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Austin Area Watersheds: A TMDL Project to Protect Recreational Uses

A community project to reduce bacteria and protect recreational safety in Waller, Walnut, and Shoal creeks and Taylor Slough in the city of Austin. The Austin community has developed an Implementation Plan (I-Plan), which together with TMDLs developed by the TCEQ with community feedback, will provide the road map for improving water quality.

Parameter: Bacteria
River Basin: Colorado
Segments: 1403J, 1403K, 1428B, 1429C

Background and Goals

High concentrations of bacteria are often found in four streams in the Austin metropolitan area —Waller and Walnut Creeks, Spicewood Tributary to Shoal Creek, and Taylor Slough South. High concentrations of bacteria may indicate a health risk to people who swim or wade in the creeks—activities called “contact recreation” in the state’s standards for water quality.

The goal of the project is to reduce bacteria levels to protect people who swim or wade in the creeks. The City of Austin provides summary information about the watersheds Exit the TCEQ on its website.

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Get Involved

In all our projects, we seek opinions and information from people who represent government, permitted facilities, agriculture, business, environmental, and community and private interests in the watershed.

Throughout this project, all interested stakeholders and communities that use or affect these streams have been engaged in developing the strategy to improve water quality.

The UT School of Law Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution and the City of Austin Exit the TCEQ will coordinate public involvement in this project. 


Notice of all general meetings will be posted here. Stay tuned to UT's Improving Austin Streams Exit the TCEQ Web page for dates and information about subcommittee meetings and meeting records.

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Proposed TMDLs and I-Plan

The public comment period for these document closed on August 18, 2014Community stakeholders Exit the TCEQ worked together to create the I-Plan to take care of water quality in their streams, and advised the TCEQ on development of the TMDLs.

The stakeholders and TCEQ will consider comments from the public and revise the documents if appropriate.

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Documents created by the community-member organizations of the Coordination Committee are posted on UT's Improving Austin Streams Exit the TCEQ Web page.

For More Information

Please e-mail us at, and mention the Austin Area Bacteria TMDL project. Or call Chip Morris or Lauren Oertel, Project Managers, at 512-239-6682.

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