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Design Nomographs for Vegetative Filter Strips as a BMP Implementation Tool in the TMDL Process

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Watershed Management to Meet Water Quality Standards and Emerging TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) Proceedings of the Third Conference 5-9 March 2005 (Atlanta, Georgia USA) Publication Date 5 March 2005  701P0105.(doi:10.13031/2013.18049)
Authors:   Muñoz-Carpena, R. and John E. Parsons

The TMDL process relies on a successful implementation of field- and watershed-scale best management practices (BMP) to reduce or eliminate the impairing contaminant from the watershed. Often, there is not an objective and flexible tool to design such BMPs to achieve desired efficiencies. Vegetative filter strips (VFS), when properly designed and maintained, have been proven successful to obtain large reductions of overland flow sediment transport into water bodies. Recently VFSMOD-W, a mechanistic hydrology and sediment transport model for vegetative filter strips, has been proposed to design VFS. The comprehensive procedure includes the relevant characteristics specific to the design application: a) filter construction characteristics (length, slope, vegetation type and density); b) site (soil type and design storms); c) and management (disturbed area type and on-site control practices adopted). Although VFSMOD-W presents a graphical user interface and comprehensive on-line help to assist the user in the design, a nomograph for quick estimation of filter construction characteristics can be useful for field personnel involved in VFS design and TMDL implementation. With this goal in mind, nomographs are being prepared from a large number of VFSMOD-W simulations encompassing the most representative soil types (USDA texture classes), disturbed area sediment properties (MUSLE parameters), design storm classes and magnitudes, and vegetation characteristics. The goal is to provide the end-user with a simple graphical tool to provide a first approximation to VFS characteristics needed to achieve the design sediment and runoff reduction (SDR-sediment delivery ratio and RDR-runoff delivery ration) set in the TMDL plan.

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