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Surface Water Quality Monitoring Projects

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Assessment of Bacterial Sources Impacting Lake Waco and Belton Lake

Project Goals/Objectives: The objective of this project was to develop publicly available and comprehensively characterized genetic fingerprint and antibiotic resistance libraries of unique E. coli bacteria isolates for determining the animal or human NPS contamination of surface water. These BST libraries were applied to classify E. coli isolated from ambient water samples from Lake Waco and Lake Belton and their main tributaries, the Bosque and Leon Rivers, to identify the likely sources of bacterial contamination.

Assessment of Contact Recreation Use Impairments and Watershed Planning for Big Cypress Creek and Tributaries

Project Goals and Objectives:  Big Cypress Creek (and its tributaries) are located in the Cypress Creek Basin. The headwaters of Big Cypress Creek originate in southeast Hopkins County. From there, Big Cypress Creek flows east into Lake Cypress Springs and then into Lake Bob Sandlin in Franklin County. After leaving Lake Bob Sandlin, Big Cypress Creek, which forms the county line between Titus and Camp Counties, flows southeast to Lake O' the Pines and then finally to Caddo Lake before entering Louisiana.

Assessment of NPS Pollution from Cropland in the Oso Bay Watershed

Project Goals/Objectives:  The long-term goal of this project is to support program implementation efforts of the Texas State and Water Conservation Board and the Nueces SWCD to protect and restore the water quality of Oso Bay and Creek from agricultural nonpoint source pollution.

Assessment of Water Quality and Watershed Planning for the Leona River

Project Goals/Objectives:  Provide stakeholders and agencies with sufficient information to address bacteria impairments on the Leona River through verification of use attainment, revision of water quality standards, or development of a WPP or TMDL.   

Project Location:  Leona River (Segment ID 2109) (Leona River Watershed includes Frio, Uvalde, and Zavala Counties)

Project Costs: $861,714

Project Websites:

Bacterial Source Tracking to Support Adaptive Management of the Arroyo Colorado Watershed Protection Plan

Project Description: The Arroyo Colorado currently has low dissolved oxygen levels within the tidal segment, not meeting the aquatic life use designated by the State of Texas and described in the Water Quality Standards. This has been the case for every 303(d) list prepared by the state since 1996. In addition, bacteria has always been a parameter of concern and as of 2006, the Arroyo became impaired due to high bacteria levels. There are many challenges associated with restoring water quality in the Arroyo Colorado Watershed.

Bacterial Source Tracking to Support the Development and Implementation of WPPs for the Lampasas and Leon Rivers

Project Goals/Objectives: This project will collect water samples ans stream flow data at 15 sites in the Leon River and 15 sites in the Lampasas River watersheds over a 12 month periord for bacterial source tracking (BST). The water samples will assess and identify different sources contributing to the bacterial loading of each waterbody. The results will assist stakeholders through on-going watershed protection planning processes.  

Buck Creek Water Quality Sampling / Assessment Project

Buck Creek (Segment 0207A) was listed as an impaired waterbody on the 2002 and 2004 Texas Water Quality Inventory and 303(d) List because it did not meet bacterial water quality standards.

Development of a Watershed Protection Plan for Attoyac Bayou

This project shall serve as a means for establishing and engaging a watershed stakeholder group to assist in the development and future implementation of a Watershed Protection Plan (WPP) for the Attoyac Bayou watershed. This project will utilize portions of the “Three-Tier Approach for Bacteria TMDL Development” as recommended in the Bacteria TMDL Task Force Report submitted to TCEQ and TSSWCB.

Development of a Watershed Protection Plan for Cedar Bayou

Project Goals/Objectives: To develop a nine element Watershed Protection Plan (WPP) for the Cedar Bayou watershed by: 1) targeted water quality sampling and analysis, 2) conducting a watershed source survey and developing a comprehensive GIS inventory, 3) analyze water quality data using Load Duration Curves and spatially explicit modeling, 4) establish and provide direction for a stakeholder group that will serve as a decision making body.

Development of a Watershed Protection Plan for the Concho River Basin

Project Goals/Objectives: This project provided an assessment of existing and potential water quality threats related to on-going nonpoint source (NPS) water pollution within the Concho River basin and will also provide a Watershed Protection Plan (WPP). Information obtained from this project was made available to state, federal, and local decision makers to promote the orderly restoration of the basin aquatic environment and to prevent additional degradation.

