An official website of the United States government.

Impaired Waters and TMDLs

TMDLs at Work: Nutrioso Creek

Moving from Impairment to Delisting

Since the late 1800s, the Nutrioso Valley experienced heavy grazing that contributed to excessive erosion and elevated turbidity levels. The excessive turbidity resulted in unsuitable stream habitat for Nutrioso Creek’s aquatic communities. As a result, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) placed a seven mile stretch of Nutrioso Creek on the state’s section 303(d) list of impaired waterbodies and developed a turbidity TMDL approved in 2000.

Although historic grazing practices were the primary cause of impairment in Nutrioso Creek—it was progressive grazing practices implemented by a committed local landowner that led to the restoration of Nutrioso Creek. TMDL effectiveness monitoring data collected from 2004 to 2006 indicated that Nutrioso Creek met the TMDL load allocation and attained water quality standards. In 2009, Nutrioso Creek was the first waterbody removed from the Arizona’s section 303(d) list of impaired waters due to implementation activities.

Learn More

If you experience a problem reading a document with assistive technology, please contact us.
You may need a PDF reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA’s About PDF page to learn more.
  • Sound Byte Version: Nutrioso Creek TMDL at Work (PDF)(2 pp, 261 K, December 2009, EPA 841-F-09-002Q)
    Moving from Impairment to Delisting: Committed Landowner Implements and Advocates Improved Grazing Practices in Nutrioso Creek, Reducing Turbidity Levels to Attain Water Quality Standards.
  • Technical Version: Nutrioso Creek TMDL at Work (PDF)(5 pp, 297 K, December 2009, EPA 841-F-09-002Q)
    Moving from Impairment to DelistingCommitted Landowner Implements and Advocates Improved Grazing Practices in Nutrioso Creek, Reducing Turbidity Levels to Attain Water Quality Standards.
  • Nutrioso Creek TMDL for Turbidity (PDF)(19 pp, 1 MB, July 2000)
    Nutrioso Creek was the subject of an intensive turbidity study in November of 1999 and January of 2000. The results of this study indicate that the majority of the stream meets turbidity standards.