TMDL training archives

The training materials on this webpage were developed in 2006 and 2007. Some of the information in the training materials may be outdated; however, the materials contain useful information and will be maintained here until more recent information is available. See TMDL policy and guidance for more current TMDL support materials.

Training modules: Setting the course for improved water quality

These training modules were originally developed for MPCA and local government staff who are involved in the development and implementation of Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) studies. Others who have a direct or indirect interest in the program may also benefit from reviewing these materials. The training materials listed below consist of PowerPoint presentations, accompanied by a training manual.


A TMDL training program for local government leaders and other water resource managers (2008).

  • PDF icon Session 1 —TMDL Overview: General overview of Impaired Waters program, legal authorities, basic requirements of a TMDL Study and FAQs.
  • PDF icon Session 2 — TMDL Administrative Requirements: Describes 6 basic requirements of a TMDL Study, work plans, and contracts with the MPCA to fund TMDLs.
  • PDF icon Session 3 — Listing/Delisting Waters: Basic concepts about water quality standards, process of listing/delisting water bodies on the Section 303(d) Impaired Waters List.
  • PDF icon Session 4a — Citizen participation: The importance of public participation in TMDL studies.
  • PDF icon Session 4b — Stakeholder Committees: This Session provides tips for convening and collaborating with Stakeholder Advisory Committees when developing a TMDL study.
  • PDF icon Session 5a — Watershed Systems and TMDLs: The basic principles of hydrology (the science of water) and its application at various watershed scales.
  • PDF icon Session 5b — Streamflow, Stream Shape and Connectivity in Watersheds: This Session presents the basic principles of geomorphology (the study of the geologic forces that shape the landscape), describing the unique interplay between groundwater, surface water, topography, geologic forces and living things within watersheds.
  • PDF icon Session 6a — Planning and Scoping Your TMDL Project: This presentation addresses important steps in planning your TMDL projects, including defining the scope of your project, developing goals and creating ways to gather public comments early in the planning process.
  • PDF icon Session 6b — Collecting Watershed Data: This session addresses the importance of conducting an inventory of all existing data and organizing that data for use in your TMDL study
  • PDF icon Session 6c — Tips for Developing a TMDL Work Plan: This session, intended for TMDL Project Managers, offers guidance and practical tips for developing an approvable Work Plan.
  • PDF icon Session 6d — Using Contracts for TMDL Studies: This module describes the process of creating a viable contract for TMDL studies, provides important tips for local practitioners and MPCA Project Managers, and defines roles and responsibilities for those involved in creating and fulfilling the contract.
  • PDF icon Session 7 — Identifying Data Gaps; Developing a Monitoring Plan: Most TMDL studies will involve gathering new monitoring data. This session outlines important things to think about as you analyze data for gaps and develop a plan for gathering new data.
  • PDF icon Session 8 — Water Quality Monitoring and Data Collection: This session provides some basic information about techniques used in water quality monitoring for TMDL studies, the equipment used, etc.
  • PDF icon Setting the course for improved water quality: Session 9 - Organizing and analyzing your water quality data
  • PDF icon Session 10a — Biological Monitoring and TMDLs: This session discusses basic techniques for assessing the health of biological systems in your river or stream.
  • PDF icon Session 10b — Tackling a Biological Impairment/The Groundhouse River TMDL Case Example: This session outlines the basic steps of a TMDL study where the impairment was biological.
  • PDF icon Setting the course for improved water quality: Session 11a - Modeling for TMDL Studies
  • PDF icon Session 11b — Selecting a Model: This session outlines things to consider when selecting a model for a TMDL study, potential pitfalls when selecting models, and presents 2 case examples where models have been used in TMDL studies.
  • PDF icon Session 12 — Pollutant Load Allocations in TMDLs: An Overview Summary: This session provides a general explanation of how a pollutant load allocation can be developed for TMDL Studies.

Other training resources

EPA's TMDL Workshop, November 15, 2007: Presentations from EPA Region 5's training for state and local TMDL practitioners on federal requirements and expectations for Minnesota's TMDLs.


Stormwater and TMDLs (2/14/06) – a presentation by EPA’s Bruce Cleland and discussion on challenges facing Minnesota