Evaluation and demonstration of VTA effectiveness to protect runoff water quality on small pork production facilities in Texas

Project Goals/Objectives: The goal of this project is to demonstrate and evaluate VTA effectiveness at small pork operations and transfer findings to natural resource agencies and pork producers.

Project Location: Martinez Creek in Bexar County, Big Elm Creek in Bell County, Wickson Creek in Brazos County, Little Brazos River in Robertson County

Identify and Characterize NPS Bacteria Pollution to Support Implementation of Bacteria TMDLs in the Oso Bay Watershed

Project Goals/Objectives: To provide information on nonpoint sources of Enterococci in the upstream portions of Oso Creek to support development of the TMDL and targeting of implementation activities.

Leon River Watershed Protection Plan Project

Project Goals/Objectives: (1) To use a locally-driven, stakeholder process to develop a Watershed Protection Plan for the Leon River Watershed above Lake Belton; (2) To enhance data collection efforts to support and facilitate implementation activities; (3) To provide the TSSWCB and the TCEQ with recommendations on implementation strategies that can be incorporated into the TMDL Implementation Plan; and (4) To provide an overall assessment of the Leon River Watershed above Lake Belton.

PLAN for Tomorrow: Poultry Litter Application on New Sites

Project Goals/Objectives: Educate 3rd party applicators of poultry litter to the environmental benefits of using proper application management techniques beginning on Day 1 of application on new sites; Demonstrate that poultry litter can be land applied in an environmentally friendly manner that supplies necessary crop nutrients without increasing nutrient levels in runoff and that multiple objectives (such as: profitability, resource utilization, and water quality protection) can be met with this fertilization strategy.

Surface Water Quality Monitoring and Additional Data Collection Activities to Support the Implementation of the Plum Creek Watershed Protection Plan

Project Goals/Objectives: Through this project, GBRA will continue to collect surface water quality monitoring (SWQM) data to characterize the Plum Creek watershed, including the contributing wastewater effluents. Monitoring data will be used to assess and evaluate the effectiveness of the BMPs that have been or will be implemented in the watershed as a result of the Plum Creek WPP. The sampling regime will include diurnal, springflow, storm event and targeted monitoring under more typical base flow conditions over the next three years.

Surface Water Quality Monitoring to Support Development and Implementation of Bacteria TMDLs in the Copano Bay Watershed

Copano Bay is located in the San Antonio-Nueces Coastal Basin. The bay covers parts of Aransas and Refugio counties, while the watershed also encompasses Bee, Goliad, Karnes and San Patricio counties. Mission Bay and Port Bay are sub-bays of Copano Bay and are included in Segment 2472. Segment 2472 is the receiving body of the Mission and Aransas Rivers.

Surface Water Quality Monitoring to Support Plum Creek Watershed Protection Plan Development

Plum Creek rises in Hays County north of Kyle and runs south through Caldwell County, passing Lockhart and Luling, and eventually joins the San Marcos River at their confluence north of Gonzales County (see map below left). Plum Creek is 52 miles in length and has a drainage area of 389 mi2. According to the 2004 Texas Water Quality Inventory and 303(d) List, Plum Creek (Segment 1810) is impaired by elevated bacteria concentrations (category 5c) and exhibits nutrient enrichment concerns for ammonia, nitrate+nitrite nitrogen and total phosphorus.

Watershed Protection Plan Development for the Navasota River below Lake Limestone

Project Goals/Objectives: 1) Characterize current bacteria loadings and sources for the watershed 2) Determine needed levels of loading reduction to restore the waterbody 3) Work with watershed stakeholders to select and prioritize management measures needed to restore the waterbody 4) Develop a watershed protection plan for the Navasota River below Lake Limestone

WQMP Implementation Assistance in the Oso Bay and Creek Watershed

Project Goals/Objectives: Foster coordinated technical assistance activities in the Oso Creek watershed; Conduct an inventory and map land uses and current management practices within the targeted watershed; Provide technical and financial assistance to landowners to develop and implement Water Quality Management Plans (WQMPs) on cropland; Map the location and types of WQMPs and Best Management Practices (BMPs) implemented; Measure water quality improvement in impaired waterbodies.