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Clean Water Blueprints

A public meeting regarding Honeoye and Conesus Lakes will be held on December 15 from 7-9 PM. For more information, visit the Clean Water Blueprints Public Participation webpage.

Clean Water Blueprints are a watershed-based approach to outline a strategy to improve water quality in an impaired waterbody. Clean Water Blueprints document the pollution targets, pollutant sources, and strategies that communities may use to improve water quality.

Why are Clean Water Blueprints needed?

The Clean Water Act requires states to identify waterbodies that do not meet water quality standards. For these "impaired waters," the Act also requires states to develop total maximum daily load (TMDLs) to reduce the amount of pollutants responsible for not meeting water quality standards.

A TMDL is a type of Clean Water Blueprint for a waterbody. A TMDL calculates the maximum amount of a single pollutant that a waterbody can receive and still meet water quality standards, determines the amount that each of the sources of that pollutant can discharge into the impaired waterbody, and the reductions needed to meet water quality standards.

Another type of Clean Water Blueprint is a 9 Key Element Watershed Plan. These plans are similar to TMDLs (e.g., calculation of needed pollutant reductions) with additional emphasis on implementation (e.g., how to achieve reductions, tracking progress, and monitoring water quality improvements).

Developing the Clean Water Blueprint

  • Identify the pollutant loadings & sources
  • Engage watershed community
  • Draft document
  • Public comment on the draft document
  • Final approval

Community involvement

Engaging the watershed community is an important part of this process. In order to develop a successful blueprint, DEC needs to understand how the lake is used, what the issues are, and what has been done to improve the lake so far. For information about waterbodies with blueprints in development, visit the Clean Water Blueprints public participation webpage.

What's in the document?

The document may:

  • Characterize the watershed (e.g. land use, monitoring data, rainfall, topography)
  • Define the numeric water quality target for the waterbody
  • Determine how much of the pollutant the waterbody can handle
  • Determine the amount each of the sources of the pollutant can discharge to a waterbody
  • Outline the steps that should be taken across the watershed to achieve the water quality goals for that waterbody (e.g. sewering homes, aquatic plant management, permit enforcement, lake management, and agricultural best management practices).

TMDLs account for all contributing sources (e.g. point & nonpoint sources, and natural background levels), seasonal variations in the pollutant load, and incorporate a margin of safety that accounts for unknown or unexpected sources of the pollutant.

What waterbodies have Clean Water Blueprints?

TMDLs and watershed plans have been completed for many waterbodies in New York State. The following list has information on TMDLs for specific waterbodies. As appropriate, DEC will create separate webpages for specific waterbodies. As those pages are completed, links will appear in the left-hand column of this page.

Adirondack Acid Rain/Waters/pH

Impaired Waters Restoration Plan for Acid Rain Lakes in NYS Forest Preserve: TMDL for pH (PDF), September 2006, NYSDEC (580 KB)

Adirondack Acid Rain/Waters/Acid Neutralizing Capacity

Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for Acid Impaired Lakes in the Adirondack Park (PDF) , September 2014, NYSDEC (3.6 MB)

Appendices for Acid Impaired Lakes in the Adirondack Park:

Bear Lake

Draft Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for Phosphorus in Bear Lake (PDF), July 2014, NYSDEC (2.6 MB)

Black Creek/Bigelow Creek/Phosphorus

Draft Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for Phosphorus in Upper Black Creek and Bigelow Creek (PDF), September 2013, NYSDEC (2.6 MB)

Chautauqua Lake

Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for Phosphorus in Chautauqua Lake (PDF), November 2012, NYSDEC (1.9 MB)

Greenwood Lake/Phosphorus

Impaired Waters Restoration Plan for Greenwood Lake: TMDL for Phosphorus (PDF), September 2005, NYSDEC (774 KB)

Long Island Sound/Dissolved Oxygen

Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Analysis to Achieve Water Quality Standards for Dissolved Oxygen in Long Island Sound (PDF), December 2000, NYSDEC and CTDEP (PDF 259 KB)

Response to Public Comments - Long Island Sound Dissolved Oxygen TMDL (PDF), January 2001, NYSDEC (PDF 133 KB)

Long Island/Pathogens (Shellfishing)

Shellfish Pathogen TMDL for 27 Section 303(d)-Listed Waters (PDF), September 2007, NYSDEC, et al. (909 KB)

