Hinkson Creek was the site of an earlier dispute between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and local Missouri government and academic groups over a total maximum daily load (TMDL) requiring stormwater flow reductions. This summer, EPA dropped the flow-based surrogate from the TMDL.

Now, preliminary data are showing that stormwater management actions taken by Columbia and Boone counties are having a positive effect. Earlier this year, 75% of samples taken at Hinkson Creek were fully supportive of aquatic life. In 2005, that percentage was only 62%. Samples were tested for macroinvertebrates and other water quality indicators, such as dissolved oxygen and temperature. Hinkson Creek now nearly meets federal water quality standards, as the TMDL requires that at least 78% of samples fully support aquatic life. Only then will the stream be considered restored.