CAST DOCUMENTATION

Using This Site

Below are some basic tips on how to navigate and use the CAST site.

Menu Bar

The user can access any of the CAST pages using the Menu Bar at the top of each page. Many of the links represent groupings of features which are indicated with the carat to the right of the name. Clicking the carat opens a dropdown with additional items such as the Results link.

Before logging in, the Menu Bar proviides limited functionalities including access to a set of public reports available under the link with the same name.

User Profile

The Manage Profile link is the only page not accessible from the Menu Bar. It is located on the right side of the banner above the Menu Bar.

Once logged in, a Manage Your Profile button also appears on the Home Page.

Help Icons

Help icons are distributed throughout the application and provide a short descriptions of CAST features. Placing your mouse over the question mark icon will display the message.

View Documentation

The View Documentation button links to the section of the User Documentation pertaining to page being displayed.

Tool Tips

Tool Tips are provided throughout the application to provide information about icon functionalities, items contained within the different grids or BMP entries.

The Scenario Name tool tip in the My Scenarios grid displays the scenario description the user created. It is an effective tool to display the selections used to create a scenario where the Add, Edit, Run and Delete functionalities are available instead of having to edit the scenario to view these details.

The Scenario Status tool tip in the My Scenarios grid provides information on where your scenario is in the processing cycle and what options may be available to the user, such as viewing the results on the Reports page or using the scenario for comparison.

The Edit icon tool tip in the My Scenarios grid reminds users that the BMP tabs, including invalid BMPs, is located under the edit functionality.

On the BMP tabs, tool tips provide definitions for BMPs, Agency and Load Source column items in the BMP Data Submitted grid. The example below displays the BMP definition.

A useful tool tip is provided for the Total Annualized Cost Per Unit column in the BMP Data Submitted grid for the Developed, Septic, Natural and Agriculture tabs defining the units associated with it.

Valuable tool tips are also provided on the Add and Edit BMP pop ups providing useful information on items in the dropdowns for Agency, BMP, Secondary BMP and Load Source required parameters.

Video Icons

Videos are available for some CAST functionalities and are indicated with the video icon. A complete list of all videos is available under the Tutorial Videos link in the How To dropdown.

Clicking the video icon opens a video player to display the selected recording.

Contact Us

The user can contact the CAST Admin Team using the Contact Us link on the menu bar. 

After the Contact Us pop up opens, enter a title and message and click the Send button.

A confirmation message will appear, clicking the OK button will complete the process.

 

Getting Started

The first step in evaluating nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment loads is to determine your target, or reduction goal. The target may be in pounds of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment, or it may be a percent reduction. Either way, you will want to create more than one scenario and/or cost profile to make comparisons of the impact and cost of different BMPs. A baseline scenario can be quickly created using the option to either copy the BMPs from an existing scenario or to import the BMPs from files during the selection process. The creation of a baseline scenario and then making copies of it with different cost profiles or with post-creation edits to isolate the impact of specific BMPs is recommended.

When using CAST for local TMDL plans, the local TMDL allocation may not have been developed with CAST and would not be comparable to load estimate methodology and assumptions in CAST. In these cases, the recommended approach is to calculate the percent change between the initial condition and the allocation in the TMDL. Then verify that the baseline and plan you developed in CAST meet that percent change. It is made easy because the percent change is shown in Compare Scenarios under Results. 

A baseline scenario may be for a certain year with that year's BMPs. Alternatively a baseline may be for a condition where there are no BMPs considered, also known as a no-action scenario. For Bay TMDL WIPs, 2009 is usually used as a baseline. For Bay TMDL milestones, the current conditions typically are used as a baseline. For example, a 2019 Milestone may be created in 2017. A baseline is 2017 and saved. Then a scenario is created copying those 2017 BMPs and additional BMPs and levels of implementation are added to achieve the 2019 Milestone target.

A cost profile is required to create a scenario and the user has the options of using the official state profile, a shared cost profile or one they have created. Like scenarios, cost profiles can be quickly created using the option of copying an existing profile and then making modifications to evaluate the impact of different cost values. If the user wants to create their own cost profile, this will need to be completed before the scenario creation process. Alternatively, a user may edit a scenario after creation and associate a different cost profile with that scenario. This is a useful way to determine a range of costs for the same scenario. 

The user can view the results of their scenarios in various reports, graphs and comparisons which can be selected from the Results dropdown in the menu bar. Report options include: BMP Summary, BMP Submitted vs. Credited, Base Conditions, Loads, Wastewater, Atmospheric Deposition or Quick Results. All reports can be downloaded for viewing. More information on each report is available in the Results section of the documentation.

The compare scenarios page allows the user to review the results of up to four scenarios at once. The results are shown in: Annualized Costs and Load Source Acres, Load Compare Results, and Percent Change in Loads Compare Results tabs on the page which only appear after the comparison is run. The different grids on each tab can also be downloaded for use or further tabulation.

The Graph page allows the user to create graphics for up to four scenarios at once. The graphics generated include source sector pie charts for nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment loads for each scenario as well as two sets of bar graphs that combine results for all scenarios. Nitrogen and phosphorus loads are combined in the first graph and sediment is displayed in the second graph. Clicking on the key of the bar charts adds or removes that element. 

Home Page

The CAST Home Page provides the functionality to log in to both CAST and BayFAST in one location, access public reports, review CAST's upgrade history, register for a CAST account and manage a forgotten password.  It also provides valuable information and links to other Chesapeake Bay Program data and information associated with water quality monitoring and modeling that most CAST users will find useful. This information is available in one central location and without requiring a CAST account or logging into CAST first.


Menu Bar

The Menu Bar on the Home Page also allows users access to the Public Reports (Reports and Maps), How To (User Documentation, Tutorial Videos and Webinars), Upgrade History (under About) and the Contact Us links withhout signing into the application.

Public Reports

Under Rublic Reports the user can download reports and maps using public scenarios wthout a CAST account or logging into CAST first.

The Reports page allows users to download reports based on publicly shared scenarios including annual progress, no action, Everything by Everyone, Everywhere (E3) and Phase 2 Watershed Implementaton Plans (WIP2). Access is restricted to a limited set of report types and the state geographic scale.  The reports available include: 

  • BMP Summary Report
  • BMP Submitted vs. Credited Report
  • Base Conditions Report
  • Loads Report

The user will select a report type, enter a report name, select a geographic scale and public scenario and then click the Download Report button to download the report file. For more report options, create a CAST account or log into your CAST account.

Maps Page

The Maps page allows users to view or compare maps based on publicly shared scenarios including annual progress, no action, Everything by Everyone, Everywhere (E3) and Phase 2 Watershed Implementaton Plans (WIP2).  The user can select a map based on its name which is a combination of a specific scenario, load (nitrogen, phosphorus or sediment) and scale (edge-of-stream or edge-of-tide). 

The Info button on each map provides a description of the scenario used to generate the data.

Clicking a specific point within the watershed map will open an information textbox with specific data and graphs for that area.  

Scrolling down the textbox will display a pie chart reflecting the sector data about the specific area.  

Mousing over the different segments in the chart will display their numerical sector values. Clicking the right arrowhead next to the pie chart will switch the display to a bar graph representing the source data. 

Mousing over the different items in the chart will display their numerical source values.  Use the left arrowhead to return to the pie chart view.

Clicking the Zoom To link in the information textbox will automatically zoom in to that area on both maps. Even if you change the map selection in the Secondary Map section, it will open at the same zoom level.

Additional Resources

The Additional Resources section contains links to frequently requested data and information associated with water quality monitoring and modeling.  The content of this section changes to reflect current topics and user needs. 

 

Public Reports

Reports

Under Public Reports the user can download reports and maps using public scenarios without a CAST account or logging into CAST first.

The Reports page allows users to download reports based on publicly shared scenarios including annual progress, no action, Everything by Everyone, Everywhere (E3) and Phase 2 Watershed Implementation Plans (WIP2). Access is restricted to a limited set of report types and the state geographic scale.  The reports available include: 

  • BMP Summary Report
  • BMP Submitted vs. Credited Report
  • Base Conditions Report
  • Loads Report

The user will select a report type, enter a report name, select a geographic scale and public scenario and then click the Download Report button to download the report file. For more report options, create a CAST account or log into your CAST account.

Maps

The Maps page allows users to view or compare maps based on publicly shared scenarios including annual progress, no action, Everything by Everyone, Everywhere (E3) and Phase 2 Watershed Implementation Plans (WIP2).  The user can select a map based on its name which is a combination of a specific scenario, load (nitrogen, phosphorus or sediment) and scale (edge-of-stream or edge-of-tide). 

The Info button on each map provides a description of the scenario used to generate the data.

Clicking a specific point within the watershed map will open an information textbox with specific data and graphs for that area.  

Scrolling down the textbox will display a pie chart reflecting the sector data about the specific area.  

Mousing over the different segments in the chart will display their numerical sector values. Clicking the right arrowhead next to the pie chart will switch the display to a bar graph representing the source data. 

Mousing over the different items in the chart will display their numerical source values.  Use the left arrowhead to return to the pie chart view.

Clicking the Zoom To link in the information textbox will automatically zoom in to that area on both maps. Even if you change the map selection in the Secondary Map section, it will open at the same zoom level.

Additional Resources

Scenarios

There are many services available on the Scenarios page.  From the My Scenario grid, the user can: create scenarios; view a list of scenarios and scenario statuses; edit scenario metadata and BMPs; and run or delete scenarios.  

The Shared Scenario grid allows users to view the public and other user-generated scenarios that have been shared with them. The information listed for shared scenarios include:  scenario name, author, status, date modified and any state restrictions which only applies to draft watershed-wide scenarios during development. Only the scenario creator can edit its data, but the users it has been shared with can use it to create their own version of the scenario using the Copy Existing Scenario option.  

An important feature for users is the ability to work on multiple scenarios at the same time.  For example, users can edit one scenario while running another one or can generate reports or run scenario comparisons using other scenarios while running a new one, or run multiple scenarios at the same time.

My Scenarios Buttons and Icons

Button/IconDescription
Add Scenario ButtonThe user can create new scenarios. Copying and/or importing BMPs can simplify the process of creating multiple scenarios for comparison.
Edit IconThe user can edit the scenario metadata, add/or edit BMPs, and view Invalid BMPs for scenarios they create.
Run IconThe user must run the scenario to obtain scenario results. 
Delete IconThe user can delete scenarios no longer needed.

Scenario Name Column

The scenario name tool tip under My Scenarios and Shared Scenarios grids displays the scenario description providing the user with a quick view of important information pertinent to the scenario.  The user can use Scenario Description to provide updates as values are changed or as a quick view of the variables used to create a scenario or other pollution reduction actions that are not accounted for in the scenario such as the agencies or departments that collaborated in creating the scenario. The field has a maximum capacity of 5,000 characters which can be used.

Recommendation: Use the description as a quick reference of the selections used to create the scenario which can be seen from the My Scenario Grid.  The following example indicates the following selections: BMPs Available-What If; Geographic Scale-County; Geographic Area-Kent, New Castle and Sussex Counties, DE; Base Conditions (BC)-2013; Wastewater Data Set (WDS)-2015, Cost Profile (CP)-MD; and Copied BMPs-2011CAL20151009.

