The West Branch St. Joseph River Watershed, located in Steuben County, Indiana, Branch and Hillsdale County, Michigan, and Williams County, Ohio, encompasses 74,704.2 acres of land. It is the smallest of the four watersheds that comprise the Upper St. Joseph River Watershed. In Steuben, it is located in the northeastern corner of the county and accounts for 9 square miles of the county’s drainage.
The St. Joseph River flows through Fort Wayne, Indiana, and outlets into Lake Erie, through the Maumee River. The area contains several lakes, of which Clear Lake is the largest.
Total Maximum Daily Load A Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) plan was completed for the Upper St. Joseph Watershed.
The Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Program primary purpose is to assess streams, rivers and lakes that are considered impaired by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and develop reports that identify the causes of the impairment, the reductions of pollutants needed, and the actions needed to improve water quality. Impaired waters do not meet designated water quality standards and do not support one or more designated uses, such as recreational, protection of aquatic life, drinking water, and fish consumption. Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act established authority for the TMDL Program and guides states on how to develop these plans for waters that do not meet water quality standards.
For more information about the Indiana 303(d) list visit the IDEM 303(d) web page.
TMDLs for the St. Joseph River Watershed are established for E. coli and will address six impairments. Some of the recommended solutions to address the impairments include storm water controls, point source controls, manure management and habitat improvements.