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Surface Water Quality Bureau
Monitoring & Assessment
Probable Sources
of Impairment

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Download the interactive 188 kb PDF today...

Lynette Guevara
Assessment Coordinator
(505) 827-2904

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Probable Source Form 188 kb Download the 188 kb PDF today...

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"Sources" are defined as activities that may contribute pollutants or stressors to a water body (USEPA 1997).  The list of “Probable Sources of Impairment” in the Integrated 303(d)/305(b) List, Total Maximum Daily Load documents (TMDLs), and Watershed-Based Plans (WBPs) is intended to include any and all activities that could be contributing to the identified cause of impairment.  Data on Probable Sources are routinely gathered by Monitoring and Assessment Section staff and Watershed Protection Section staff during water quality surveys and watershed restoration projects and are housed in the Assessment Database (ADB version 2).  ADB was developed by USEPA to help states manage information on surface water impairment and to generate §303(d)/ §305(b) reports and statistics. More specific information on Probable Sources of Impairment is provided in individual watershed planning documents (e.g., TMDLs, WBPs, etc) as they are prepared to address individual impairments by assessment unit.    

The list of “Probable Sources” is not intended to single out any particular land owner or single land management activity and has therefore been labeled “Probable” and generally includes several sources for each known impairment.  If you have information or concerns regarding particular probable sources of known impairments in watersheds of interest to you, please fill out and submit the interactive form found on this website.

USEPA through guidance documents strongly encourages states to include a list of Probable Sources for each listed impairment.  According to the 1998 305(b) report guidance, “…, states must always provide aggregate source category totals…” in the biennial submittal that fulfills CWA section 305(b)(1)(C) through (E) (USEPA 1997).  The approach for identifying “Probable Sources of Impairment” was recently modified by SWQB.  Any new impairment listing will be assigned a Probable Source of “Source Unknown.”  Probable Source Sheets will continue to be filled out during rotational watershed surveys and watershed restoration activities by SWQB staff.  Information gathered from the Probable Source Sheets will be used to generate a draft Probable Source list in consequent TMDL planning documents.  These draft Probable Source lists will be finalized with watershed group/stakeholder input during the pre-survey public meeting, TMDL public meeting, WBP development, and various public comment periods.  The final Probable Source list in the approved TMDL will be used to update the subsequent Integrated List. 

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USEPA. 1997. Guidelines for preparation of the comprehensive state water quality assessments (305(b) reports) and electronic uptakes. EPA-841-B-97-002A. Washington, D.C.

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