Scenario Status Column

The user can only edit, run or delete the scenarios they have created in the My Scenarios grid.  A complete list of possible scenario statuses included in the table below.

Scenario StatusDescription
CreatedThe scenario has been created. The user can edit the scenario metadata or BMPs or the run it to obtain results.
EditingEditing and BMP validation is in progress.
Finished EditingThe latest edits have been saved. The user can make further edits to the scenario or run it to obtain results.
Running Calculations are in progress.
Run FinishedThe scenario can be used to generate one of the five types of reports listed on the Report page or used to compare up to 4 scenarios at the same time using the Compare Scenarios page.
DeletingThe deleting status will display while a scenario is being removed.
Validation FailedEdit the scenario to view the BMPs on the Invalid BMP tab that won’t be included in the calculation if the scenario is run in the current version.   The user can still run the scenario based on the valid BMPs in the current version or can correct the invalid BMPs, save the scenario again which will automatically run validation.
System ErrorWhen a system error occurs, an email is sent to both the user and the CAST Team. The user can expect a follow up email from the CAST Team after the error is corrected or if additional information is requested to resolve the issue.

The tool tip for the scenario status column provides valuable information regarding the current or next step to take such as viewing/using the scenario results to generate various reports on the Reports or the Compare Scenarios pages or about the emails generated when a system error occurs.

Scenario Status Example 1 – The only way to see the results of a scenario is to apply it to one of the available report types on the Reports page or to use it in a scenario comparison on the Compare Scenario page.

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Scenario Status Example 2 – If a system error occurs, an email will be sent to you and the CAST Team who will contact you directly to resolve the issue. Check if this is the procedure.

Date Modified Column

The date modified will only change when the scenario metadata or BMPs are altered.  Running the scenario will not be reflected in this column.  

Run Scenario Icon

Once a scenario is created or edited, background processes take place to prepare it for running.  The scenario status will display Editing on the Scenarios Page during this time. Once the prep work is complete, the status will change to Finished Editing and the Run button will be activated which is indicated by the color change to green. Clicking the Run icon will perform the calculations required to create the loads data.

Run Errors

If an error occurs during the run process, the status will display System Error and an email will be sent to the user notifying them of the problem and that the CAST Team will be in contact about the issue.

A copy of the email is provided below.

Delete Scenario Icon

The user can delete a scenario using the Delete icon shown in the MyScenarios grid image shown above. A confirmation message will appear and clicking the OK button will complete the process.

Results

See the Results section of the documentation to learn more about the different ways the scenarios can be used in reports, graphs and scenario comparisons.

FAQs

What is Allocation Air on the shared scenarios by CBP Admin?

Allocation air refers to the expected atmospheric deposition by the year 2020 with regulations in place. These regulations are the ones that were predicted in 2008 to take effect.

How are future scenarios projected?

The data used to project future scenarios include the items below. The projection methods for these data are determined by the Chesapeake Bay Program Partnerships source sector workgroups. 

  • Animal Populations
  • Animal per Animal Unit and manure produced per animal daily
  • Biosolids and agricultural spray irrigation
  • Nitrogen and phosphorus amount to meet crop need
  • Crop acres
  • Crop yield, e.g. bushels per acre
  • Inorganic fertilizer available in the watershed
  • Land Use
  • Nutrient concentration per animal manure type and county
  • Septic systems 
  • Soil phosphorus
  • CSO connections
  • Septic systems, RIB, and urban spray irrigation
  • Wastewater data
  • Atmospheric deposition

Add Scenarios

Clicking the Add Scenario button on the Scenario Page opens the Add Scenario page shown below.


All fields used to create a user’s scenario can be revised using the edit process on the Scenario Metadata tab, except the copy/upload BMPs section. When editing the scenario, copy and upload BMPs does not replace previously copied or uploaded BMPs but appends them.

Fields and OptionsAll fields used to create a user’s scenario can be revised using the edit process, except the imported BMPs.
 Mandatory Fields
Scenario NameCreate a scenario name that includes information to make it easily identifiable such as 2011CAL20151009.
Scenario DescriptionCreate a description to make it easy to identify selected options, other pollution reduction actions not accounted for in the scenario, or agencies/departments that collaborated in creating the scenario. As you update or make changes to the scenario in the future, you can maintain that information as well. This information will be displayed in the tool tip pop up associated with scenario name on the Scenarios page. The field can contain up to 5,000 characters.
BMPs AvailableOptions include the type of BMPs to use for the scenario. Official BMPs includes only those BMPs that have been approved by the Chesapeake Bay Program. Planning BMPs includes BMPs that are not accepted for reporting Bay TMDL progress.
Geographic ScaleSelect a geographic scale to use in the scenario. Options range from land-river segment to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Once the scenario is created, users may input BMPs at a scale larger or smaller than the one at which the scenario was created and the BMPs will be adjusted to fit the selected scale level or portion thereof.
Geographic Area Select specific geographic area(s) associated with the geographic scale selected.
Base Condition Select the year for the initial conditions. Initial conditions include: land use, animal, and septic source data. Milestones are based on the land use for the end of the milestone period. The base conditions should be the same for any scenarios that you are comparing if you want to isolate the effect of the BMPs. 
Waste Water Data SetSelect the waste water data set that includes the following data: permitted wastewater; industrial; municipal; large monitored septics; rapid infiltration basin; and combined sewer outfall (CSO) connections planned by the state. Connecting CSOs changes the land use from combined sewer systems (CSS) to regulated developed land. Additional waste water sets may be submitted to the Chesapeake Bay Program if you want other options than those that appear in the dropdown.
Cost ProfileSelect the cost profile to use for the BMPs included in the scenario. Options include state cost profiles and user-generated profiles. If the selected shared cost profile is changed after the scenario is created, it will not impact your scenario. You will need to create a duplicate scenario and apply the new shared cost profile to determine its impact.
 Optional Fields
NotesAdd optional notes regarding the scenario being created. As you update or make changes to the scenario in the future, you can maintain that information as well. The field can contain up to 5,000 characters.
Sharing OptionsOption to share a scenario with individuals and/or groups. The user can select to share the scenario with an existing group, share with a modified existing group or create a new group during both the scenario creation and scenario editing processes. The user can also share the scenario with selected specific users.
Copy/Upload BMPs

Option to upload BMPs from a file or copy BMPs from existing scenarios. BMPs from existing scenarios can also be added to the new scenario by: electing to add all BMPs from a single scenario; electing to select sector BMPs by specific scenarios; or, electing to add state-related BMPs based on different scenarios. Uploading file categories include Land, Animal and Manure Transport. After the scenario is created, the user can add, remove or edit BMPs on the BMP edit pages to meet their needs.

Sharing Scenarios

This feature allows users to share data and work together within or between organizations while protecting each user’s data from being overwritten by others. It expands the user’s ability to generate reports and comparing scenarios using other users’ scenarios. It also provides the ability to divide BMP work among users, allowing multiple users to work on BMPs simultaneously by sector or state, for example. By sharing these partial scenarios, a final scenario can then be created combining the separate work.

The sharing options available are selecting Group or Selected Users from the dropdown.

Sharing - Specific User

Clicking Selected Users changes the page display and opens the User List and a Search box to filter the users to select for sharing purposes. Select user names in the left box to populate the right box. No other actions are required.

Sharing - Group

Selecting the Group option changes to page display to off the user three options: selecting an existing user group as it is currently composed, modifying and applying an existing group or creating a new user group to apply to this scenario.

Clicking the Select Group dropdown will display all the state and shared user-generated group options. Selecting a group finished this step.

Sharing - Modify Group

Clicking on the Modify a Group button changes the page display and allows the user to select a Group to alter from the dropdown.

Once a group is selected, the right box will populate with the names of the members of the group. The user can click on user names from the User List in the left box to add to the new group and/or click on user names in the right box to remove them. Click the Ok button when finished.

Sharing - Add Group

The user can create a new group while creating a new scenario if needed by clicking the Add New Group button. The user will enter a Group Name and have the options of building a new group for the user list, existing group(s) or a combination of both.

This is a convenient way to take an existing group the user belongs to and using it to create their own group as is or with changes.

Enter the new group's name and then select a Group from the dropdown to populate the right box. Repeat the process to add members from multiple existing groups, if desired. Also select users from the User List in the left box to add to the new group and/or click on user names in the right box to remove them. Click the Ok button when finished.

Sharing - Delete Group

Clicking the Delete Group button open a pop up where the user as asked to select the group to delete and then click the OK button.

A confirmation pop up will appear reminding users that deleting a group will remove group member access to the shared scenarios and cost profiles.

Copy/Upload BMPs

Select to create a scenario with or without copied/uploaded BMPs from either existing scenario(s), file(s) or a combination of both. The user can elect to upload Land, Animal, Manure Transport or any combination of the groups of BMPs. BMPs from existing scenarios can also be added to the new scenario by: electing to add all BMPs from a single scenario; electing to select sector data by specific scenarios; or, electing to add state-related BMPs based on specific scenarios.

Upload Option

BMPs may be uploaded from a file. You may create the file of BMPs, or may download such a file from the previous version of CAST at casttool.org. Information about transitioning from the previous version of CAST is available on the home page under Transition to Phase 6 FAQs. You may also download BMP files from an existing scenario, edit in a spreadsheet, and then upload to a new scenario. 

Sample BMP Files

Sample Land, Animal and Manure Transport files with the required .txt format and field order are provided. A tab delimiter must be used while entering the required data and the default file name can be modified to reflect the user’s preferences. The example below is for the Land BMP sample file. Example file formats are available on the Add Scenario page and examples with sample data are available on the home page under Transition to Phase 6 FAQs.

Sample BMP File Fields table – use Tab as the field delimiter.

LandAnimalManure
StateUniqueIdentifierStateUniqueIdentifierStateUniqueIdentifier
AgencyCodeAgencyCodeAgencyCode
StateAbbreviationStateAbbreviationStateAbbreviation
BmpShortnameBmpShortnameBmpShortname
SegmentGeographyNameFIPSFrom
LoadSourceGroupAnimalGroupFIPSTo
AmountLoadSourceGroupAnimalGroup
UnitAmountLoadSourceGroup
 UnitAmount
 NReductionFractionUnit
 PReductionFraction 

Upon upload, the data is verified to match the required formatting and error messages and confirmation of success or failure are provided. This verification step only verifies that the file format is correct. There is another validation step once the scenario is created that checks that the BMP names, unit, geographies and other information is correct. The BMP validation errors will show in the invalid BMPs tab when you select Edit Scenario from the Scenarios page. 

Existing Scenario Option

Select the Existing Scenario tab. The page display changes depending on whether the user elects to copy all BMPs from a single existing scenario or different scenarios per each sector or state. The single scenario option is displayed below.

The sector option allows users to select different scenarios for Agriculture, Developed, Animal, Natural and Septic. This promotes collaboration among planners who work in different sectors.

