ASSESSMENT OF BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES FOR EQUESTRIAN FACILITIES IN THE TOMALES BAY WATERSHED
Marin County Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program (MCSTOPPP) , 2005

Nicholson, D., Murphy, M.

The Tomales Bay and its tributaries have been listed as impaired by pathogens. The San Francisco Bay Water Quality Control Board, (SFWQCB) has initiated a total maximum daily load (TMDL) planning process for pathogen reduction. Confined animal facilities (including equestrian facilities) have been identified by the SFWQCB as potential sources of pathogens. The Marin County Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program (MCSTOPPP) conducted a Best Management Practices (BMP) assessment of 18 equestrian facilities within the Tomales Bay Watershed. This voluntary assessment program was designed to detect the level of actual or potential pollutant sources discharged from these facilities. MCSTOPPP staff and a private equestrian consultant conducted the assessments. Facility BMPs that prevent manure and/or sediment from entering nearby creeks were evaluated. The BMPs were evaluated qualitatively for effectiveness in keeping rainwater runoff from carrying animal excrement into nearby creeks that flow into Tomales Bay. Overall, 16 of 18 facilities exhibited minimal to no discharge potential. There were 13 of 18 facilities effectively using BMPs to eliminate discharge. Of the remaining facilities that had partially effective or non-effective BMPs, 3 of 5 had minimal potential for discharge due to efficient manure management practices and/or small amounts of manure. Professional advice was provided to improve the 5-facilities’ BMP implementation and/or management.