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The Little Calumet River Watershed is located in northwestern Indiana, draining approximately 133.8 square miles in Lake and Porter counties. Major streams included in the TMDL report are Little Calumet River, Burns Ditch, Deep River, Sand Creek, Coffee Creek and Reynolds Creek.
A comprehensive survey of the Little Calumet River Watershed was conducted by Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) and other local agencies (USGS, NOAA, NRCS, IDNR, Purdue University, Lake and Porter counties, Gary Sanitary District and the City of Chesterton) in 2000. The primary cause of impairment is 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 Little Calumet River watershed are established for E. coli and will address 13 impairments. Some of the recommended solutions to address the impairments include storm water controls, point source controls, manure management and habitat improvements.
A kickoff TMDL meeting was held on July 25, 2002 at the Northwest Regional Planning Commission, 6100 Southport Rd., Portage, Indiana, starting at 9:00 a.m.
A draft TMDL meeting was held on June 23, 2004 at the Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission, 6100 Southport Rd., Portage, Indiana starting at 6:00 p.m.
The 30-day public comment period for the draft Little Calumet River Watershed TMDL began on June 14, 2004 and ended on July 14, 2004.
U.S. EPA under Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act approved the Little Calumet River Watershed TMDL report on January 28, 2005 for 13 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.