The state option allows the user to select a scenario for each state referenced. All data related to the state you selected is copied. That includes the Manure Transport BMP, which is a BMP that can affect multiple states. Manure can be transported into or out of a state. When copying a scenario for a state, any Manure Transport records transporting into or out of the target state are included. This copying from existing scenario by state functionality is most useful to staff at the Chesapeake Bay Program office who are creating watershed-wide scenarios from state-created scenarios that were shared with them. 

Add Scenario FAQ

How can I see the BMPs of the shared scenarios?

You can create a new scenario copying the shared scenario’s BMPs or generate a report from the shared scenario under the Results option.

At what scale are the load calculations done?

All loads are calculated for the land-river segments using the unit load (pollutant lbs per acre) for each load source in each land-river segment. The unit load varies by land-river segment. Animal manure application to load source is calculated by county only.

What are land segments, river segments and land-river segments?

Land segments are counties or portions of counties where there is a distinct difference within the county, like a change in physiographic region. River segments are the areas that drain to a stream reach. These are not comparable to HUCs. Land-river segments are intersections of the two and are the smallest area in the model.

Do the data for waste water use consistent methods across the jursidictions?

Waste water loads are reported for calendar year for the District of Columbia and Virginia. All other states use the progress reporting year of July 1 to June 30. The BMPs in the progress scenarios all use the progress reporting year. 

Edit Scenarios

Edit Scenario Page

The Edit Scenario page is divided into multiple tabs: Edit Scenario, Invalid BMPs, Developed BMPs, Septic BMPs, Natural BMPs, Agriculture BMPs, Animal BMPs and Manure Transport BMPs. The page always open on the Edit Scenario tab shown below.

The Edit Scenario tab displays most of the options found under Add Scenario. It is not possible to modify the BMPs already copied from other scenarios in the Edit Scenario tab. Uploading or copying BMPs will append those records to BMPs already in the scenario. If repeating this action with the same BMPs in the Create Scenario, then BMPs will be duplicated within a scenario.

Add BMP Records

A detailed description of each BMP tab is provided in later sections. To add a BMP record click on one of the BMP tabs: Developed, Septic, Natural, Agriculture, Animal or Manure Transport.

Add BMP Button

Above the BMP Submitted grid, click on the Add BMP button to open the pop up to enter the BMP details.

Add BMP Pop Up

The Add BMP pop up is the same for the Developed and Natural BMP tabs. Certain selections must be made before other dropdowns are populated such as Geographic Scale before Geographic Area and BMP before Secondary BMP. It is encouraged to select Load Source first if targeting a particularly high loading load source. This will restrict the BMPs to only those eligible for that load source. Likewise, selecting BMP restricts the load source to only those load sources available to that BMP. The Agency list shows only the agencies in the geographic area selected.

The Add BMP pop up is the same for the Septic and Agriculture BMP tabs. There is no Agency selection since all agriculture and septic load sources are assigned to the non-federal agency classification.

The Add BMP pop up for the Animal BMP tab is displayed below. Animal BMPs are applied to particular animal types, like broilers, or groups of animal types, like poultry.

The Add BMP pop up for the Manure Transport BMP tab is displayed below as well as an example of the tool tip describing each item on the dropdown list.


The input fields for Add BMPs will expand when additional information must be supplied for certain BMPs such as the example provided.

Edit BMP Records

On any of the BMP tabs, click the Edit link next to the BMP in the BMP Data Submitted grid to open a specific Edit BMP pop up.

Edit BMP Pop Up

The Edit BMP pop up will vary depending on the selected BMP. After editing, click the Save button to update the scenario BMP data. Using the Save button on the Edit Scenario tab saves the change, so there is no need to save the entire scenario again.

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Delete BMPs

The user can delete BMPs individually using the Delete icon next to each BMP on the BMP Data Submitted grid or by selecting multiple BMPs and the clicking the Delete Selected button on the top of the grid.

An example of an individual delete is provided below. Clicking the Delete icon next to a specific BMP will open a confirmation pop up and selecting the OK button will complete the delete process.

Use CTRL-Click to select multiple BMPs and then click the Delete Selected button to complete the bulk delete process.

Invalid BMPs Tab

The tab displays a list of invalid BMPs generated during the validation process in the scenario creation process. The BMP data is organized in three tabs: Land, Animal and Manure Transport. The user has several options for addressing invalid BMPs. The first option is to ignore the invalid BMPs, which will allow the scenario to run without using these BMPs for calculations. The next option is to edit the BMPs on the page to make corrections and then use the Save Changes button to update the scenario. This will work best when only a few invalid BMPs are found. The final option is to use the Download Data button to generate an Excel file to make your changes on your computer, and then import your corrected BMPs using the Upload BMP option on the Edit Scenario page. To prevent a duplication of BMPS (invalid and valid) be sure to use the Delete All Invalid BMP button on this tab after the initial download.

Save Changes Option

The user can edit the BMPs on the page to make corrections and then use the Save Changes button to update the scenario. Save Changes saves the changes on all three tabs, not just the one that is open. Editing on the screen is most useful when only a few invalid BMPs are found.

Download Data Option

Use the Download Data button to generate an Excel file to make your changes on your computer and import your corrected BMPs using the Upload BMP option on the Edit Scenario page. To prevent a duplication of BMPS (invalid and valid) be sure to use the Delete All Invalid BMP button on this tab after the initial download.The confirmation message reminding the user to delete the BMPs after the download process is shown below.

The columns on each tab are outlined below.

Land TabAnimal TabManure Transport
Error MessageError MessageError Message
State Unique IdentifierState Unique IdentifierState Unique Identifier
Agency CodeAgency CodeAgency Code
State AbbreviationState AbbreviationState Abbreviation
BMP Short NameBMP Short NameBMP Short Name
SegmentSegmentFIPS From
Load SourceAnimal GroupFIPS To
AmountLoad SourceAnimal Group
UnitAmountLoad Source Group
 UnitAmount
 Nitrogen Reduction FractionUnit
 Phosphorus Reduction Fraction 

Download Pre-BMP Data

The user can download the data in the Pre-BMP grid at the top of each BMP tab using the Download button. The example below is from the Septic tab.

Pre-BMP Grids

All BMP tabs (except Invalid) contain a Pre-BMP grid which contains a breakdown of load sources without any changes to amounts from BMPs. That is, any BMP that changed the acres of a load source to another are not considered in the Pre-BMP grid data. Post-BMP data is available under Results.

Developed BMPs

The Developed BMP tab shows the pre-BMP load sources in the top grid. The load sources are divided into non-federal and federal agency acres. State-owned lands are included in the non-federal category. These may be expanded to see the individual load sources by clicking on the arrow. The user can add, edit or delete BMPs in the BMP Data Submitted grid. As with all BMP tabs, users may enter BMPs in any order desired because CAST will calculate them in the set order required.

It is not possible to add a BMP if it is already added in units of percent. The existing BMP data can be modified or deleted and then replaced with the new information. Refer to the Edit BMP Pop Up section above for more specifics on editing BMP entries.

Developed BMP FAQs

Why am I getting an error whenever I try to add this BMP?

If you get an error message that a BMP cannot be added, it is likely already added in units of percent. You may edit the amount of implementation in that table, or edit the BMP to change the amount or percent to avoid the conflict. BMPs entered as percents cannot be entered on the same or overlapping geographies and load sources, but BMPs entered as acres can overlap geographies and load sources. An example of an overlapping geography is a county and a state. An example of overlapping load sources are developed and impervious because developed includes impervious.

What if I have more than one BMP treating the same area, such as with a treatment train?

Where BMPs are used in a treatment train (multiple BMPs treating the same area of land), then select the one BMP that is dominant. The BMP effectiveness values account for the typical treatment train effects.

Why do I have to enter geographic scale on this BMP page when I defined it for the scenario? What if I pick state for a BMP, but defined the entire scenario as county?

The geographic scale may be different than the scale at which the scenario was created. Where a geographic area for a BMP is selected as larger than that of the scenario, then the load estimates will show only the loads for the area of the scenario, even though the BMP was applied to a larger area. That is, the user will not see the load reduction for the area outside of the scenario-defined boundary. The reduction will be parsed to the entire area specified by the BMP, even if your scenario was defined as something smaller.

Are the acres in the pre-BMP load source the entire county or just the Chesapeake Bay watershed? Why do the total acres in my county seem incorrect?

Some counties have only a portion of the county in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The user selects the geography for the scenario and each BMP. This geography may include the entire county or just the portion that drains to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, denoted as CBWS-only. Acres shown in the pre-BMP load source table are those in the geography selected when the scenario was created. The pre-BMP animal table shows the number of animals in the entire county--data are not available at a finer scale. The assumption made in the model is that animals are equally distributed in the county.

How can I sort the tables on the BMP pages?

Tables occur in multiple pages throughout. The default sorting is indicated by the highlighted column, with an arrow pointing up for ascending and down for descending. Sorting may be changed by clicking on that and any other column. Clicking once reverses the order. Clicking twice removes sorting from the column. Clicking on another column will move sorting to that column.

How do I filter tables on the BMP pages?

Records may be selected by using the filter option. There are multiple options for how to filter, and these options work the same as excel or most other applications with filtering capacity.

The BMP names we use don't match those used by the Chesapeake Bay Program. How do I know which BMP to select?

A cross-walk of commonly used BMP names to Chesapeake Bay Program BMP names is available on the Home page under Source Data. This cross walk includes NRCS practice names. Note that only one BMP should be entered where there are multiple BMPs treating the same area, such as occurs with a treatment train. Select the BMP that is dominant.

What is CSS?

CSS in the load source name is the abbreviation for combined sewer systems. The CSS areas are not credited with reductions from nonpoint source BMPs that are entered on this page. Those areas are credited with reductions from point sources, which have the measured outflow.

What is the difference between MS4, regulated and nonregulated load sources and why would I put a BMP on one versus the other?

Municipal Separate Stormwater and Sewer (MS4) load sources are those developed areas that fall within the MS4 areas. The MS4 load sources exclude agricultural load sources. The MS4 GIS layers are available on the CAST Home page under Additional Information-BMPs, Models and Geography. Regulated is used only for the construction load source. There are CSS and regulated construction, but no non-regulated construction. The MS4, regulated, and nonregulated load sources are all modeled with the same load. Those load sources are separated solely for the convenience of planners.

Why doesn’t the Pre-BMP Load Source table change when I input load source change BMPs?

The Pre-BMP Load Source table is the amount before any BMPs are implemented. That means that those BMPs that change the load source, like forest and grass buffers, are not credited yet in the Pre-BMP Load Source table. Because the BMPs are calculated in a specific sequence, but you can add them in any sequence, this table is static. Go to the Results page to see the post-BMP load source.

Why does the list of load sources change depending on the BMP? Why does the list of BMPs change when I have a load source selected?

Users may find it more convenient to add BMPs beginning with the load source or with the BMP. Users may begin with either selection, and the other restricts the dropdown to only the eligible options.

How can I tell the difference between groups of load sources and the individual load sources?

Load sources and load source groups are listed in the dropdown. A cross-walk of load sources to load source groups is available in the Source Data, which may be accessed from the CAST Home page. The tab "Load source group components" lists the Chesapeake Bay Program modeled load sources along with the groups of those load sources. It is usually more convenient to apply BMPs to load source groups that encompasses multiple load sources, since that is the scale at which planning generally occurs.

