Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL): Restoring Water Quality
Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) is a term used by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for plans to restore and maintain water quality in streams, lakes, and estuaries that violate water quality standards. TMDL is also known as a "pollution diet."
New Information about TMDL
Read more about the draft Draft Chesapeake Bay TMDL Action Plan. Learn how you can participate in the public comment period that ends September 18.
During extensive testing for pollutants in 1998, major portions of Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries within Virginia were listed as impaired. The main pollutants causing these impairments are nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment. Significant efforts are underway by federal, state, and local governments, including the City of Falls Church, to address these water quality issues and meet goals established under the federal Clean Water Act.
The Chesapeake Bay watershed remains on the impaired waters list, so the EPA requires that a TMDL be developed.
PCBs and the Environment
Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) are a group of man-made compounds that were widely used from approximately 1929 until the U.S. ban in 1979. They were utilized mainly in electrical equipment, because of their non-flammability and stability. PCBs have no known taste or smell and range in consistency from oil to a waxy solid. PCBs still exist in our air, soil and water from previous releases. Because of their stability, PCBs do not break down in the environment. They often attach to sediment that is washed into our local waterbodies, the Potomac River, and the Chesapeake Bay. PCBs accumulate in organisms found in these waterways and can cause serious health concerns for citizens who consume contaminated fish and shellfish. Caution must be taken to prevent the release of PCBs from spills and leaks from electrical equipment, improper disposal and storage of equipment like fluorescent light ballasts, and construction wastes from buildings constructed before 1980.
Federal & State Laws, City Ordinance
Federal and state laws and city ordinance prohibit dumping of solid or hazardous waste into any streams or drainage areas in the city. Furthermore, the ordinance authorizes city representatives to enforce and administer the provisions of the ordinance, including issuing warnings and monetary fines for violations.
City code also prohibits unauthorized connections to any public storm sewer and lifting of manholes or tampering with manholes, basins, or storm sewer inlets. Any person with a need to make a connection to the city storm drain system should contact the Engineering and Construction Division at 703-248-5350 (TTY 711).
Report Discharge of Prohibited Items
To report discharge or dumping of prohibited items, call 703-248-5350, ext. 2 (TTY 711).
To report a hazardous material spill that constitutes an emergency and requires cleanup, call 911 for the Fire Department Hazardous Material response.