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Water Quality Training

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Jimmy Smith
Division of Water Resources
William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower
312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, 11th Floor
Nashville, Tennessee 37243
615-532-0648
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Certification of Qualified Hydrologic Professionals and Standard Operating Procedures for Hydrologic Determinations

(Stream/Wet Weather Conveyance Determinations)

With the passage of Public Chapter Number 464, the Tennessee General Assembly amended the Tennessee Water Quality Control Act of 1977 to clarify the regulatory status of watercourses in Tennessee and to establish qualifications for persons who conduct hydrologic determinations. In this context, a hydrologic determination is the classification of a watercourse as either a stream or a wet weather conveyance.

As required by the legislation, the division has developed rules to implement a certification program for Qualified Hydrlogic Professionals. The rules have been approved by the Tennessee Water Quality Control Board, and are now effective. A training course for conducting hydrologic determinations is now being offered.

Successful completion of the training course is one of the requirements for certification as a Qualified Hydrologic Professional. Availability of training is subject to payment of a fee and may be limited by available space in the classes. Hydrologic determinations may be conducted by persons who have not yet received the training, however, the "presumption of correctness" provision contained in Rule 0400-40-17 for a wet weather conveyance determination will not come into effect until the rules are finalized and the program for certification of Qualified Hydrologic Professionals is established.

The board has also approved another section of rules establishing a standard operating procedure for making hydrologic determinations. Even though these rules are also under review by the Attorney General and are not yet formally in effect, the division has begun following the procedures contained in the rule for making hydrologic determinations. The division has also developed Guidance for Making Hydrologic Determinations which augments the procedures contained in the rule with specific examples, a Hydrologic Determination Field Data Sheet, and instructions for assigning scores to the various indicators.

Implementation of Public Chapter Number 464

With the passage of Public Chapter Number 464, the Tennessee General Assembly amended the Tennessee Water Quality Control Act of 1977 to clarify the regulatory status of watercourses in Tennessee and to establish qualifications for persons who conduct hydrologic determinations. In this context, a hydrologic determination is the classification of a watercourse as either a stream or a wet weather conveyance.