of-travel model to locations on Bayou Lafourche, Louisiana.
Michael Waldon
added 4 research items
The development of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL determination in Louisiana is discussed. The Vermilion River TMDL is described as an example. The Vermilion River TMDL's restriction is relaxed because the Teche-Vermilion Freshwater District maintains a minimum low-flow by pumped diversion of Atchafalaya River water. Bayou Lafourche has a similar pumped low-flow augmentation using Mississippi River water. Other Louisiana streams that could benefit from low-flow augmentation include (1) Bayou Boeuf and Bayou Rapides near Alexandria with flow from the Red River, (2) Augmentation of Bayou Cocodrie through Lake Concordia at Ferriday with flow from the Mississippi River, (3) Augmentation of Bayou Plaquemine at Plaquemine with flow from the Mississippi River, (4) Increased augmentation flow to the TecheVermilion from the Atchafalaya River, (5) Increased augmentation of flow in Bayou Lafourche at Donaldsonville from the Mississippi River.
Michael Waldon
added a research item
Under the provisions of the Clean Water Act (CWA), water quality modeling plays a central role in development of control strategies for both point and nonpoint pollutants. These pollutants include oxygen demanding substances, toxic chemicals, whole effluent toxicity, nutrients, and pathogens or surrogate organisms. The CWA broadly defines procedures for the determination of the "Total Maximum Daily Load" (TMDL) of pollutants and the allocation of the load between the various natural, nonpoint, and point sources. Federal guidance and Louisiana policies further specify procedures to be followed. Water quality models are utilized in the assessment of pollutant sources, pollutant transport, and environmental transformation, as well as in the determination of appropriate load limitations and management practices. Many water bodies in Louisiana have been modeled for these purposes, including, for example, the Calcasieu Estuary, the Vermilion River, Bayou Grand Caillou, Bayou Plaquemine Brule at Crowley, and Big Creek in the Tangipahoa Basin. Model selection depends on a variety of factors. At times, steady state models are adequate for the purpose of TMDL development, however, in more complex environments, such as estuaries, a dynamic model is often required. Special studies are generally required to collect the data necessary for calibration of these models. Studies performed in support of development of these water quality models are termed intensive, or synoptic, surveys. Under estuarine conditions, certain aspects of the design of these studies must be modified, and often may gain additional significance. Use of a tracer dye can, for example, facilitate the assessment of estuarine transport and pollutant transformation. Use of satellite global positioning systems (GPS) also has been found to provide a needed utility. For model development, the utilization of a geographic information system (GIS) for site mapping, database support, and spatial definition and segmentation has provided increased efficiency and flexibility. Efforts to develop water quality models, TMDLs, and wasteload allocations for Louisiana waters continues. These efforts will not only assist Louisiana in point and nonpoint source pollutant management, but will also provide a basis for better understanding the special characteristics of Louisiana's water resources.
Michael Waldon
added 2 research items
Waste load allocation modeling has been conducted for the Opelousas, Cypress Street Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant. The facility discharges into Bayou Yarbor. Opelousas is located in south central Louisiana and has a population of 18,903. The Cypress Street facility has a proposed design flow of 3.3 MGD (5.1 cfs). The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S.E.P.A. Region VI have jointly developed a draft memorandum of understanding (MOU) outlining procedures and technical standards which will be applied in wasteload allocation projects. These procedures have been followed in this study. LIMNOSS, a version of the USEPA AUTOQUAL model was used to determine the waste load allocation. Consistent with the draft MOU guidelines, both a model calibration and verification were conducted using intensive survey data from 1980 and 1981. Reaction rates were estimated based on the model calibration and literature derived reaction rates. The model calculations show that the Opelousas, Cypress Street Wastewater Treatment Plant effluent limits of 10 mg/L CBOD-5, and 2 mg/L ammonia nitrogen, with an effluent dissolved oxygen of 6 mg/L are necessary to protect the 5 mg/L minimum dissolved oxygen concentration numerical criterion in both Bayou Yarbor and to maintain water quality standards in Bayous Callahan during the months of April through November (summer season) . During the winter season from December through March, effluent limits of 20 mg/L CBOD-5, and 10 mg/L ammonia nitrogen, with an effluent dissolved oxygen of 6 mg/L are necessary. This also allows for the required 20 percent reserve capacity providing a safety factor and future growth. The recommended waste load allocation for the Cypress Street, Opelousas waste water treatment plant is as follows: PROPOSED EFFLUENT LIMITS (mg/L) APR-NOV DEC-MAR NITRIFICATION-SUPPRESSED 5-DAY BOD (CBOD5) 10 20 AMMONIA NITROGEN 2 10 DISSOLVED OXYGEN 6 6 PERMIT FLOW = 3.3 MGD Minimum DO concentration is projected to be 5.0 and 5.3 mg/L during the summer and winter seasons, respectively, at this treatment level, with a 20% reserve factor included to provide for possible model error and future growth. Consideration could be given to a standards revision for Bayou Yarbor with a seasonal summer DO concentration numerical criterion. This might result in a less stringent summer nitrification requirement. Table 4 of this report provides minimum DO concentration projections for various treatment alternatives.
