Covering all the bases with TMDL compliance

May 09, 2002

Many farmers have called to ask me the burning question of, "Have I done everything I am supposed to do so far for the TMDL program?"

For those of you with the same question, here is your answer. If you have completed the following tasks, you have done everything required of you so far.

· Turned in you sign-up sheet with all of your contact information.

· Turned in a list of parcels that includes every field you currently farm, its acreage and landowner.

· Received the Spanish-language total maximum daily load video and shown it to your farm employees.

· Begun implementing best-management practices in each of your fields to help reduce silt runoff.

· Started a TMDL file or notebook in which you are documenting best-management practices you have implemented so far and progress on each field.

If you need assistance with any of the above, the technical team or I would be happy to help. Also, the regional board has now given me meters that I can check out to farmers.


These meters are extremely valuable tools because they will tell you if you have a silt problem, the extent of the problem as well as if your best-management practices are working. The meters are simple to use. You simply clean the vile, pour a sample of your drain water (from where it flows through the tailwater box off your field) into the vile, place it in the meter and push a couple buttons. The meter readings are something that you should document in your TMDL file. Please come into the Farm Bureau office to check one out for a couple weeks to use on your farm.

Clarification needs to be made regarding a typographical error in my previous article on April 18 regarding waste discharge permits. The (sub)headline actually should have said, "A waiver from waste discharge requirements allows … to discharge withOUT a permit if certain conditions are met." Please take note of this. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to call me at the Farm Bureau at 352-3831 or email me at

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