Shellfish Pathogen TMDL, Attachment A - Waterbody Maps (PDF), September 2007, NYSDEC, et al. (Full Document is 23 MB and may be difficult to view/download; see below to view/download smaller portions of this PDF document)

Shellfish Pathogen TMDL, Attachment B - Assumptions and Methods (PDF), September 2007, NYSDEC, et al. (266 KB)

Response to Public Comments - Shellfish Pathogen TMDL (PDF), September 2007, NYSDEC (36 KB)

Lake Champlain/Phosphorus

Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Analysis to Achieve Water Quality Standards for Phosphorus in Lake Champlain (PDF), September 2002, NYSDEC and VTDEC (362 KB)

Lake Ontario PCB TMDL

Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for Lake Ontario PCB (PDF), July 2011, NYSDEC (920 KB)

New York City Water Supply Watershed/Phosphorus

Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Analysis to Achieve Water Quality Standards for Phosphorus in New York City Water Supply Reservoirs - Final Phase II (PDF), June 2000, NYSDEC (172 KB)

Response to Public Comments - Phase II NYC Watershed Phosphorus TMDL (PDF), June 2000, NYSDEC (172 KB)

Nonpoint Source Implementation - Phase II NYC Watershed Phosphorus TMDL (PDF), March 2002, NYSDEC (203 KB)

Nonpoint Source Implementation - Phase II NYC Watershed Phosphorus TMDL (PDF), April 2001, NYSDEC and NYCDEP (1 MB)

Croton Watershed Phase II Phosphorus TMDL Implementation Plan (PDF), January 14, 2009, NYSDEC (552 KB)

Croton Watershed Phase II TMDL Implementation Plan Comment Responsiveness Summary (PDF), January 15, 2009 NYSDEC (95 KB)

Technical Background For Retrofitting Practices (PDF), January 14, 2009, NYSDEC (142 KB)

Northeast Regional Mercury TMDL

Northeast Regional Mercury Total Maximum Daily Load (PDF), October 24, 2007, NYSDEC in collaboration with NEIWPCC (806 KB)

Onondaga Lake

Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for Phosphorus in Onondaga Lake (PDF), May 2012, NYSDEC (3.4 MB)

Amendment of the Total Maximum Daily Load for Ammonia in Onondaga Lake (PDF), January 2013, NYSDEC (138kB)

Oyster Bay/Pathogens

Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Analysis to Achieve Water Quality Standards for Pathogens in Oyster Bay/Mill Neck Creek (PDF), September 2003, NYSDEC (Full Document 4.5 MB; may be difficult to download, see below to download smaller portions of this PDF document)

Oyster Bay/Mill Neck Creek Pathogens TMDL - Text Only (PDF), no figures (368 KB)

Oyster Bay/Mill Neck Creek Pathogens TMDL - Figures 1-4 (PDF), (1.1 MB)

Oyster Bay/Mill Neck Creek Pathogens TMDL - Figures 5-7 (PDF), (940 KB)

Oyster Bay/Mill Neck Creek Pathogens TMDL - Figures 8-15 (PDF), (967 KB)

Oyster Bay/Mill Neck Creek Pathogens TMDL - Figures 16-21 (PDF), (800 KB)

Oyster Bay/Mill Neck Creek Pathogens TMDL - Figures 22-27 (PDF), (394 KB)

Peconic Bay/Pathogens

Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Analysis to Achieve Water Quality Standards for Pathogens in Peconic Bay (PDF), September 2006, NYSDEC (Full Document 3.25 MB; may be difficult to download, see below to download smaller portions of this document)

Peconic Bay Pathogens TMDL - Exec Summ/Table of Content (PDF) (147 KB)

Peconic Bay Pathogens TMDL - Introduction (PDF) (251 KB)

Peconic Bay Pathogens TMDL - Section 2: Problem Identification (PDF) (1.0 MB)

Peconic Bay Pathogens TMDL - Section 3-4 (PDF): Applicable Standards, Water Quality/Watershed Characterization (228 KB)

Peconic Bay Pathogens TMDL - Section 5-6: Source Assessment, Modeling Approach (PDF) (162 KB)

Peconic Bay Pathogens TMDL - Section 7: Load Allocation (PDF) (317 KB)

Peconic Bay Pathogens TMDL - Section 8-11 and attachments: Implementation, Reasonable Assurance, Public Participation and References (PDF) (186 KB)

