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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 site 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 stakeholders and communities that use or affect these streams will be 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 site 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 site Web page for dates and information about subcommittee meetings and meeting records.

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Comment on Proposed TMDLs and I-Plan

The commission requests comments from the public on the  Austin Watersheds TMDLs and I-Plan. The TCEQ will accept comments from July 18 through August 18, 2014Community stakeholders Exit the TCEQ site 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.

How to Submit Your Comments

All comments are due no later than midnight on August 18, 2014.

TMDLs: Address comments to Mr. Jim Neece and mention the Five Total Maximum Daily Loads for Bacteria in Four Austin Streams in your communication.
I-Plan: Address comments to Mr. Chip Morris and mention the Implementation Plan for Five TMDLs for Bacteria in Four Austin Streams in your communication.

For more information, call us at 512-239-6682 and ask for Jim Neece or Chip Morris.

Written Comments

Submit your comments online via our E-Comments system. The text area for submitting eComments is limited to 10,000 characters, including spaces (about two and one-half typed pages). Uploaded files must be in Word or PDF files that are less than one megabyte in size.

If your comments exceed the size limitations for eComments, please submit your written comments by mail or fax.

By U.S. mail:
Water Quality Planning Division
TCEQ, MC 203
P. O. Box 13087
Austin, Texas, 78711-3087

By Fax

Oral Comments

The TCEQ held a public meeting to hear comments from the public on August 7, 2014, in Austin.

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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 site 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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