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Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) and the 303(d) List of Impaired Water Bodies

What are TMDLs? TMDL Projects The 303(d) List Links

Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) are action plans to restore clean water. Section 303(d) of the federal Clean Water Act requires that states identify water bodies -- bays, rivers, streams, creeks, and coastal areas -- that do not meet water quality standards, and the pollutants that impair them. TMDLs examine the water quality problems, identify sources of pollutants, and specify actions that create solutions. They are adopted by the Regional Water Board as amendments to our Region's Basin Plan. For more information about TMDLs, click here.

Within our region, the 2010 303(d) list includes more than 270 listings in 88 water bodies. Water Board staff are currently developing TMDL projects to address more than 160 of these listings. (One TMDL may address multiple listings. For example, the Diazinon/Pesticide Toxicity TMDL for urban creeks addressed more than 30 impaired creeks or creek segments.)

Completed TMDL Projects:
Guadalupe River Watershed Mercury
Lagunitas Creek Sediment

Napa River Pathogens
Napa River Nutrients (proposed de-listing)
Napa River Sediment
Richardson Bay Pathogens
San Francisco Bay Mercury
San Francisco Bay PCBs
San Pedro Creek and Pacifica State Beach Bacteria TMDL

Sonoma Creek Nutrients (proposed de-listing)
Sonoma Creek Pathogens
Sonoma Creek Sediment
Tomales Bay Mercury
Tomales Bay Pathogens
Urban Creeks Pesticide Toxicity
Walker Creek Mercury

TMDL Projects in Development:
North San Francisco Bay Selenium
SF Bay Beaches Bacteria
San Francisquito Creek Sediment
Pescadero/Butano Creeks Sediment
Walker Creek Sediment
Suisun Marsh

Regional map of TMDLs in progress
Click on the map above to view a larger image.

Fact Sheets

Cleaning up PCBs in San Francisco Bay, June 2012 (PDF file).
Fact sheet produced by the San Francisco Bay Water Board

How TMDLs Are Adopted: The Basin Planning Process, February 2004 (PDF file)
Fact sheet produced in cooperation with the Clean Estuary Partnership (CEP)

Legacy Pollution: What Does it Mean for the Health of the Bay, March 2003, (PDF file)
Fact sheet produced by the CEP.

TMDLs: Taking Action for Clean Water, September 2002 (HTML version)