The lower Calcasieu River Estuary below the salt water barrier is a valuable asset to the economy and lifestyle in southwestern Louisiana. The estuary provides recreation on public beaches, water skiing, recreational fishing, and boating. Lake Charles is a major port city, with shipping made possible by the development and maintenance of the Calcasieu River Ship Channel. Commercial fishing and shrimping, and oyster harvesting also contribute to the value of the river to the people of southwestern Louisiana. The recent discovery of elevated levels of toxic pollutants, and the closure to fishing and swimming of a portion of the Calcasieu River Ship Channel and Bayou D'Inde, has alerted the state government and its citizens to the need for environmental protection and anagement in this estuarine system. This paper on toxic organic pollutants in the Calcasieu River Basin provides a preliminary report on the current analyses which are being performed or funded by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). A more complete report of the data, analyses, and conclusions will be available later in 1988.
Michael Waldon
added 2 research items
Under the provisions of the Clean Water Act, water quality modeling plays a central role in development of control strategies for both point and nonpoint pollutants. These pollutants include oxygen demanding substances, toxic chemicals, whole effluent toxicity, nutrients, and pathogens or surrogate organisms. The Act broadly defines procedures for the determination of the 'Total Maximum Daily Load' (TMDL) of pollutants and the allocation of the load between the various natural, nonpoint, and point sources. Federal guidance and Louisiana policies further specify procedures to be followed in water quality management. Water quality models are utilized in the assessment of pollutant sources, pollutant transport, and environmental transformation, as well as in the determination of appropriate load limitations and management practices. Many water bodies in Louisiana have been modeled for these purposes, including the Calcasieu Estuary, the Vermilion River, and Bayou Grand Caillou. Additionally, at the present time, several areas are in some stage of field study or model development. Model selection depends on a variety of factors. At times, steady state models are adequate for the purpose of TMDL development. However, in complex estuarine environments, a dynamic model may most often be required. Special studies are generally required to collect the data necessary to calibrate these models. Studies performed in support of development of these water quality models are termed intensive, or synoptic, surveys. Under estuarine conditions, certain aspects of the design of these studies must be modified and often may gain additional significance. For example, use of a tracer dye can facilitate the assessment of estuarine transport and pollutant transformation. The application of the emerging technology of satellite global positioning systems (GPS) also has been found to provide a needed utility in estuarine locales. For model development, the utilization of a geographic information system (GIS) for site mapping, database support, and spatial segmentation has provided increased efficiency and flexibility. Efforts to develop water quality models, TMDLs. and wasteload allocations for Louisiana estuaries continue. These efforts will not only assist the State in point and nonpoint source pollutant management, but will also provide a basis for better understanding the special characteristics of Louisiana's estuarine water resources.