Why can’t I edit the BMP cost?

Cost components may be edited in the Cost Profile. The BMP pages and results pages will update with the new cost once you reselect it under scenario details.

Why doesn’t the cost change when I change the total amount implemented?

The cost shown is the annualized cost per unit. That means that the cost is for one year of implementation (annualized) and is for a single unit of implementation, commonly acres or acres treated.

Stormwater performance standards ask for input in acre-feet. I only know inches treated. What should I input?

The Expert Panel that developed this BMP issued guidance that required input as acre-feet. Download the Expert Panel report from the CAST Home page under BMPs, Models and Geography. Each state has different engineering parameters for determining the inches treated. These are summarized below.

Specific Engineering Parameter (EP) Defining Runoff Volume CapturedSource
DCDivide SWRv (stormwater retention volume, cubic feet) by 43,560 and insert into Equation XCell C-30 in 2012 DDOE Compliance Spreadsheet
DERunoff Reduction Depth (inches)Directly from DE DURMM v. 2 Model Output
FEDD (95% rainfall depth, inches) less initial abstraction for predevelopment conditionEPA, 2009 and DOD, 2010
MDDivide ESD Runoff Volume (cubic feet) by 43,560 and insert into Equation XCell C-66 in MD ESD TO MEP Spreadsheet (2012)
NYInsert WQv (water quality volume, acre-feet) into Equation XSee 2010 Design Manual
PADivide 2-year Volume Increase of Runoff Volume between the proposed conditions and the existing conditions (cubic feet) by 43,560 and insert into Equation XCell C-51 in Tab WS4 of 2012 CSN PA Stormwater Spreadsheet
VAPost Development treatment volume (acre-feet) inserted into Equation XCell B-49 on Site Data page (tab 1) in 2012 VA DCR Compliance Spreadsheet
WVTarget Tv (treatment volume, acre- feet) inserted into Equation XCell A-80 in 2011 WVDEP Compliance Spreadsheet

Equation X is a site specific conversion factor equation: (12 * EP) / IA
Where: EP = State-Specific Engineering Parameter (in acre-feet) and IA = Impervious Area (acres)

My stormwater project uses a mix of practices. Which should I use?

Where a mix of stormwater treatment and runoff reduction practices are used within the same development project, the designer should use the curve based on either the largest single practice used in the project or the one(s) that provide the majority of the runoff capture volume.

Why are there so many protocols for Stream Restoration and Shoreline Management? What do they all mean?

The protocols were defined by the Expert Panel and are extensively documented in the reports. The reports are available for download from the CAST Home page under BMPs, Models and Geography.

Septic BMPs

The septic BMP tab contains a pre-BMP septic system grid. The amounts do not include the changes from septic hookups. Septics are measured in number of systems and include large monitored systems.

The user can add, edit or delete BMPs in the BMP Data Submitted grid. The user enters septic BMPs as the number or percent of systems. As with all BMP tabs, users may enter BMPs in any order desired because CAST will calculate them in a set order required. Septic connections are calculated first to reduce the number of systems. CAST next calculates the edge of septic field load prior to denitrification and pumping.

Septic BMP FAQS

Why am I getting an error whenever I try to add this BMP?

If you get an error message that a BMP cannot be added, it is likely already added in units of percent. You may edit the amount of implementation in that table, or edit the BMP to change the amount or percent to avoid the conflict. BMPs entered as percents cannot be entered on the same or overlapping geographies and load sources, but BMPs entered as acres can overlap geographies and load sources. An example of an overlapping geography is a county and a state.

How can I sort the tables on the BMP pages?

Tables occur in multiple pages throughout. The default sorting is indicated by the highlighted column, with an arrow pointing up for ascending and down for descending. Sorting may be changed by clicking on that and any other column. Clicking once reverses the order. Clicking twice removes sorting from the column. Clicking on another column will move sorting to that column.

How do I filter tables on the BMP pages?

Records may be selected by using the filter option. There are multiple options for how to filter, and these options work the same as excel or most other applications with filtering capacity.

The BMP names we use don't match those used by the Chesapeake Bay Program. How do I know which BMP to select?

A cross-walk of commonly used BMP names to Chesapeake Bay Program BMP names is available on the Home page under Source Data. This cross walk includes NRCS practice names. Note that only one BMP should be entered where there are multiple BMPs treating the same area, such as occurs with a treatment train. Select the BMP that is dominant.

Does the load for wastewater treatment plants increase when I connect septics?

The septic connection BMP eliminates the septic load for the number of systems selected. The load is assumed to be captured in the wastewater data. Wastewater loads are measured, and the measured load is reported. This measured load will include the loads from the newly-connected septic areas.

Why can’t I edit the BMP cost?

Cost components may be edited on the costs page. The BMP pages and results pages will update with the new cost once you reselect it under scenario details.

Why doesn’t the cost change when I change the total amount implemented?

The cost shown is the annualized cost per unit. That means that the cost is for one year of implementation (annualized) and is for a single unit of implementation, commonly acres or acres treated.

Natural BMPs

The Natural BMP tab shows the pre-BMP load source in the top grid. The load source is divided into non-federal and federal agency acres. Clicking on the arrow expands the selection to show the individual load sources. The user can add, edit or delete BMPs in the BMP Data Submitted grid. Note that some natural load sources are measured in units of miles.

It is not possible to add a BMP if it is already added in units of percent. The existing BMP data can be modified or deleted and then replaced with the new information. Refer to the Edit BMP Pop Up section above for more specifics on editing BMP entries.

Natural BMP FAQS

How should I enter BMPs on the shoreline load source?

Shoreline BMPs are assumed to be in the scenario for years earlier than 2008. Only enter shoreline BMPs implemented in 2008 or later.

Why am I getting an error whenever I try to add this BMP?

If you get an error message that a BMP cannot be added, it is likely already added in units of percent. You may edit the amount of implementation in that table, or edit the BMP to change the amount or percent to avoid the conflict. BMPs entered as percents cannot be entered on the same or overlapping geographies and load sources, but BMPs entered as acres can overlap geographies and load sources. An example of an overlapping geography is a county and a state. An example of overlapping load sources are natural and wetlands because natural includes wetlands.

How can I sort the tables on the BMP pages?

Tables occur in multiple pages throughout. The default sorting is indicated by the highlighted column, with an arrow pointing up for ascending and down for descending. Sorting may be changed by clicking on that and any other column. Clicking once reverses the order. Clicking twice removes sorting from the column. Clicking on another column will move sorting to that column.

How do I filter tables on the BMP pages?

Records may be selected by using the filter option. There are multiple options for how to filter, and these options work the same as excel or most other applications with filtering capacity.

The BMP names we use don't match those used by the Chesapeake Bay Program. How do I know which BMP to select?

A cross-walk of commonly used BMP names to Chesapeake Bay Program BMP names is available on the Home page under Source Data. This cross walk includes NRCS practice names. Note that only one BMP should be entered where there are multiple BMPs treating the same area, such as occurs with a treatment train. Select the BMP that is dominant.

Why do I have to enter geographic scale on this BMP page when I defined it for the scenario? What if I pick state for a BMP, but defined the entire scenario as county?

The geographic scale may be different than the scale at which the scenario was created. Where a geographic area for a BMP is selected as larger than that of the scenario, then the load estimates will show only the loads for the area of the scenario, even though the BMP was applied to a larger area. That is, the user will not see the load reduction for the area outside of the scenario-defined boundary. The reduction will be parsed to the entire area specified by the BMP, even if your scenario was defined as something smaller.

Are the acres in the pre-BMP load source the entire county or just the Chesapeake Bay watershed? Why do the total acres in my county seem incorrect?

Some counties have only a portion of the county in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The user selects the geography for the scenario and each BMP. This geography may include the entire county or just the portion that drains to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, denoted as CBWS-only. Acres shown in the pre-BMP load source table are those in the geography selected when the scenario was created.

Why can’t I edit the BMP cost?

Cost components may be edited on the costs page. The BMP pages and results pages will update with the new cost once you reselect it under scenario details.

Why doesn’t the cost change when I change the total amount implemented?

The cost shown is the annualized cost per unit. That means that the cost is for one year of implementation (annualized) and is for a single unit of implementation, commonly acres or acres treated.

Agriculture BMPs

The Agriculture BMP tab shows the pre-BMP load source in the top grid. The load source is divided into non-federal and federal agency acres. Clicking on the arrow expands the selection to show the individual load sources. The user can add, edit or delete BMPs in the BMP Data Submitted grid.

It is not possible to add a BMP if it is already added in units of percent. The existing BMP data can be modified or deleted and then replaced with the new information. Refer to the Edit BMP Pop Up section above for more specifics on editing BMP entries.

There are no runoff controls in the agricultural sector on land such as cement storage slabs, farmhouses, or driveways. The developed sector's Impervious Buildings and Other load source includes all such impervious surfaces including all barns, agricultural structures, cement storage slabs, etc.  These may not be separated from the Impervious Buildings and Other load source because there are a lot of non-agricultural clusters of structures in rural areas. Barnyard runoff control is intended to apply to barns and poultry houses and represents controls such as gutters. Irrigation Water Capture Reuse represents treatment of runoff from container nursery operations. 

Agriculture BMP FAQs

Why can't I add enhanced NM, decision agriculture or Tier 1, 2, and 3 NM BMPs? What happened to liquid and poultry litter injection?

The nutrient management suite of BMPs was revised from nutrient management efficiency, enhanced nutrient management, and decision agriculture to the Tier BMPs and then to the current version that is available from the dropdown. The new suite of nutrient management BMPs includes Core, placement, rate and timing. These nutrient management BMPs are not equivalent to the previous versions of nutrient management BMPs. Poultry litter injection and liquid injection are considered a component of the new NM BMPs, and are no longer available.

Animal BMPs

Animal BMPs are BMPs that are applied to a number of animals, as opposed to acres, for example. These BMPs affect the concentration of nutrients in animal manure or the amount of manure on the feeding space load sources. Manure that is not lost due to storage loss or volatilization while on the feeding operation load sources is applied to cropland. BMPs applied to animals are applied to the entire county, and results are returned for the area within the parcel defined for your scenario.

The pre-BMP grid displays the number of animals and animal units in non-regulated or regulated feeding space. The animal types are all of the animals recognized by the Chesapeake Bay Program and were originally taken from the categories in the Census conducted every five years by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) in years ending in two and seven. The link below the table allows the data to be downloaded. The data are at the county scale, which is the finest scale available from NASS.

Two other BMPs involve animals, but are applied to load source acres as opposed to the number of animals. These two BMPs, Barnyard Runoff Control and Loafing Lot Management are found on the Agricultural BMP page.

The user can add, edit or delete BMPs in the BMP Data Submitted grid. It is not possible to add a BMP if it is already added in units of percent. The existing BMP data can be modified or deleted and then replaced with the new information. Refer to the Edit BMP Pop Up section above for more specifics on editing BMP entries.

Animal BMPs may be applied to individual animal types or groups of animals. There is a tool tip for each animal type or group describing what is included. Note that livestock includes all animal types except for poultry.

Animal BMP FAQS

Why am I getting an error whenever I try to add this BMP?

