Final TMDLs Approved by EPA: Georges Creek

The Georges Creek watershed encompasses 47,694 acres (75 square miles) in Allegany and Garrett Counties.  The headwaters of Georges Creek begin in Frostburg, Maryland.  The mainstem of Georges Creek flows southwest until its confluence with the North Branch Potomac River below the town of Westernport, Maryland.  Several tributaries feed the mainstem of Georges Creek including Elklick Run, Mill Run, Winebrenner Run and Koontz Run.  The drainage area for the watershed lies between Dans Mountain and Big Savage Mountain.  Towns within the watershed area include: Frostburg, Midlothian, Midland, Lonaconing, Barton, Luke, and Westernport.  Dans Mountain State Park and portions of the Savage River State Forest also lie within the Georges Creek watershed.

The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has identified the mainstem of Georges Creek, a designated Use IP waterbody (Water Contact Recreation, Protection of Aquatic Life and Public Water Supply), and all its tributaries, designated Use I waterbodies (Water Contact Recreation and Protection of Aquatic Life)  [Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR)] in the State’s 303(d) List as impaired by sediments (1996), bacteria (fecal coliform) (2002), low pH (1998 & 2002) and impacts to biological communities (2002).  The document available below establishes a TMDL for fecal bacteria in Georges Creek and its tributaries that will allow for the attainment of the designated use primary contact recreation.  A sediment TMDL was approved in 2006 and a pH TMDL was submitted in 2007.  The listings for impacts to biological communities will be addressed separately at a future date.

Revised Final Document for Public Comment

On  September 20, 2007, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the “Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) of Fecal Bacteria for the Georges Creek Basin in Garrett and Allegany Counties, Maryland,” developed by the Maryland Department of the Environment.

The Allegany County Department of Public Works has recently applied for renewal of the permit to discharge an average of 0.6 million gallons per day (mgd) and has requested to increase the flow to 0.7 mgd of treated domestic wastewater from the Georges Creek Wastewater Treatment plant located on Old Reynolds Road, South West, North of Westernport, Maryland, to Georges Creek.

As a result of the permit renewal request, two changes have occurred to the Georges Creek non-tidal bacteria TMDL.  An error was discovered in the TMDL calculation of the wasteload allocation (WLA) and has been corrected.  In addition, the WLA has been appropriately adjusted to allow for the additional load from the requested increase in the wastewater treatment plant flow.  The revision of the WLA to correct the calculation error and accommodate the requested increase in flow necessitated a corresponding decrease in the load allocation (LA), resulting in an additional reduction of 0.01% from nonpoint source loads.  These changes do not affect the overall TMDL calculation. The revised TMDL document was available for public comment on the Department’s website at


Total Maximum Daily Loads of Fecal Bacteria for the Non-Tidal Georges Creek Basin in Garrett and Allegany Counties, Maryland

(Approved on September 20, 2007)

Revised Report TMDL_GeorgesCreek_revised_final.pdf (1707KB)
EPA's Decision Letter EPA's Decision Letter
Main Report

TMDL_GeorgesCreek_fc.pdf (2170KB)

Comment Response Document

CRD_GeorgesCreek_fc.pdf (5KB)


Contact Information

Please direct questions or comments concerning this project to Maryland's TMDL Program at (410) 537-3818.