State of New Mexico > Environment Department > Surface Water Quality Bureau

Surface Water Quality Bureau
Monitoring, Assessment & Standards

US EPA-Approved TMDL
for the Animas River Watershed
[San Juan River to Southern Ute Indian Tribe Boundry]

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The Animas River Watershed TMDL...  Download the 7.0 MB PDF today!

The Surface Water Quality Bureau (SWQB) conducted a water quality survey of the San Juan River basin of northwestern New Mexico in 2010. Water quality monitoring stations were located within the Animas River watershed to evaluate the impact of tributary streams and ambient water quality conditions. As a result of assessing data generated during this monitoring effort, impairment determinations of New Mexico water quality standards included E. coli and temperature in the downstream stream segment and E. coli and total phosphorus in the upstream stream segment.

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BACTERIA (E. coli) in the Animas River (San Juan River to Estes Arroyo and from Estes Arroyo to Southern Ute Indian Tribe Bnd.);

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TEMPERATURE in the Animas River (San Juan River to Estes Arroyo); and

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TOTAL PHOSPHORUS in the Animas River (Estes Arroyo to Southern Ute Indian Tribe Bnd.).

A Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) is a planning document that establishes specific goals to meet water quality standards in waterbodies where pollutant limits are exceeded. It includes current pollution loadings, reduction estimates for pollutants, information on probable sources of pollution, and suggestions to restore or protect the health of the waterbody.

This TMDL document addresses the above noted impairments as summarized in the Executive Summary, beginning on pg. 3. The SWQB has prepared two other TMDL documents for portions of the Animas River discussed in this document – the San Juan River Watershed TMDL, Part 1 - 2005, and Part 2 - 2006. The 2010 study identified other potential water quality impairments which are not addressed in this document due to additional data needs, assessment protocol revisions or reapplication, or impending use attainability analyses. If the impairments are verified, subsequent TMDLs will be prepared in a separate document.

Meghan Bell
TMDL Development

(505) 827-0669

US EPA Approved TMDL 7.0 MB Download the 7.0 MB PDF file today...
US EPA Approval Letter 211 kb Download the 211 kb PDF file today...
WQCC Approval Order 58 kb Download the 58 kb PDF file today...
Public Notice 32 kb Download the 32 kb PDF file today...
Public Meeting Flyer 70 kb Download the 70 kb PDF file today...
Bulleted item Water Quality Survey for the San Juan and Animas Watersheds
- 2010
Bulleted item San Juan River Watershed TMDLs (Part 2)
- 2006
Bulleted item San Juan River Watershed TMDLs (Part 1)
- 2005
Bulleted item San Juan Basin Watershed Management Plan - 2005
Bulleted item San Juan River Basin Sedimentation / Siltation (Stream Bottom Deposit) Impairment Determinations - 2004
Bulleted item Bed-Material Characteristics of the San Juan River and Selected Tributaries, New Mexico: Developing Protocols for Stream-Bottom Deposits - 2004
Bulleted item Animas River Nutrients Assessment - 2003
Bulleted item Water Quality Survey Summary for the San Juan River Watershed - 2002

SWQB announced a 30-Day Public Comment Period for the Public Comment DRAFT Animas River Watershed TMDLs beginning on May 20, 2013 and ending on June 20th, 2013. Response to comments were attached as Appendix F to the WQCC-Approved version of this document.

A Public meeting was held in Farmington to summarize the information and to provide a forum for interested parties to ask questions and provide comments. The meeting date allowed the public time to review the document and generate questions or comments. The meeting was held on Wednesday, June 5th, from 6:00 to 8:00pm at the Farmington Civil Center.

Public Comments receieved were incorporated into the Final DRAFT version which was presented to the Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) at their regular public meeting on Tuesday, September 10, 2013.  After final editing and  subsequent approval, the WQCC-Approved version was subjected to federal review and was approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on September 30, 2013.

The Monitoring, Assessment & Standards Section will collect water quality data during the next rotational cycle.  The next scheduled monitoring date for the San Juan River Watershed is 2018 at which time TMDL targets will be re-examined and potentially revised as this document is considered to be an evolving management plan.  In the event that new data indicate that the targets used in this analysis are not appropriate and/or if new standards are adopted, the load capacity will be adjusted accordingly. When water quality standards have been achieved, the reach will be moved to the appropriate category in the State's CWA §303(d)/§305(b) Integrated Report.

The Watershed Protection Section will continue to work with watershed groups to develop Watershed-Based Plans to implement strategies that attempt to correct the water quality impairments detailed in this document.  Implementation of items detailed in the Watershed-Based Plans will be done with participation of all interested and affected parties.

For more information, please contact Meghan Bell at the e-address or phone number provided above.


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