If you get an error message that a BMP cannot be added, it is likely already added in units of percent. You may edit the amount of implementation in that table, or edit the BMP to change the amount or percent to avoid the conflict. BMPs entered as percents cannot be entered on the same or overlapping geographies and animal types, but BMPs entered as number of animals can overlap geographies and load sources. An example of an overlapping geography is a county and a state. An example of overlapping animal types are poultry and broilers because poultry includes broilers.

How can I sort the tables on the BMP pages?

Tables occur in multiple pages throughout. The default sorting is indicated by the highlighted column, with an arrow pointing up for ascending and down for descending. Sorting may be changed by clicking on that and any other column. Clicking once reverses the order. Clicking twice removes sorting from the column. Clicking on another column will move sorting to that column.

How do I filter tables on the BMP pages?

Records may be selected by using the filter option. There are multiple options for how to filter, and these options work the same as excel or most other applications with filtering capacity.

The BMP names we use don't match those used by the Chesapeake Bay Program. How do I know which BMP to select?

A cross-walk of commonly used BMP names to Chesapeake Bay Program BMP names is available on the Home page under Source Data. This cross walk includes NRCS practice names. Note that only one BMP should be entered where there are multiple BMPs treating the same area, such as occurs with a treatment train. Select the BMP that is dominant.

Why do I have to enter geographic scale on this BMP page when I defined it for the scenario? What if I pick state for a BMP, but defined the entire scenario as county?

The geographic scale may be different than the scale at which the scenario was created. Where a geographic area for a BMP is selected as larger than that of the scenario, then the load estimates will show only the loads for the area of the scenario, even though the BMP was applied to a larger area. That is, the user will not see the load reduction for the area outside of the scenario-defined boundary. The reduction will be parsed to the entire area specified by the BMP, even if your scenario was defined as something smaller.

Are the animals in the pre-BMP load source the entire county or just the Chesapeake Bay watershed? Why do the total animals in my county seem incorrect?

Some counties have only a portion of the county in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The user selects the geography for the scenario and each BMP. This geography may include the entire county or just the portion that drains to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, denoted as CBWS-only. Animals shown in the pre-BMP load source table are those in the geography selected when the scenario was created. The pre-BMP animal table shows the number of animals in the entire county--data are not available at a finer scale. The assumption made in the model is that animals are equally distributed in the county.

Why can’t I edit the BMP cost?

Cost components may be edited on the costs page. The BMP pages and results pages will update with the new cost once you reselect it under scenario details.

Why doesn’t the cost change when I change the total amount implemented?

The cost shown is the annualized cost per unit. That means that the cost is for one year of implementation (annualized) and is for a single unit of implementation, commonly acres or acres treated.

Why are some of the BMPs no longer available in the drop down box?

Check if there is an animal type selected. Some of the BMPs can only be applied to certain animal types. If you have already selected an animal type, then the BMPs will be restricted.

Why do there seem to be missing animal BMPs?

Barnyard runoff control and grazing practices are applied to agricultural lands. These BMPs may be found on the Agricultural BMP page since they are applied to the land, not the animal.

Why are my animal numbers so high, especially for poultry?

The table of animal types and animal numbers is of the number of animals and animal units. Make sure you are looking at the column with the correct label. The numbers are for the entire county or counties that intersect the county or counties in your scenario. The source of data for the animal numbers came from the Chesapeake Bay Program, which was informed by the National Agricultural Statistics Service and the state.

How was the breakout between regulated and nonregulated feeding space determined?

The data for the number of animals in regulated feeding space came from the state technical leads. Where the state did not supply data, there are no animals in regulated feeding space. Where the number of animals in regulated feeding space supplied by the state exceeded the number of animals reported by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, the state number was used and all animals were considered to be in regulated feeding space.

Why am I not getting all the credit I expect for mortality composting?

Mortality composting is applied to the number of animals assumed to die during normal growing operations, not the entire number of animals. Since there is no dead animal load, then there is no reduction for this BMP. There would need to be a load to apply the reduction to.

Why can’t I edit the BMP cost?

Cost components may be edited on the costs page. The BMP pages and results pages will update with the new cost once you reselect it under scenario details.

Manure Transport BMPs

The Manure Transport tab is similar to the Animal BMP tab because it is organized by animal types. Instead of showing the number of animals on feeding space, it shows the tons of manure that are dry. The source data for animals is at the county scale. There are two types of Manure Transport BMPs: Manure Transport and Manure Transport Technologies.

Manure Transport refers to the transport of excess manure in or out of a county. Any movement within the same county should not be included. Enter the quantity in either the dry or wet tons. CAST calculations are performed on dry tons so, if you enter wet tons, the application will make the necessary conversions. Manure Treatment Technologies refers to the conversion of manure organic matter in the absence of oxygen to produce char with a residence time of hours to days. The units must be reported in dry tons and the source location of the manure.

Wet-Dry Manure Conversion Table

The following table provides the fractions to wet manure values by to generate the equivalent dry manure measure. Simply multiply the Wet Tons by the Dry Fraction to get the Dry Tons.

Animal NameManure Dry Fraction
Pullets0.2594
Turkeys0.7353
Hogs and Pigs for Breeding0.0168
Beef0.12
Broilers0.7135
Dairy0.14
Hogs for Slaughter0.03552632
Horses0.15
Layers0.2579
Other Cattle0.13
Sheep and Lambs0.28
Goats0.33

The user can add, edit or delete BMPs in the BMP Data Submitted grid. It is not possible to add a BMP if it is already added in units of percent. The existing BMP data can be modified or deleted and then replaced with the new information. Refer to the Edit BMP Pop Up section above for more specifics on editing BMP entries.

The animal categories are described on the tool tip from the dropdown. Note that livestock includes all animal types except for poultry. The user must select the source and destination counties when defining a BMP. The tons of manure are taken from the total in the county--the location of animals within a county is not known. Within your scenario, the manure loading rate is applied to manure-receiving load sources based on the acres of manure-receiving land that are defined for the county covered in your scenario’s geographic area. If out of watershed is selected, then the manure is removed as a source of pollutants to the Chesapeake Bay.

Manure Transport BMP FAQS

Why am I getting an error whenever I try to add this BMP?

If you get an error message that a BMP cannot be added, it is likely already added in units of percent. You may edit the amount of implementation in that table, or edit the BMP to change the amount or percent to avoid the conflict. BMPs entered as percents cannot be entered on the same or overlapping geographies and animal types, but BMPs entered as number of animals can overlap geographies and load sources. An example of an overlapping geography is a county and a state. An example of overlapping animal types are poultry and broilers because poultry includes broilers.

How can I sort the tables on the BMP pages?

Tables occur in multiple pages throughout. The default sorting is indicated by the highlighted column, with an arrow pointing up for ascending and down for descending. Sorting may be changed by clicking on that and any other column. Clicking once reverses the order. Clicking twice removes sorting from the column. Clicking on another column will move sorting to that column.

How do I filter tables on the BMP pages?

Records may be selected by using the filter option. There are multiple options for how to filter, and these options work the same as excel or most other applications with filtering capacity.

The BMP names we use don't match those used by the Chesapeake Bay Program. How do I know which BMP to select?

A cross-walk of commonly used BMP names to Chesapeake Bay Program BMP names is available on the Home page under Source Data. This cross walk includes NRCS practice names. Note that only one BMP should be entered where there are multiple BMPs treating the same area, such as occurs with a treatment train. Select the BMP that is dominant.

Why do I have to enter geographic scale on this BMP page when I defined it for the scenario? What if I pick state for a BMP, but defined the entire scenario as county?

The geographic scale may be different than the scale at which the scenario was created. Where a geographic area for a BMP is selected as larger than that of the scenario, then the load estimates will show only the loads for the area of the scenario, even though the BMP was applied to a larger area. That is, the user will not see the load reduction for the area outside of the scenario-defined boundary. The reduction will be parsed to the entire area specified by the BMP, even if your scenario was defined as something smaller.

Why can’t I edit the BMP cost?

Cost components may be edited on the costs page. The BMP pages and results pages will update with the new cost once you reselect it under scenario details.

Why doesn’t the cost change when I change the total amount implemented?

The cost shown is the annualized cost per unit. That means that the cost is for one year of implementation (annualized) and is for a single unit of implementation, commonly acres or acres treated.

What do I do if I don’t know the destination of manure transported?

Manure transport requires a source location and a destination location. Either the source or destination of the manure may be out of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Why can’t I enter the amount of manure transported for anything but the county scale?

Manure transport is only at the scale of the entire county. It is not possible to transport manure from a smaller area. This is because manure data is only available for the county and estimates of loading rates are not available at a scale smaller than a county.

Results

The Results dropdown in the top menu bar allows the user to access the Compare Scenarios, Reports and Graphs pages where users can generate different types of scenario products.

Compare Scenarios

CAST is designed to provide users with the ability to evaluate whether a particular set of BMPs can reduce loads to an allowable amount and be cost effective. In order to assess this, a user needs to compare and contrast the impact of BMPs among multiple scenarios. The Compare Scenario page allows users to compare up to 4 scenarios using the same geographic area at one time. This facilitates the user selecting the optimal plan for moving forward with implementation.

The user may select the Geographical Scale/Area and Agency to perform the comparison on up to 4 scenarios at one time. The scenario options are restricted to those that match the selected Geographic Scale/Area items and will not populate until Geographical Scale and Area are selected. Scenarios that have not been run or have been edited and require re-running will not show up as available options.

Selecting a Geographic Scale of state level or smaller will expand the display allowing users to select a state to reduce the items displayed in the Geographic Area section.

Compare Scenarios Results

Once the comparison is run, the Annualized Costs and Load Source Acres, Load Compare Results and Percent Change in Loads Compare Result tabs will appear.

Annualized Costs and Load Source Acres

This tab consists of 2 grids: Annualized Costs and Load Source Acres. The Annualized Costs grid is organized by sectors (Agriculture, Developed, Natural and Septic) with details provided for each scenario. The Load Source Acres grid is organized by the same sectors with additional details available including Load Source and Units. Both grids can be downloaded using their respective Download buttons. If the load source is not measured in acres, then it will be displayed as blank. This is true for natural load sources such as stream bed and bank and shoreline, which are measured in miles.

An example showing the expanded view of the grid showing the breakdown by Load Source.

Load Compare Results

This tab consists of three grids: nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment loads. Each grid is organized by sectors (Agriculture, Developed, Natural, Septic and Wastewater) with details provided for each scenario.  Each grid can be downloaded using their respective Download buttons.

Percent Change in Loads Compare Result

This tab consists of 1 grid: Percent Change in Loads, which is organized by sectors (Agriculture, Developed, Natural, Septic and Wastewater) with details on the percent changes in nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment.  The grid can be downloaded using the Download the Percent Change in Loads button. Percent change is calculated as: ((scenario 1-scenario 2)/scenario 1) * -1 * 100. In this way, load increases are positive and load decreases are negative.

When more than 2 scenarios are selected this page will contain a separate grid for each possible comparison based on the number of selected scenarios. In this example, the BJD_Comp2 and BJD_Comp3 scenarios did not contain BMPs so the grids are empty.

