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Fort Worth Area: A TMDL Project for Legacy Pollution

A completed project to reduce legacy pollutants by developing and implementing total maximum daily loads
photo of Lake Como
Lake Como
Photograph courtesy of the
United States Geological Survey

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Parameter: Legacy Pollutants
Basin: Trinity River
Segments: 0806, 0806A, 0806B, 0829, 0829A

Background and Goals

Five legacy pollutants have been detected in fish tissues in portions of Clear Fork Trinity River below Benbrook Lake and West Fork Trinity River below Lake Worth, and in Lake Como, Fosdic Lake, and Echo Lake, all in the Fort Worth area. Legacy pollutants are chemicals whose use has been banned or severely restricted, but which still remain in the environment. The pollutants involved include chlordane, DDT, DDE, dieldrin, and PCBs, most of which were once used as insecticides. The goal of this TMDL project is the reduction of fish tissue contaminant concentrations to levels that constitute an acceptable risk to consumers.

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The commission adopted these TMDLs on November 17, 2000. The EPA approved them on May 24, 2001, at which time they became part of the state's Water Quality Management Plan.

Implementation Plan

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 In 2001, the City of Fort Worth began implementation of mitigation measures including a hazardous waste collection center and evaluation of remediation strategies.

In November 2005, DSHS collected fish tissue samples from Como, Fosdic, and Echo lakes to reassess the risk associated with consuming fish from those areas. As a result of the study, DSHS lifted the fish possession ban on Lake Como, modified the ban on Fosdic Lake to a consumption advisory, and retained the ban on Echo Lake.

Read the Lake Como success story.

Read the Fosdic Lake success story.

TCEQ contracted with DSHS to collect fish tissue samples and reassess the fish consumption risk in the Trinity River segments. Sampling was conducted in June and July 2008.

In July 2010, the DSHS issued a no-consumption advisory for West Fork Trinity River and Clear Fork Trinity River due to elevated levels of PCBs and dioxins in fish. Chlordane is no longer considered a contaminant of concern.

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For More Information

Please e-mail us at and mention Fort Worth legacy pollution in the subject line. Or call Roger Miranda, Project Manager, at 512-239-6682.

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