4.3 Water Quality

Goal 3 - Water Quality

Preserve, maintain and improve aesthetic, physical, chemical and biological composition of surface waters and groundwater within the District.

Discussion

The HHPLS used an extensive public input process to establish water quality goals for the primary receiving waters in the District, focusing primarily on identifying target total phosphorus concentrations.   This plan identifies those plus additional goals related to water quality.  This plan sets forth a set of actions the District will undertake to reduce pollutant loading in the subwatershed and achieve water quality goals.  The achievement of these water quality goals is not only necessary to meet state and federal water quality requirements and to prevent future TMDLs, but also to meet this plan’s ecological integrity goals.

Desired Outcomes:  Achievement of in-lake nutrient concentration goals through achievement of nutrient loading reductions.

Metrics:

  • In-lake nutrient concentrations/Trophic State Index Scores (TSI) for Jennings Bay
  • Nutrient loading goals (lbs) for Jennings Bay

Goal 3.1 - Painter Creek

Achieve in-lake total phosphorus concentration goal of 50 μg/L in Jennings Bay.

Actions

  1. Conduct a diagnostic study of internal phosphorus loading in Jennings Bay, including aquatic vegetation and fish surveys.
  2. Construct the Highway 26 wetland improvements identified in the Painter Creek Feasibility Study and this plan and evaluate effectiveness and applicability to other wetlands in the subwatershed, including South Katrina Marsh, the “Potato Farm,” and Painter Marsh (see Figure 20).
  3. Construct detention and treatment ponds at the inflow to Painter Marsh and in subwatershed units PC-7, PC-13 and PC-25 (see Figure 20).
  4. Conduct a diagnostic study of internal lake phosphorus loading, wetland nutrient cycling and phosphorus export, prepare a feasibility study, and construct improvements to reduce phosphorus export by at least 50 percent.
  5. Consider amending existing or establish new District rules requiring greater than 50 percent phosphorus removal on new permitted developments within the Painter Creek subwatershed.
  6. Provide assistance to LGUs and developers to foster low impact development and redevelopment that minimizes new phosphorus and sediment loading.
    1. Develop and distribute model ordinances and design standards that incorporate low impact design principles.
    2. Sponsor educational opportunities for LGU staff, developers, elected and appointed officials and other interested parties to provide practical information and opportunities for sharing experiences.
  7. Continue regular water quality monitoring in Jennings Bay to assess progress toward achieving the in-lake phosphorus goal. 
  8. Promote the general application of BMPs across the subwatershed.
    1. Consider developing a small grant program to provide financial assistance to property owners desiring to retrofit their property with BMPs to reduce phosphorus and sediment loading.

Goal 3.2 - Painter Creek

Achieve and maintain other state lake water quality standards, including >1.4 m Secchi clarity and 14 ug/L chl-a, in Jennings Bay.

Actions

  1. Achieve and maintain in-lake total phosphorus goals.
  2. Manage aquatic vegetation in accordance with a vegetation management plan that takes into account water clarity goals.

Goal 3.3 - Painter Creek

Achieve and maintain state water quality standards in Painter Creek and minimize pollutant loading contribution to Jennings Bay.

Actions

  1. Inspect known erosion-prone areas of Painter Creek at least annually to identify any new areas of erosion, and the entire creek every five years.
  2. Work cooperatively with LGUs to spot repair identified erosion locations in Painter Creek and develop strategies to prevent future erosion and sediment transport.
  3. Continue to investigate possible causes of periodic low dissolved oxygen in Painter Creek and develop strategies to increase dissolved oxygen.
  4. Continue to monitor water quality in Painter Creek.
  5. Develop a water quality index which encompasses the District’s broader definition of water quality.