Compare Scenarios FAQ

Why aren’t all or any of my scenarios showing up on the dropdown?

There are two reasons that a scenario may not appear on the dropdown. You must first  select both a geographic scale and a geographic area. Only scenarios that are for the same geographic area that you selected will be in the drop down menu. If you are looking for a scenario that is not in the dropdown, it is likely in a different geographic area. Second, the scenario may have been created, but not run. Scenarios must be run to generate results. If there are no results, then the scenario will not be on the dropdown.

How can I sort the tables on the pages?

Tables occur in multiple pages throughout. The default sorting is indicated by the highlighted column, with an arrow pointing up for ascending and down for descending. Sorting may be changed by clicking on that and any other sortable column. Clicking once reverses the order. Clicking twice removes sorting from the column. Clicking on another column will move sorting to that column.

How is percent change calculated?

The formula used to calculate load changes from scenario 1 to scenario 2 is: ((scenario 1-scenario 2)/scenario 1) * -1 * 100. In this way, load increases are positive and load decreases are negative.

How do I know what changed from my previous version?

Use Compare Scenarios which allows you to compare among multiple scenarios. If you want to see a change between scenarios, you must add a new scenario and copy BMPs from an existing scenario. Otherwise, the changes you make will overwrite what was there before and you will not be able to compare.

Why can't I see the load reductions from a single BMP?

BMPs are calculated in a particular sequence. The combination of various BMPs in a scenario affects the loads. Since the BMPs work as a treatment train, it is not possible to quantify the load reduction from any one particular BMP. A load per BMP would change from scenario to scenario, depending on the land use acres and other BMPs present. The Scenario Results page shows the load reductions from all of the BMPs combined together within their load source category. There are some scenarios where the load per BMP and the cost per load reduced ($/lb) have been calculated for reference. These are available on the CAST Home Page under Optimization. 

What are the loads attributed to “water”?

The land use water represents water bodies like streams. The loads attributed to water bodies are solely from atmospheric deposition.

What is the difference between the pre and post-BMP acres?

The pre-BMP and post-BMP acres represent the change in acres from land use change BMPs, like buffers. These BMPs typically change the acres from a higher loading land use to a lower loading land use.

What is the spatial scale of the calculated loads?

All loads are calculated at the land-river segment scale.

What are land segments, river segments and land-river segments?

Land segments are counties or portions of counties where there is a distinct difference within the county, like a change in physiographic region. River segments are the areas that drain to a fourth order stream reach. These are not comparable to HUCs. Land-river segments are intersections of the two and are the smallest area modeled.

Why are the costs zero for some sectors?

It is likely that you have no BMPs for that sector. Costs are only summed for the scenario where there was both a BMP and a cost per BMP entered on the Cost Profiles sheet. If no cost was entered for a BMP, or a BMP sector, then no cost will be shown.

Reports

The Reports Page contains two tabs, the Create Report Tab where users select the type of report and parameters needed to generate a report and the Download Reports Tab where the finished reports can be accessed. An email will be sent to the user when the report is available.

Create Reports Tab

The user can select from seven different types of reports, which are listed in the column headings in the table below, along with the specific parameters required to generate the data. Some reports allow users to select multiple scenarios or aggregations in the same report.

BMP SummaryBMP Submitted vs. Credited Base ConditionsLoadsWastewaterAtmospheric DepositionQuick ResultsBMP Input Files
Geographic ScaleGeographic ScaleGeographic ScaleGeographic ScaleGeographic ScaleGeographic ScaleGeographic ScaleScenario
Geographic AreaGeographic AreaGeographic AreaGeographic AreaGeographic AreaGeographic AreaGeographic Area 
Scenario(s)ScenarioScenarioScenario(s)Wastewater Data SetAtmospheric Data SetScenario(s) 
   Aggregation(s)    

The Create Reports tab opens as a generic report display. Once a report type is selected the view will change to display the appropriate report paramater list. After the Geographic Scale is selected, a pre-populated Geographic Area dropdown will appear to make further selections.

A BMP Summary Report example is provided and displays the Create Reports tab including the Geographic Area section which contains a Search box to expedite the selection process.  Checkboxes also allow the users to restrict the scenario list to only items from the user's Scenario list, Shared Scenarios, Publlc Scenarios or any combination of the three. As listed in the table above, many reports allow the selection of multiple scenarios and/or aggregations in the same report.

 

Clicking the Submit Report button will generate a confirmation message pop up and clicking the OK button will complete the process.

When the report is ready, the user will receive an email with a link to automatically download the report.  The link in the email will be active for only 30 days. If BMP Input Files is selected as the report type, one email will be sent out for each of the BMP types (Animal, Land and Manure Transport)  that are included in the scenario.

The downloaded Excel file will appear in the download bar at the bottom of a browser page which provides easy access without returning to the Download Report tab in CAST.

Download Reports

Up to 20 reports will be maintained on the Download Reports tab for 30 days. The user can download the reports using the Download icon or view the associated report metadata using the Metadata icon. The metadata can be used to remind users of the parameters selected when creating the report. 

An example of the report metadata is provided below. The fields will vary depending on the type of report generated. Scenarios, Waterwater or Atmospheric Deposition data sets, and Aggregation fields will appear as needed.

BMP Summary Report

The BMP summary report provides scenario-specific data on BMPs credited. The BMPs are listed along with the amount implemented in the BMP unit, like acres, and in percentages. Individual BMPs and composites are included. Composite BMPs are included for tillage, cover crop, pasture management, waste management, barnyard runoff controls, and stormwater practices. Multiple scenarios can be selected for this report allowing for a comparison of BMP implementation.

BMP Submitted Vs. Credited

In addition to the Read Me tab with the field names definitions, there are details about the scenarios in the report, land, animal and manure BMPs. In each of these sheets, the BMPs are listed along with information tied to each BMP. If any of the sheets have no data, it is because there were no BMPs of that type. You may use the information in these files to determine if all of the BMPs submitted on the BMP pages were credited. It is possible that some BMPs were not credited because BMPs were submitted on greater than 100% of the acres of a particular land use, for example.

There is an amount backed out from the amount submitted. This represents the amount of a land use change BMP in a specific geography that was submitted, but does not receive additional credit because the acres were already included in the land use projection. If the acres were credited in both the initial land use base condition and in the BMP, then the area would be double counted. This only applies to certain land use change BMPs, like buffers. Additional BMP information may be found on the CAST home page under Source Data-documentation. The last section of the document includes BMP exceptions, which may be useful in explaining unanticipated results. 

Base Conditions Report

This report provides information on the base conditions utilized for the selected scenario, including load source acres, septic systems, animal counts, and nutrients applied. In addition to the Read Me tab with the field names definitions, there are details about the scenarios in the report, animal counts, load source amounts, nutrients applied, and septic systems. The animal count tab includes both the number of animals and the animal units. An animal units is 1,000 pounds of live animal. The number of animals may not be changed in a scenario. The manure may be removed from the scenario by using the manure transport BMP and transporting out of the watershed. The acres includes the pre- and post-BMP acres. Not all load sources have acres, some deliver loads directly to a stream, like riparian pasture deposition and stream bed and bank. Post-BMP acres for the scenario show the changes to the acres in each load source that result for land use change BMPs. More information on BMPs and their effects is on the CAST Home page under Source Data Documentation. 

This report's tab Nutrients Applied shows the source of each nutrient and the load source to which it is applied. This is the only place in CAST where you can see the source of nutrients. Sources include biosolids, inorganic agricultural and urban fertilizer, manure applied and directly deposited. Users can not change the amount of nutrient sources, but can control their application and runoff by implementing BMPs. Septic systems are shown as pre- and post-BMP systems. The number of systems can change with the septic connection BMP. That BMP eliminates the load to the septic load source. It is assumed that the wastewater load is increased, but the load is not transferred since wastewater is directly monitored. The monitoring includes the amount that is picked up from connected septic systems. 

Loads Report

This report provides scenario-specific data on loads. Multiple scenarios may be in this report, which facilitates comparisons. The loads are provided for the aggregations, geography, and scenarios that you selected. The allocation column refers to whether that load source falls into the 2010 Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load's (TMDL) load allocation or wasteload allocation. The edge of stream (EOS) and edge of tide (EOT) loads are provided for total nitrogen (N), total phosphorus (P), and total suspended solids (S). The loads are pounds per year. The unit column is the measurement only for the amount column. Many load sources are measured in units of acres; some are measured in units of miles. Other load sources are delivered directly to a stream so the amount is pounds. Acres are available in the Base Conditions report and may be used to calculate pounds per acre. This only makes sense for the load sources measured in units of acres. Summing all amounts and dividing by all amounts from the base conditions report would be a logic error. 

Waste Water Report

This report provides scenario-specific data on wastewater, combined sewer overflow, monitored septic systems, and rapid infiltration basins. The loads are provided for the aggregations, geography, and scenarios that you selected. In addition to the Read Me tab, there are three additional tabs: combined sewer overflow, wastewater treatment plants, and monitored septic and rapid infiltration basins. If there are no data on any tab it is because there are not any facilities of that type in the geographic area and year that you selected. Waste water loads are reported for calendar year for the District of Columbia and Virginia. All other states use the progress reporting year of July 1 to June 30.

Atmospheric Deposition Report

This report provides scenario-specific data on atmospheric deposition of wet and dry nitrogen and phosphorus to the land. The loads are provided for the aggregations, geography, and scenarios that you selected. The atmospheric deposition data are provided for each nutrient species for each land segment. The units are pounds per acre per year. The amount is the same regardless of load source. The data do not vary by river segments. These data are not changed by BMPs. The atmospheric deposition includes both dry and wet deposition. More information on these data may be found on the CAST home page under Model Documentation, section three.

Quick Results Report

The quick results report provides data on the scenario you selected. It includes five reports in one file. This report is designed to provide single scenario results without having to make multiple selections. In addition to the Read Me, there are tabs for Summary Loads, Detailed Loads, Land BMPs, Animal BMPs, Manure Transport and Manure Treatment Technologies BMPs. The summary loads are summarized for each loads source and agency for the scenario. Detail loads provides the loads for the geographical scale you selected. Land, animal and manure transport BMP tabs provides the same information that is in the BMPs Submitted vs. Credited Report, but at the geographical scale you selected. 

BMP Input Files

The BMP Input Files report option will generate up to 3 text files (Land, Animal and Manure Transport) depending on the BMPs included in the selected scenario.  Each file will be generated separately and an email will be sent out upon each file completion. The BMPs in the progress scenarios all use the progress reporting year of July 1 to June 30. 

Reports FAQs

Why aren’t all or any of my scenarios showing up on the dropdown?

There are two reasons that a scenario may not appear on the dropdown. You must first  select both a geographic scale and a geographic area. Only scenarios that are for the same geographic area that you selected will be in the drop down menu. If you are looking for a scenario that is not in the dropdown, it is likely in a different geographic area. Second, the scenario may have been created, but not run. Scenarios must be run to generate results. If there are no results, then the scenario will not be on the dropdown.

Why can't I see the load reductions from a single BMP?

