The Highland-Pigeon Creek Watershed is located in southwestern Indiana, draining approximately 526 square miles in Gibson, Vanderburgh, Posey, Warrick, and Pike counties. Major streams included in the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) report are Pigeon Creek, Highland Creek and other tributaries.
A comprehensive survey of the Highland-Pigeon Creek Watershed was conducted by Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) in 2007 and 2009/2010. The primary cause of impairment is E. coli and Impaired Biotic Community (IBC). Pollution sources in the watershed include nonpoint sources from agriculture and pastures, land application of manure and urban and rural run-off, as well as point sources from straight pipe discharges, home sewage treatment system disposal and combined sewer overflow outlets.
TMDLs for the Highland-Pigeon Creek Watershed are established for E. coli and nutrients and will address approximately 56 impairments. Some of the recommended solutions to address the impairments include storm water controls, point source controls, manure management and habitat improvements.
A kickoff meeting was held at the Vanderburgh County Public Library on October 13, 2010, during which IDEM provided a summary of the available data.
A draft TMDL meeting was held at the Vanderburgh County Public Library on May 18, 2011 during which IDEM provided an overview of the draft TMDL results.
A public comment period began May 19, 2011 and ended on June 20, 2011.
U.S. EPA, under Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act, approved the Highland-Pigeon Creek Watershed TMDL report on September 7, 2011 for 57 impairments (fifty-four bacteria and three nutrient). TMDL reports identify and evaluate water quality problems in impaired water bodies and propose solutions to bring those waters into attainment with water quality standards.