This brief report documents the recent revisions which have been performed on the Calcasieu River water quality model. The previous version of Calcasieu River model is documented in the report titled "Calcasieu River Basin, Louisiana, Modeling Study," dated 14 August 1985. That report was prepared for the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality by Dr. James H. Duke, Jr. This revision was prepared by Dr. Michael G. Waldon, and was first submitted as a draft report dated April 1988. The reconstruction and revision of Dr. Duke's model was necessary to provide the Department with the continuing ability to estimate the impact of changes in the point source loads on the water quality of the Calcasieu River and its major tributaries. The model developed by Dr. Duke was used to establish a total maximum daily load (TMDL) for the section of the Calcasieu River under study. In part, the purpose of this revision is to demonstrate that the model as currently implemented is in adequate agreement with the previous TMDL model so that no revision in the previous TMDL determination is required. It is also a purpose of this report to document corrections of minor errors in the original model, and to provide more complete documentation for the model to simplify future applications of model results. It was not necessary in this revision to propose a new TMDL. At the completion of the original study it was not anticipated that the TMDL would be exceeded with all dischargers permitted at BAT or secondary levels. Total permitted loads should be calculated as permits are issued or modified to confirm that this conclusion is correct.
Michael Waldon
added a research item
The Georgia Pacific Crossett paper mill is located just north of the Louisiana-Arkansas state line near Crossett Arkansas. The mill draws its water from the Saline River, and discharges wastewater to the Ouachita River less than one mile north of the state line via Coffee Creek. This report presents a review of a modeling study report titled "Development of a Water Quality Model of the Ouachita River" dated July 27, 1992. This review was completed jointly by Richard Duerr of the LDEO Office of Water Resources, and Michael Waldon of the USL Center for Louisiana Inland Water Studies. The modeling study under review was conducted by HydroQual, Inc. of Mahwah, New Jersey on contract to the Georgia-Pacific Corporation. The modeling study was initiated at the request of the State of Arkansas. Louisiana is interested in this model and in any total maximum daily load (TMDL) and wasteload allocation assigned to the GP Crossett Mill because the water quality impact of the mill discharge on the Ouachita River is almost entirely within the State of Louisiana. Allocation of load to the mill could also reduce the assimilative capacity of the River for wastes discharged by Louisiana industries and municipalities, and therefore result in more stringent limitations for these Louisiana dischargers. The model covers the Ouachita River from the junction of the Saline River in Arkansas to the junction of Bayou Bartholomew in Louisiana. The purpose of the study -was to provide a calibrated model capable of projecting the impact of the Georgia-Pacific Paper Mill at Crossett, Arkansas on the Ouachita River for the purpose of performing wasteload allocation calculations.
Michael Waldon
added 2 research items
The Georgia Pacific Crossett paper mill is located just north of the Louisiana-Arkansas state line near Crossett Arkansas. The mill draws its water from the Saline River, and discharges wastewater to the Ouachita River less than one mile north of the state line via Coffee Creek. This report presents a review of a modeling study report titled "Development of a Water Quality Model of the Ouachita River" dated July 27, 1992. This review was completed jointly by Richard Duerr of the LDEO Office of Water Resources, and Michael Waldon of the USL Center for Louisiana Inland Water Studies. The modeling study under review was conducted by HydroQual, Inc. of Mahwah, New Jersey on contract to the Georgia-Pacific Corporation. The modeling study was initiated at the request of the State of Arkansas. Louisiana is interested in this model and in any total maximum daily load (TMDL) and wasteload allocation assigned to the GP Crossett Mill because the water quality impact of the mill discharge on the Ouachita River is almost entirely within the State of Louisiana. Allocation of load to the mill could also reduce the assimilative capacity of the River for wastes discharged by Louisiana industries and municipalities, and therefore result in more stringent limitations for these Louisiana dischargers. The model covers the Ouachita River from the junction of the Saline River in Arkansas to the junction of Bayou Bartholomew in Louisiana. The purpose of the study -was to provide a calibrated model capable of projecting the impact of the Georgia-Pacific Paper Mill at Crossett, Arkansas on the Ouachita River for the purpose of performing wasteload allocation calculations.