BMPs are calculated in a particular sequence. The combination of various BMPs in a scenario affects the loads. Since the BMPs work as a treatment train, it is not possible to quantify the load reduction from any one particular BMP. A load per BMP would change from scenario to scenario, depending on the land use acres and other BMPs present. The Scenario Results page shows the load reductions from all of the BMPs combined together within their load source category. There are some scenarios where the load per BMP and the cost per load reduced ($/lb) have been calculated for reference. These are available on the CAST Home Page under Optimization. 

What are the loads attributed to “water”?

The land use water represents water bodies like streams. The loads attributed to water bodies are solely from atmospheric deposition.

What is the difference between the pre and post-BMP acres?

The pre-BMP and post-BMP acres represent the change in acres from land use change BMPs, like buffers. These BMPs typically change the acres from a higher loading land use to a lower loading land use.

What is the spatial scale of the calculated loads?

All loads are calculated at the land-river segment scale.

What are land segments, river segments and land-river segments?

Land segments are counties or portions of counties where there is a distinct difference within the county, like a change in physiographic region. River segments are the areas that drain to a fourth order stream reach. These are not comparable to HUCs. Land-river segments are intersections of the two and are the smallest area modeled.

Why are the costs zero for some BMPs or sectors?

It is likely that you have no cost associated with that BMP, or no BMPs in a sector. Costs are only summed for the scenario where there was both a BMP and a cost per BMP entered on the Cost Profiles sheet. If no cost was entered for a BMP, or no BMPs in a sector, then no cost will be shown.

Do the data for waste water use consistent methods across the jursidictions?

Waste water loads are reported for calendar year for the District of Columbia and Virginia. All other states use the progress reporting year of July 1 to June 30. The BMPs in the progress scenarios all use the progress reporting year.

Understanding Results

Why am I not receiving credit for all the BMP implementation in a HUC?

If the geography submitted for a report is HUC, then the data will show the amount credited for the area in the HUC. Calculations are performed for land-river segments and then the portion that falls within a HUC is attributed to that HUC. The difference in the acres credited between your input and the BMP report is simply due to scale. you are submitting for a HUC, and calculations in CAST are done on land-river segments (lrsegs). Consider a HUC that is equal to portions of two lrsegs as 50% of one lrseg and 100% of other lrseg and each segment had an equal area for that load source.

Lrseg 1 = 100 acres with 50% in HUC
Lrseg 2 = 100 acres with 100% in HUC
HUC acres = 150 acres

100 acres of BMP submitted in HUC
33 acres go to lrseg 1
66 acres go to lrseg 2which is 100 % credited in the 2 lrsegs.

Report geographic scale is by the HUC which has
33 acres in lrseg 1 (all of lrseg 1 not just the HUC portion because that is how BMPs are processed on the lrseg scale)
66 acres in lrseg 2

So credited for the HUC = 33 * 0.5 because only half of lrseg 1 is in the HUC + 66 = 16.6666 + 66 = 82.6666

When I look at the BMP Submitted vs. Credited report, I see that there are some BMPs that were not credited. Why not?

If you applied more implementation on a land use than there were acres available, then the excess is not credited. Even if the pre-BMP land use acres table indicates the land is there, it may not be by the time you added in buffers and other land use change BMPs. This table and the excess column are a good check to make sure you are getting the reductions you intended.

Why do I get different results for some shared or public scenarios?

Scenarios shared by CPB Admin including WIP, No Action, and E3 were run with special conditions not available to CAST users. Creating a new scenario by copying the BMPs from those scenarios will produce different load results. The special conditions are the control of effects from land use differences and how shoreline loads are calculated. 

Why are certain agricultural load sources increasing when I only put BMPs on other agricultural load sources?

If you put a nutrient reduction BMP, like Nutrient Management, on crop and hay, the pasture load will increase. The manure and fertilizer is applied to each crop type according to a curve. So restricting the amount on one crop moves the manure and fertilizer to another crop or to pasture. Details about the curves and how the load sources influence each other may be found in the Model Documentation, Section 3, found on the CAST home page. 

Why did my nitrogen loads increase with Manure Treatment Technology or Manure Transport?

Removing manure without also controlling the amount of replacement inorganic fertilizer results in the same rate of inorganic fertilizer being applied as when manure was applied. While phosphorus will be reduced, nitrogen loads may increase. When using these manure BMPs, increase the amount of the Nutrient Management Rate BMP to control the amount of replacement inorganic fertilizer. Additionally, the runoff of inorganic fertilizer is higher than manure, which also contributes to the potential increase in nitrogen loads. These runoff rates are based on multiple peer-reviewed research articles. More documentation may be found in the Model Documentation on the CAST home page. 

Why are my results so different between 2012 and later years when BMPs and other inputs are the same?

Scenario years after 2012 use projected data. The 2012 base conditions are the last year that all data are available to calculate animal manure, land use, and other inputs. The ratio of all nutrient inputs applied to meet crop need are defined by the 2012 progress, which includes the BMPs reported in that year. The proportion of crop need that was met in 2012 from the sum of manure, fertilizer, biosolids and spray irrigation is used for later years' crop application rates. If the amount of crop need met in 2012 was 110%, then 110% of crop need will be met in 2013. The application rate will be even higher if Manure Transport and/or the Nutrient Management BMP was implemented in 2012 but not in later years.

For phosphorus, the difference between the amount of Manure Transport in 2012 and later years is subtracted from the amount of manure nutrients applied after other nutrients are applied to meet the proportion of crop need met in 2012. The implication is that if more manure is transported out of a location than was transported out in the 2012 Progress, the phosphorus applied is effectively lowered. Conversely, if less manure is transported out of a location than was transported out in the 2012 Progress,the phosphorus applied increases. 

What data are used in future scenarios?

The data used to project future scenarios include the items below. The projection methods for these data are determined by the Chesapeake Bay Program Partnerships source sector workgroups. 

  • Animal Populations
  • Animal per Animal Unit and manure produced per animal daily
  • Biosolids and agricultural spray irrigation
  • Nitrogen and phosphorus amount to meet crop need
  • Crop acres
  • Crop yield, e.g. bushels per acre
  • Inorganic fertilizer available in the watershed
  • Land Use
  • Nutrient concentration per animal manure type and county
  • Septic systems 
  • Soil phosphorus
  • CSO connections
  • Septic systems, RIB, and urban spray irrigation
  • Wastewater data
  • Atmospheric deposition

Why are my EOT loads higher than EOS loads? Where did that sediment come from?

Delivery factors indicate how much of a load is delivered to the next scale. For example, an EOT delivery factor of one indicates that there were no river processes that changed the amount delivered. An EOT delivery factor of less than one indicates that the river was a sink for the load. A delivery factor greater than one indicates the river is a source for the load. Land-river segments outside of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed are zero. There are three land-river segments in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed (CBWS) with EOT delivery factors of zero: N51095JBO_7051_0001, N24005WM0_3881_3880, N24013WM0_3881_3880. The two in MD are Liberty Reservoir, which is used for water supply. The one in Virginia is the location of the Little Creek Reservoir.

Why are some of the loads negative?

BMPs can drive nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment loads less than zero. The BMPs that may drive EOT TN loads less than zero include Manure Treatment Technologies and any of the ammonia reduction BMPs, all of which are applied at the EOT scale. These BMPs are reducing the volatilized ammonia. Without the ammonia reduction BMPs in place, the ammonia moves into the atmosphere and is reflected in the atmospheric deposition load. With the BMP, the land load is adjusted to show that the ammonia stays on the land. For example, a feeding operation may have perfect controls for runoff, but no volatilization controls.With the addition of a lagoon cover, the ammonia will no longer volatilize and be deposited elsewhere. Instead, the ammonia stays on the feeding operation. These BMPs are applied at the EOT scale.

This situation can occur in segments outside of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed where the EOT load without BMPs is zero, since delivery is to the ocean or another watershed. Those zero EOT loads can become negative with the addition of the Manure Treatment Technology and the ammonia reduction BMPs. A comparable situation is where there is a smokestack outside the CBWS emitting nitrogen that is deposited within the CBWS. Controls on that smokestack increase the load at the location of the smokestack. An animal operation outside the CBWS works the same way. The load that was volatilizing before the BMP was depositing ammonia some distance away in the CBWS. With the BMP, the load stays on the feeding space land and is shown as a negative load, offsetting the atmospheric load formerly deposited in the CBWS. 

The Stream Restoration BMPs may drive the TP and TSS loads less than zero at both the EOS and EOT scale. The two stream load sources balance each other out so that the sum is approximately zero in any land-river segment. With the Stream Restoration BMPs, the load on the stream load sources can go below zero. This implies that the stream BMPs are capturing more TP and TSS than the stream load sources are generating; that is, the loads are coming from other load sources in the segment. There may be some circumstances where so many pounds are entered for those BMPs that the entire segment load is negative. It is logical that stream restoration would be implemented in those stream reaches where the loads are highest. When entering the stream restoration BMPs, the user should consider if the amount of pounds reduced by the Stream Restoration BMP is reasonable. 

Graphs

The Graphs page opens on the Create Graph tab where the user can select the parameters to generate the graphics including: geographic scale/area, agencies and up to four scenarios. Click the Graph button to create the graphs once the selections are made.

If state or smaller geographical scale is selected, the tab will expand to include a state selector field that restricts the geographic areas selections available.

Loads Graph

The Loads tab displays two bar graphs: combined nitrogen and phosphorus, and sediment. All selected scenarios are displayed in each graph for a side-by-side comparison of each scenario and both edge of stream (EOS) and edge of tide (EOT) values. Mousing over the bars in the graph will display the numerical values for each bar. Clicking on the items in the legend will add or remove bars from the chart. The combined graphs may be downloaded as a single page.

Sources Graphs

The Sources Tab displays individual sector-based pie charts for each scenario organized in three groups: nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment. The graph titles are the scenario names and the graphics include the numerical values for each sector. The combined graphs may be downloaded as a single page.


Cost Profiles

There are many services available on the Cost Profiles page. From the My Cost Profiles grid, the user can: create profiles; edit cost profile metadata and BMPs; view the last date modified; and download or delete items.

The Shared Cost Profiles grid allows users to view the official state and other user-generated profiles that have been shared with them. The information listed for shared profiles include: cost profile name, author, date modified and a download link. Only the profile creator can edit its data. Shared Cost Profiles can be edited by other users by creating a new cost profile and Copy From Existing cost data.

Add Cost Profiles

To add a cost profile, click on the Add New Cost Profile button at the top right of the My Cost Profiles table. Enter a name and description using data that will make it easier to identify the purpose of the profile or when and how it should be used. Use the Copy From Existing option to build a profile from one of your existing profiles or a shared profile. The user has the option to share a cost profile with individuals and/or groups. The user can select to share the profile with an existing group, a modified existing group or a new group during both the profile creation or editing processes. The user can also share the profile with selected specific users.

Copy From Existing Cost Profile

The user can select to create a scost profile from an existing cost profile from an official state profile, one they have created or has been shared with them.  

Share Cost Profile

Refer to the sharing options defined under Add Scenario. 

Edit Cost Profiles

Selecting the Edit link in the My Cost Profiles grid will open the Edit Cost Profile pop up. 

