Chesterton Tribune


IDEM to hold two public meetings to kick off new water pollution standards

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The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is ready to begin developing a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the Deep River-Portage Burns Watershed in Lake and Porter counties.

To kick-off the process, IDEM will hold two public meetings on Wednesday, March 13:

•The first at 2 p.m. at the Lake County SWCD & Extension Office, 880 E. 99th Court, Suite A, in Crown Point.

•The second at 6 p.m. at the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk, Riverwalk Drive, in Portage.

TMDL is the term for a calculation to determine the maximum amount of pollutants, or pollutant load, a stream can receive and not violate state water quality standards. Where streams violate water quality standards, IDEM develops TMDL reports which include calculations and describe sources of pollutants within the watershed, methods used to analyze data, pollutant reductions needed to restore water quality, and actions for improving water quality.

Citizens who attend either meeting on the Deep River-Portage Burns Watershed TMDL will learn about water quality monitoring that will begin in April 2013, steps in the TMDL process, and how the community can be involved.

Water quality can be impacted by “nonpoint source pollution” and “point source pollution.” Nonpoint source pollution happens when rain water and snowmelt wash contaminants off of the land into lakes and streams. Common nonpoint source pollutants include excess chemical pesticides and fertilizers used in residential, business, and agricultural areas, bacteria from animal waste and failing septic systems, excess salt and oil residue on roadways, and erosion and sediment from bare soils.

Point source pollution happens when a contaminant is discharged from a specific source into a lake and or stream. Water pollution from a combined sewer overflow is an example of point source pollution.

More information about sources of water pollution, watershed planning, and Total Maximum Daily Load Reports is available on the IDEM website at


Posted 3/8/2013