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The St. Marys River and Maumee River Watershed is located in northeastern Indiana, draining approximately 376 square miles in Adams and Allen counties. Major streams included in the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) report are St. Marys River, Maumee River, Habegger Ditch, Gates Ditch, Blue Creek, Yellow Creek, Martz Ditch, Borum Run, Holthouse Ditch, Kohne Ditch, Gerke Ditch, and Nickelsen Creek, Trier Ditch, Bullerman Ditch, Gar Creek, Botern Ditch, Black Creek, Ham Interceptor Ditch and other tributaries.
A comprehensive survey of the St. Marys River and Maumee River Watershed was initiated in the spring of 2004 to gain a thorough understanding of the St. Marys River watershed. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) sampled the St. Marys River watershed biweekly from March 2004 through October 2004. IDEM partnered with the City of Fort Wayne to sample several sites in Adams and Allen county on the weeks opposite the IDEM sampling, from July 2004 through October 2004. This sampling examined basic water quality throughout the St. Marys Watershed, which included several key tributaries. IDEM did not collect additional water quality data in the Maumee River during the 2004 sampling event. The primary cause of impairment is Impaired Biotic Communities (IBC) due to ammonia and nutrients, as well as Escherichia coli bacteria (E. coli). Pollution sources in the watershed include nonpoint sources from agriculture and pastures, land application of manure and urban and rural run-off, as well as point sources from straight pipe discharges, home sewage treatment system disposal and combined sewer overflow outlets.
TMDLs for the St. Marys River and Maumee River Watershed are established for E. coli, IBC, ammonia, nutrients and will address 48 impairments. Some of the recommended solutions to address the impairments include storm water controls, point source controls, manure management and habitat improvements.
Kickoff TMDL meetings were held on December 15, 2004 at the Adams County Fairground, Monroe, Indiana starting at 6:00 p.m. and on December 16, 2004 at the Allen County Southwest Fire District Station One, 7001 Old Trail Road, Ft. Wayne, Indiana starting at 1:00 p.m.
Draft TMDL meetings were held on August 3, 2005 at the Decatur Library, 128 South 3rd Street, Decatur, Indiana starting at 6:00 p.m. and on August 4, 2005 at the Hessen Cassel Library, 3030 East Paulding Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana starting at 10:30 a.m.
The 30-day public comment period for the draft St. Marys River and Maumee River Watershed TMDL began on August 3, 2005 and ended on September 5, 2005.
U.S. EPA under Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act approved the St. Marys River and Maumee River Watershed TMDL report on August 21, 2006 for 48 impairments. TMDL reports identify and evaluate water quality problems in impaired water bodies and propose solutions to bring those waters into attainment with water quality standards.