Section 319
 Using Agricultural Best Management Practices Reduces Bacteria
Watprhnrlv Imnrnx/pH  Fecal coliform from animal agriculture areas, failing septic tanks and
              y    ^          impervious surfaces caused Georgia's Hog Creek to violate water qual-
                                ity standards. As a result, Georgia's Environmental Protection Division
 (EPD) added a 10-mile segment of Hog Creek to Georgia's Clean Water Act (CWA) section 303(d) list of
 impaired waters for fecal coliform bacteria in 2002 and 2004. 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 10-mile segment of Hog Creek from the list of impaired waters for fecal coliform in 2006.
 The 10-mile-long impaired segment of Hog Creek
 flows through Ware County, just north of where Hog
 Creek joins the Satilla River in south-central Georgia
 (Figure 1). Cropland is mostly on the well-drained
 soils on long, narrow and flat-to-gently-sloping-
 ridges paralleling many of the stream courses.
 The broad flats of the watershed are often poorly
 drained and support pine trees, and the wet, narrow
 floodplains support bottomland hardwood forests.
 Pastures, cropland and  hayfields cover approxi-
 mately 22 percent of the area.

 Monitoring data collected in the late 1990s show
 that Hog Creek violated the fecal coliform water
 quality standard for its fishing designated use
 classification (its most stringent classification).
 The standard requires that fecal coliform levels not
 exceed a geometric mean (four samples collected
 over a 30-day period) of 200 colony forming units
 (cfu) per 100 milliliters (ml) in the summer and
 1,000 cfu/100 ml in the winter.

 Hog Creek violated water quality standards for fecal
 coliform in one of four geometric mean sampling
 sets in 1998. Because Hog Creek did not meet
 criteria to support its fishing designated use clas-
 sification, Georgia EPD  added a 10-mile segment
 of the creek to Georgia's 2000 CWA section 303(d)
 list of impaired waters for high fecal coliform levels.
 Georgia EPD identified the primary sources as
 animal concentrations, old leaking septic tanks and
 stormwater runoff.

 Georgia EPD developed a total maximum daily
 load (TMDL) study for pathogen loads in the Satilla
 River watershed; the U.S. Environmental Protection
 Agency approved the TMDL in 2000. The TMDL
                                     Satilla River Basin
                                     Major Rivers
Figure 1. Hog Creek is a tributary of Georgia's Satilla River.
determined that pathogen loading into Hog Creek
must be reduced by 85 percent to meet water qual-
ity requirements for fishing. The TMDL attributed
the pathogen loading to runoff from animal agricul-
ture areas, leaking septic tanks, urban areas and
residential areas with pets.


Figure 2. This farmer combined heavy use area
protection with an alternate watering source.
Project Highlights
Using a combination of CWA section 319 and EQIP
funding, the Seven Rivers Resource Conservation
and Development Council worked with local land-
owners to install BMPs that reduce pathogen runoff
into Hog Creek and  improve the landowners' opera-
tions. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural
Resources Conservation Service office in Ware
County provided additional technical assistance and
support. CWA section 319 funds paid for several
BMPs along Hog  Creek, including installing a founda-
tion to support cattle and soil in heavy-use areas
(places where cattle gather for watering and feed-
ing) to prevent erosion (Figure 2), adding a grade-
stabilization structure to prevent stream bank failure
(Figure 3), seeding a pasture and planting a riparian
zone to protect critical areas, and installing pipelines
and other alternative water structures such as wells
and ponds to keep livestock out of streams. Those
water quality control measures also provide livestock
health benefits and  improve area aesthetics. Local
agriculture agency partners advised landowners on
the technical design and specifications of BMPs and
provided  oversight and expertise during installation.
Landowners participated voluntarily and provided
partial labor and funds for the BMPs, which were
installed between 2000 and 2005.

Ware County adopted several ordinances to help
improve water quality,  including the state model
ordinance for soil erosion and sedimentation, a
septic tank permit ordinance and an ordinance that
requires drainage plan for new subdivisions.
Figure 3. This riparian buffer and streambank stabili-
zation project protects Hog Creek.
Georgia EPD collected monitoring data on Hog
Creek in 2003 as part of a larger effort to update
the Satilla River fecal coliform TMDL. These data
show that Hog Creek no longer violated stan-
dards in 2003.  For example, in May 1998 the fecal
coliform geometric mean value reached a high of
436 cfu/100 ml. In June 2003 the geometric mean
value was 81 cfu/100 mL—well below the summer
water quality standard of 200 cfu/100 mL. The
revised TMDL, approved in 2006, found that Hog
Creek met water quality standards for its desig-
nated use and  required no additional load reduc-
tions. On the basis of that information, Georgia EPD
removed the 10-mile segment of Hog Creek from
the state's list of impaired waters in 2006.
Partners and Funding
A total of $17,448 in CWA section 319 funding
supported projects in the Hog Creek watershed.
Producers provided the remaining 40 percent of
BMP construction costs for a total of $29,080. Key
partners in this effort include the Ware County
Soil Conservation District, Seven Rivers Resource
Conservation and Development Council, Natural
Resources Conservation Service agents and Ware
County. Agents of these generous partners pro-
vided technical expertise and labor. Landowners in
the Satilla River watershed contributed in-kind labor
hours and some funding.
     U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
     Office of Water
     Washington, DC

     September 2009
For additional information contact:
Jeff Linzer
Georgia Environmental Protection Division
404-675-6232 •
Stan Moore
Seven Rivers Resource Conservation
   and Development Council
912-367-7679 •