Edit Cost Profile Metadata

All fields used to create a user’s cost profile can be revised using the edit process on the cost profile metadata tab, except for the Copy from Existing field.  Any changes to BMPs must be made on the BMP tabs on the Edit Cost Profile page. 

Cost Profile BMPs

As an example, an Agriculture BMPs tab is provided below.

The only field that is not editable is the Total Annualized Cost column which is a calculated value. Clicking on a value in any column changes the field to a textbox. Clicking the Save changes button will automatically update the BMPs associated with the entire cost profile.  The Developed, Septic, Natural and Agriculture tabs contain the same columns as shown below.

The Animal tab contains the additional Animal column which cannot be edited.

 

Default unit cost estimates are provided for each state and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The Chesapeake Bay Watershed is an average of all states. Costs are provided as a starting point to use for creating your own cost estimates of various BMP scenarios. Costs are estimated in 2010 dollars. Capital and opportunity costs are amortized over the BMP lifespan and added to annual operations and maintenance (O&M) costs for a total annualized cost. The interest rate for capital and opportunity costs is 5%. Costs are those incurred by both public and provide entities. Costs represent a single year of cost rather than the cost over the entire lifespan of the practice. Default costs were prepared for EPA using existing data. Bay jurisdictions were provided with the opportunity to review and amend the unit costs for BMPs in the Phase 2 WIP. 

To edit the costs, go to the sector table: urban, septic, forest, agricultural, and animal manure. Click on any dollar amount and type in a new number. If there is no dollar amount, you can add one. You may also add free text to the notes field. When done, click on save or cancel changes at the top of the table. The total annualized cost will recalculate. Costs are annualized average costs per unit of BMP (e.g.: $/acre treated/year). The formula is:

  • annual costs = (capital * annualization factor) + O&M costs + (land * annualization rate)
  • annualization factor = i/((1+i)^n - 1) + i
  • i = annualization rate, which is always 5%.
  • n = period of annualization (also called lifespan)

Costs are for all BMPs in a scenario, both those currently implemented as well as those planned. Costs are for a single year, and are not accumulated over time. The reason is two-fold. First, once the Bay TMDL deadline of 2025 is met, BMPs will need to remain in place to control loads and new BMPs will need to be implemented to offset new growth. Second, it is difficult to predict when a BMP is going to be implemented.

Download Cost Profiles

The user can download the Cost Profiles from either the My Cost Profiles grid and the Shared Cost Profile grid. The file will be exported in an Excel file which can be accessed at the bottom of the browser page.

My Cost Profiles grid download link.

Shared Cost Profiles grid download link.

Delete Cost Profiles

The user can only delete the cost profiles they have created. Click the Delete icon next to the cost profile to be removed.

A confirmation message will appear before it is deleted. Click the Ok button to complete the process.

Cost Profile FAQs

Are developed sector costs for new development or redevelopment?

Developed BMP costs average the costs of new and redevelopment. 

Where is more detailed information on costs?

The detailed source data for costs are available on the CAST home page under BMPs, Models, and Geography under Cost of BMPs.

How can I see the shared cost profiles?

To see those configurations, select "Copy" located next to the name of the cost profile in the Cost Profiles Shared with Me table. You then may edit the costs in your copy of the profile. Additional help is available for using those options once you are on the Edit Costs page.

Why are my costs so high?

The costs in this tool are all those in a plan. They are not costs that are only incremental to the TMDL. The costs in this tool are all of the costs in a scenario and include BMPs already implemented as well as current commitments under existing regulatory requirements. It is possible that costs could be reduced substantially by selecting BMPs that require a lower investment. For example, instead of selecting filtering practices to control urban stormwater, bioswales could be used. Bioswales are more effective and less expensive than filtering practices.

Why didn’t my costs change when I added a BMP?

Check the cost page to make sure that there are amounts entered for that BMP. There are some BMPs that do not have costs, depending on the cost profile you copied from and the edits you made to your cost profiles.

How To

The How To dropdown on the menu bar contains links to User Documentation,Tutorial Videos and Webinars.

User Documentation

The user documentation is organized into sections based on functionality and is easily accessible using the Table of Content links provided on the left side of the page.

Table of Content Links

The Table of Contents displays the major sections of the documentation by default.  The user can click on the Expand All link at the top of the Table of Contents to display all of the section and subsection titles.  To only view additional information for a specific section, the user can click on the plus sign (+) next to a section title, if more information is available. Clicking the minus sign (-) next to a section title, will return the view to the original section title only display.

Tutorial Videos

Various tutorials on using the new CAST application are available on the Tutorial Videos page.

Webinars

Informative webinars on multiple subjects are available for viewing on the Webinars page.

About

The About link is available to users whether or not they are logged into the CAST application and provides access to both the About CAST and Upgrade History pages.

About CAST Page

The About CAST page provides answers to common questions about CAST such as: what it is, who benefits from using it, why it was developed and how it should be referenced in documentation.    

Suggested Citation for CAST References

Suggested citation: Chesapeake Bay Program, 2017. Chesapeake Assessment and Scenario Tool (CAST) Version 2017. Chesapeake Bay Program Office, Month Year.

Upgrade History Page

The Upgrade History page contains a list of the updates with a quick summary of the modifications represented in each version. These upgrades reflect changes made to underlying data including BMPs. These updates are not the same as software updates, which would not change data or calculations.

User Information

User Profile Page

The user can access their User Profile page using the Manage Profile link found at the top left of all CAST pages after logging into the application, except on the Home Page.

On the Home Page, the Manage Your Profile button serves the same purpose.

The User Profile page contains the data entered when the user registered for a CAST account. The user's name, email address and organization can be edited and the password can also be changed from this page.

Change Password

Clicking the Change your password link on the User Profile page shown above will open the Change Password page. The user will be requied to enter the old password and the new password twice and then click the Change Password button. The user will be automatically logged out and returned to the Home Page to log in with the new password.

The new password must be at least 12 characters and contain at least one lowercase, one uppercase, one digit and one special character.

Forgotten Password

The Forgot Password link is located on the Home Page under the sign in block.

Clicking the link opens the Forgot Password page where the user can enter their email address and click the Forgot Password button to start the process.

A confirmation message will appear and the user will be sent an email with a temporary password and a reset password link.

An example email is provided below.

Both links in the email open the Home Page where the user should log in using the temporary password that was provided. This will open the Reset Password page where the user must re-enter the temporary password in the Current password field and then enter their new password.

Clicking the Reset button will generate a confirmation message. Use the Return to Login Page link to enter your new password and access the CAST application.

User Groups

The user can add, edit or delete groups they create on the Add/Edit Scenario pages and the Add/Edit Cost Profile pages. It is important to know that only a group owner can edit or delete one of their groups. Once a group is deleted, the shared scenarios and/or cost profiles will be removed from the member's respective shared list and will no long be accessible to them. Refer to the Sharing Scenarios subsection under Add Scenario for specific information on User Groups.

Contact Us

The Contact Us link is available in the Menu Bar with or without logging into the CAST application. The CAST Admin Team will reply to your inquiry as quickly as possible. The Menu Bar without logging in is shown below.

Clicking the Contact Us link in the Menu Bar without logging in will open a pop up with 3 required fields: Email Address, Title and Message. Clicking the Send button will complete the process.

The Menu Bar after logging in is shown below.

Clicking the Contact Us link in the Menu Bar after logging in will open a pop up with 2 required fields: Title and Message. Clicking the Send button will complete the process.

CAST Users FAQ

Who is eligible to receive a login and use CAST?

Anyone who wants to use CAST may register for a login and use the tool. There are no restrictions on public access, and no charge for access.

What might happen if I share my CAST login account with another person?

If you were to share your login, and more than one person was using the account at the same time, then the person could overwrite your inputs. Please consider not sharing your login. Other users of CAST can use the system to share scenarios with you, and vice versa.

I forgot my login username and/or password for CAST. What can I do to get it or reset it?

Your login is your email. If you no longer have access to that email address, you will need to create a new account. If you forget your password, click on Forgot Password to reset it.

How can I update the information in my CAST user profile?

You can edit your CAST user profile once you create a login and are logged in. Click on Manage Profile, located at top right of the page. This allows you to change your user password, first name, last name, organization, group, and email address.

How may I receive updates about changes to CAST?

By setting up a login account on CAST you will receive occasional email updates through the email address you used as your login. If your email address changes, please update it on the Manage Profile page. If you no longer wish to receive updates, you must close your account. We will never solicit you to purchase any goods or services, nor share your login profile with anyone else. You also may check the software updates page and look for changes in the help pages on this site that indicate new features.

How is CAST different from the other CAST family of tools?

Please see the answer found on About CAST.

Registration

Individuals can register for a CAST account by clicking the Register button on the CAST Home page.

The Register page is used to capture data for the user profile and the email provided will be utilized as the CAST username for the account. Click the Register button to complete this step.

A Registration Confirmation page will be dsplayed and an email sent to the email address provided.

The Account Activation email will contain the username, temporary password and 2 links to return to the CAST Home page.

The next step will be to enter the username (email address) and temporary password to continue the account creation process. The user can go directly to the CAST Home page for this step, use either of the links in the email or the Return to Login Page link on the Registration Confirmation page. Click the Log In button will access the Reset Password page to create a new password which is required for all first-time users.

Enter the temporary password as the current password and then ceate a new password following the minimum requirements of 12 characters including at least one lowercase, uppercase, digit and special character.

Clicking the Reset button opens the Reset Password Confirmation page. Use the Return To Login Page button or the Home link in the menu bar to return to the Home page to login in using the new password.

Glossary

Glossary Content

AbbreviationDefinition
Allocation AirThe atmospheric deposition load predicted with the Clean Air Act regulations in place. Atmospheric deposition includes wet and dry nitrogen and phosphorus.
AUAnimal Unit, 1000 pounds of live animal
BMPBest Management Practice
CBPChesapeake Bay Program
CSSCombined Sewer Systems
E3Everything, Everywhere by Everyone Scenario. This is used to bracket the total load that can be reduced. It is intended to represent the limit of technology.
EOSEdge of Stream. This is not comparable to the edge of stream in older versions of the model. This is the edge of a small stream.
EPAUnited States Environmental Protection Agency
EOTEdge of Tide. This is the edge of the tidal portion of the Bay.
EPAU.S. Environmental Protection Agency
NEIENNational Environmental Information Exchange Network
No ActionScenario with no BMPs, or no actions taken. Usually the atmospheric deposition and wastewater are from 1985. 
NRCSNatural Resources Conservation Service
Offical BMPsBMPs that have been approved by the Chesapeake Bay Program Partnership and are accepted in annual progress reports
PCBpolychlorinated biphenyl. A persistent organic pollutant. PCBs were banned in 1979, but persist in the environment. 
Planned BMPsBMPs that have not been approved by the Chesapeake Bay Program Partnership but are available for planning scenarios, like WIPs and Milestones
RIBRapid Infiltration Basin
TMDL Total Maximum Daily Load
USGSUnited States Geological Survey
WIPWatershed Implementation Plan
WRTDS Weighted Regressions on Time, Discharge and Season (WRTDS). Used to describe long-term monitoring trends in both concentration and discharge.