This paper summarizes a portion of the available data relevant to fecal coliform levels in the Tangipahoa River. Fecal coliform levels in the Tangipahoa River at Robert, Louisiana were highly correlated with the water budget calculated runoff. Fecal coliform bacteria were significantly negatively correlated with water temperature. Runoff calculated from a daily water budget and water temperature were used to classify sampling data into dry or wet, and cool or warm categories. Fecal coliform densities and variability were found to be highly dependent on the classifications. The geometric mean of all focal coliform data was 694 MPN /100 ml. The wet and dry classification geometric means were 2,054 and 186 MPN/ 100 ml, respectively. Variability of the counts within each class is less than the variability of the unclassified data. Climatic classification may improve the detection of changes or differences in fecal coliform levels. Citation: Waldon, M.G., E.D. Smythe, 1994. Patterns of fecal coliform contamination in the Tangipahoa River. Proc. of the Louisiana Academy of Sciences, Vol 57:21-26.
Michael Waldon
added 2 research items
This paper reviews past studies of water quality in the Calcasieu River/Lake/Estuary system. Water quality in the Lake and estuarine complex are assessed using monitoring data provided by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ). Additionally, water quality within other Louisiana coastal water bodies is compared to that observed in the Calcasieu system.
Upper Bayou Grand Caillou is the receiving water for wastes from permitted dischargers, including two small sanitary dischargers (Bobtown treatment plant and Grand Caillou Middle School) and a number of seafood processors. Based on an intensive water quality survey performed in August 1991, a water quality model for this reach of the Bayou was calibrated. A dynamic water quality modeling computer program, BL TM, was selected for use in this project. This model application was developed to provide a projection of the impact of the discharging facilities .on water quality, and for the determination of the total Maximum daily load, TMDL, for this waterbody. Water quality standards have been designated by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality for Bayou Grand Caillou. As a part of these standards, numerical criteria for dissolved oxygen concentration designate a minimum of 4 mg/L for the lower 11.1 miles of the Bayou, and 5 mg/L minimum concentration above this lower estuarine reach. Monthly monitoring since 1978 has documented frequent violations of the numerical DO criterion at the monitoring station (Waldon 1991). It was determined that under critical conditions, with all point source discharges removed, the study reach of Bayou Grand Caillou fails to meet the current water quality dissolved oxygen criterion of 4 mg/L. It is therefore concluded that no point source discharge can be assimilated within the Bayou. Relocation of discharges to another receiving stream or to a regional sewage collection system is recommended. This project was, in part, funded by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, LDEQ, through interagency agreement number lAG 24400-94-09, task 4, subtask 2. LDEQ funding was provided through USEPA grant number C6-220000, work element 5, task 1. Data utilized in this study were collected by personnel of the LDEQ, Louisiana District of the USGS, and USL.
Michael Waldon
added 10 research items
A nutrient mass balance identifies the total mass load of the nutrient entering a waterbody, loss across the downstream boundary, and the rate at which the material is synthesized or lost within the waterbody. Nutrient budgets for total phosphorus (TP) and total nitrogen (TN) were developed, along with budgets for lake salinity and volumetric water flows. The analyses reported here were initiated to support the evaluation of a proposal to divert a small fraction of Mississippi River discharge through Lake Pontchartrain. These analyses determine the sensitivity of Lake Pontchartrain to nutrient loading, and provide a basis for development of more complex hydrologic and water quality models. Discharge and nutrient loading data have been analyzed using simplified formulas which predict annual average nutrient concentrations within the Lake. For other aquatic ecosystems, this simplified analytical approach has often proven to be a valuable management tool in support of environmental decision making. Total freshwater inflow, QT, is estimated to be 13.2 km3/yr, or an annual average inflow of 419 m3/s (14,800 cfs). The proposed diversion would increase freshwater inflow by 6.6 km3/yr. Average residence time is projected to drop from 102 d to 76 d following implementation of the diversion. In Lake Pontchartrain, projected annual average TP and TN concentrations without the proposed river diversion project are 0.060 mg-P/L and 0.65 mg-N/L. With the proposed diversion these concentrations are projected to rise to 0.071 mg-P/L and 0.86 mg-N/L.
It has been proposed to divert water from Lake Verret into Bayou Lafourche via the Cancienne Canal. Diversion flow is proposed to be between 500 to 1000 cubic feet per second (cfs). The study reported here provides a preliminary examination of the water quality implications of such a diversion.