Jump to main content or area navigation.

Welcome to STEPL and Region 5 Model


Spreadsheet Tool for Estimating Pollutant Load (STEPL) employs simple algorithms to calculate nutrient and sediment loads from different land uses and the load reductions that would result from the implementation of various best management practices (BMPs). STEPL provides a user-friendly Visual Basic (VB) interface to create a customized spreadsheet-based model in Microsoft (MS) Excel. It computes watershed surface runoff; nutrient loads, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and 5-day biological oxygen demand (BOD5); and sediment delivery based on various land uses and management practices. For each watershed, the annual nutrient loading is calculated based on the runoff volume and the pollutant concentrations in the runoff water as influenced by factors such as the land use distribution and management practices. The annual sediment load (sheet and rill erosion only) is calculated based on the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) and the sediment delivery ratio. The sediment and pollutant load reductions that result from the implementation of BMPs are computed using the known BMP efficiencies.


Region 5 Model is an Excel workbook that provides a gross estimate of sediment and nutrient load reductions from the implementation of agricultural and urban BMPs. The algorithms for non-urban BMPs are based on the "Pollutants controlled: Calculation and documentation for Section 319 watersheds training manual" (Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, June 1999). The algorithms for urban BMPs are based on the data and calculations developed by Illinois EPA. Region 5 Model does not estimate pollutant load reductions for dissolved constituents.


Questions? Please contact:
STEPL E-mail support

Developed for EPA Office of Water
Grants Reporting and Tracking System
By Tetra Tech, Inc.

Top of Page

Jump to main content.