Lahontan Region - Bishop Creek Indicator Bacteria Vision Project

The Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board (Water Board) has identified that water quality in the middle and lower reaches of Bishop Creek (Inyo County, CA) is impacted by fecal bacteria. Data collected by the Water Board’s Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (SWAMP) show that bacteria concentrations in the waterbody exceed the water quality objectives for Escherichia Coli (E. coli) and for fecal coliform. Bacteria water quality objectives are set by both the State Water Resources Control Board and by the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board to protect beneficial uses of water related to human water contact. Data collected by the Water Board support the addition of Bishop Creek to the Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 303(d) list of impaired waters during the 2018 Integrated Report assessment cycle.  Placement of the waterbody on the 303(d) list requires the development of a regulatory action plan to address the fecal bacteria impairment to the waters of Bishop Creek.

In 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) announced a new collaborative framework for implementing the CWA Section 303(d) program called the Long-Term Vision for Assessment, Restoration, and Protection under the Clean Water Act Section 303(d) Program (The Vision). The Vision describes a watershed-wide plan focused on improving water quality and provides a flexible framework with which to attain water quality restoration and protection. In 2015, the Water Board identified Bishop Creek as one of two “Vision Watersheds” to be addressed by 2022 through the implementation of the Vision Program. Water Board staff is developing a Vision Project Plan (Vision Plan) to guide restoration and protection efforts in the Bishop watershed. Collaboration and partnerships with stakeholders and local landowners in the watershed will be integral to the Vision Plan.
Stream reaches impacted by fecal bacteria, Bishop Creek
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