Peconic Estuary/Nitrogen

Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for Nitrogen in the Peconic Estuary Study Area (PDF), September 2007, NYSDEC (Full Document 3.57 MB PDF; may be difficult to download, see below to download smaller portions of this document)

Peconic Estuary Nitrogen TMDL - Section I-IV: Executive Summary, Introduction, Waterbody Description, Applicable Standards (PDF), CWA 303(d) Listing (860 KB)

Peconic Estuary Nitrogen TMDL - Section V-VI: TMDL Development, TMDL/WLAs/LAs (PDF), (598 KB)

Peconic Estuary Nitrogen TMDL - Section VII-XIII: Implementation, Reasonable Assurance, Public Participation (PDF), (117 KB)

Peconic Estuary Nitrogen TMDL - Appendix A: Cumulative Impact Graphics (PDF), (1,295 KB)

Peconic Estuary Nitrogen TMDL - Appendices B and C (PDF), (953 KB)

Response to Public Comments - Peconic Estuary Nitrogen TMDL (PDF), September 2007, NYSDEC (413 KB)

Small Lakes/Phosphorus

Basic Creek Reservoir

TMDL for Phosphorus in Basic Creek Reservoir (PDF), March 2013, NYSDEC (2.25 MB)

Blind Sodus Bay

TMDL for Phosphorus in Blind Sodus Bay (PDF), September 2007, NYSDEC (704 KB)

TMDL for Phosphorus in Blind Sodus Bay - Appendices (PDF), September 2007, NYSDEC (1 MB)

Buck, Long and Cranberry Ponds

TMDL for Phosphorus in Buck, Long and Cranberry Ponds - DRAFT (PDF), July 2010, NYSDEC (Full Document 6.07 MB; may be difficult to download, see below to download smaller portions of this document)

TMDL for Phosphorus in Buck, Long and Cranberry Ponds - DRAFT, without Appendices (PDF), (3.26 MB)

TMDL for Phosphorus in Buck, Long and Cranberry Ponds - DRAFT, Appendices A thru D (PDF), (2.91 MB)

Cossayuna Lake

TMDL for Phosphorus in Cossayuna Lake (PDF), September 2008, NYSDEC (3.03 MB)

Findley Lake

TMDL for Phosphorus in Findley Lake (PDF), September 2008, NYSDEC (2.88 MB)

Java Lake

TMDL for Phosphorus in Java Lake, (PDF), May 2013, NYSDEC (2.22 MB)

Kinderhook Lake

TMDL for Phosphorus in Kinderhook Lake (PDF), August 2011, NYSDEC (3 MB)

TMDL for Phosphorus in Kinderhook Lake (PDF), September 15 2011, NYSDEC (3.5 MB)

Lake Oscawana

TMDL for Phosphorus in Lake Oscawana (PDF), September 2008, NYSDEC (2.45 MB)

Lake Salubria

TMDL for Phosphorus in Lake Salubria (PDF),- July 2009, NYSDEC (2.24 MB)

Little Sodus Bay

TMDL for Phosphorus in Little Sodus Bay (PDF), September 2007, NYSDEC (659 KB)

TMDL for Phosphorus in Little Sodus Bay - Appendices (PDF), September 2007, NYSDEC (985 KB)

Moon Lake

TMDL for Phosphorus in Moon Lake (PDF), September 2007, NYSDEC (649 KB)

TMDL for Phosphorus in Moon Lake - Appendices (PDF), September 2007, NYSDEC (963 KB)

Palmer Lake

TMDL for Phosphorus in Palmer Lake (DRAFT) (PDF), July 2014, NYSDEC (2.6 MB)

Peach Lake

TMDL for Phosphorus in Peach Lake (PDF), September 2009, NYSDEC (2.12 MB)

Port Bay

TMDL for Phosphorus in Port Bay (PDF), April 2011, NYSDEC (2.0 MB)

Silver Lake

TMDL for Phosphorus in Silver Lake (PDF), September 2010, NYSDEC (3.6 MB)

Snyders Lake

TMDL for Phosphorus in Snyders Lake - DRAFT (PDF), July 2009, NYSDEC (2.5 MB)

Summit Lake

TMDL for Phosphorus in Summit Lake (PDF), September 2009, NYSDEC (1.9 MB)Appendix 7 Load-response plots for scenarios involving reductions in atmospheric SO42-, NO3- and NH4+ deposition


More about Clean Water Blueprints: