Water: Nonpoint Source Success Stories
Georgia: Broxton Creek
Applying Agriculture Best Management Practices Reduces Bacteria
Waterbody ImprovedFecal coliform from animal agriculture areas, failing septic tanks and impervious surfaces caused Georgia's Broxton Creek to violate water quality standards. As a result, Georgia's Environmental Protection Division (EPD) added a six-mile segment of Broxton Creek to Georgia's 2000 Clean Water Act (CWA) section 303(d) list of impaired waters for fecal coliform bacteria. Using CWA section 319 and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funds, farmers installed numerous best management practices (BMPs) on pasturelands adjoining the creek's impaired segments. Water quality improved, prompting Georgia EPD to remove the six-mile segment of Broxton Creek from the list of impaired waters for fecal coliform in 2006.
Georgia EPD collected monitoring data on Broxton Creek in 2003 as part of a larger effort to update the Satilla River fecal coliform TMDL. Data show that Broxton Creek's fecal coliform geometric mean values, which had reached a high of 5,386 cfu/100 mL in February 1994, had dropped to 30 cfu/100 mL in February 2003. The revised TMDL, approved in 2006, found that Broxton Creek met water quality standards for its designated use and required no additional load reductions. On the basis of that information, Georgia EPD removed the six-mile segment of Broxton Creek from the state's list of impaired waters in 2006.
Partners and Funding
A total of $41,569 in CWA section 319 funding supported projects in the Broxton Creek watershed. Producers provided the remaining 40 percent of BMP construction costs for a total of $69,281. Key partners in this effort include the Coffee County Soil Conservation District, Seven Rivers Resource Conservation and Development Council, NRCS agents and Coffee County. Agents of these generous partners provided technical expertise and labor. Landowners in the Satilla River watershed contributed in-kind labor hours and some funding.