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,
•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
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