March 21, 2019

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Nick Muenks, Cody Luebbering, and Elizabeth Toot-Levy to Present at AWWA/MWEA Joint Conference

Nick Muenks (Missouri), Cody Luebbering (Missouri), and Elizabeth Toot-Levy (Ohio) will present at the Missouri Section of the American Water Works Association (AWWA)/ Missouri Water Environment Association at Tan-Tar-A in Osage Beach, Missouri on April 1, 2019.

Nick and Cody will co-present "A Case of the Permit Limit Blues" starting at 10:55 a.m. and Elizabeth Toot-Levy will present "Learning from Others: Multiple Maumee Watershed Models of Potential Phosphorus Reduction Management Plans for Lake Erie" starting at 4:15 p.m.

Other Geosyntec staff that will be attending are Tom Wallace and Joshua Horne (Missouri).

Nick is a Senior Scientist based in Missouri with more than 15 years of experience addressing a diverse range of water quality issues such as remedial site investigations; stormwater characterization; agricultural and urban best management practice (BMP) performance; watershed management; development of effluent limitations based on water quality; assessment of beneficial uses and their attainability; development of site-specific water quality criteria; and waste water impact evaluations. He routinely serves as a technical advisor for design and implementation of innovative surface water monitoring systems.

Cody is a Project Scientist based in Missouri with more than 10 years of experience focused on water quality monitoring and sampling, sediment sampling, aquatic biological monitoring, and natural resource management in support of water quality modeling/decision making, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit requirements, environmental and remedial investigations, and research in biology and natural resource management.

Elizabeth is a Project Scientist based in Ohio with more than 17 years of experience working in the field of environmental and regulatory compliance. Her expertise includes Clean Water Act (CWA) compliance, water quality standards, water quality and environmental monitoring, risk communication, watershed management, industrial and municipal pretreatment, integrated planning, and many other aspects related to local, state, and federal compliance with the CWA.

The American Water Works Association is an international, nonprofit, scientific and educational society dedicated to providing total water solutions assuring the effective management of water. Founded in 1881, the Association is the largest organization of water supply professionals in the world.

The Missouri Section of the American Water Works Association promotes the concept of clean, reliable drinking water for the state of Missouri. Through its efforts, the Section advocates the advancement of knowledge, technology and application in the science of water treatment. Through its meetings, the Section acts as a forum for open discussion of industry practices to render the best possible service to the public. The Section takes an active role in working with regulatory and legislative bodies to advocate public policy consistent with achieving these goals. Representing more than 67 utilities, 16 organization members and 826 individual members, the Missouri-Section AWWA is committed to serving the consuming public and assisting water purveyors across the state of Missouri.


Presenters: Nick Muenks, Cody Luebbering
Title: A Case of the Permit Limit Blues
Abstract: Water Quality Based Effluent Limits (WQBELs) are revised and issued as effluent monitoring data are being reviewed during the NPDES permit renewal process. WQBELs are derived through statistical analyses which consider the quality and variability of your effluent. However, there can be issues with WQBELs depending on how the data are analyzed or if data were reported during non-representative conditions. These problems can be the difference between a permit limit and no limit. This presentation will focus on case studies of Missouri municipal discharges and how effluent data, receiving stream quality, data handling and data analyses can affect permit limits. The audience will also be provided with insight for identifying and addressing potential permitting issues in advance of the renewal process.

Presenter: Elizabeth Toot-Levy
Title: Learning from Others: Multiple Maumee Watershed Models of Potential Phosphorus Reduction Management Plans for Lake Erie
Abstract: Missouri's numeric nutrient criteria for lakes are looming while nuisance algal bloom occurrences have been increasing in Lake Erie over the past two decades. To combat the blooms Annex 4 of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA) calls for a 40% reduction of both total and dissolved phosphorus entering the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB). This is relatively equivalent to achieving conditions similar to 2012 conditions, nine out of 10 years. Ohio's Nutrient Mass-Balance Study indicates that approximately eighty percent of the nutrients discharging into Lake Erie via the Maumee River are coming from non-point sources. A multi-university team of modeling experts developed, calibrated and validated six watershed computer models to determine which agricultural conservation practices are most likely to lead to target reductions in phosphorus runoff from the Maumee River watershed into Lake Erie. The tools are being used to evaluate how adoption of conservation measures over time will impact overall water quality and what changes are likely to lead to the 40% reduction in phosphorus runoff targeted by a number of policy initiatives. The project built upon previous modeling efforts and has been expanded to include a robust stakeholder advisory group to provide important guidance regarding agricultural conservation options that should be analyzed such as changing fertilizer and manure application rates, timing and level of incorporation into the soil, cover crops, management of subsurface drains and restoring headwater wetlands. This presentation will present the final results of this modeling effort. The modeling indicates that a targeted approach to the installation of agricultural practices could achieve reductions needed to meet the 40% phosphorus reduction goals; however, it is likely that targeting would need to occur on an individual field basis. The appropriate practices need to be identified by the agricultural community and strategic advisors. As Missouri faces numeric nutrient criteria for lakes and reservoirs, modeling efforts such as these may become a more frequent reality. Missouri has a unique opportunity to bring together a diverse stakeholder group early in the implementation stages to develop approaches for achieving meaningful nutrient reductions while considering the economic feasibility for agriculture, wastewater treatment and source water protection. Utilities providing drinking water or wastewater treatment should become engaged in nutrient management policy to help assure implementation will lead to affordable outcomes for their facilities.

More Information

About the event:
Event Program: AWWA/MWEA Joint Conference Program
For consultation regarding permitting or watershed planning, contact Nick Muenks at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Elizabeth Toot-Levy at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Learn more about Nick at:
Learn more about Cody:
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