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You are here: Home / Water Quality / Total Maximum Daily Load Program / Jarbo Bayou: A Community Project to Protect Recreational Uses

Jarbo Bayou: A Community Project to Protect Recreational Uses

A project to reduce bacteria and protect recreational safety in Jarbo Bayou in Galveston County. The stakeholders and the TCEQ are developing total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) and an implementation plan (I-Plan), which together will be the road map for improving water quality.

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County: Galveston
Parameter: Bacteria
Coastal Basins: Bays and Estuaries
Segment: 2425A

Background and Goals

Jarbo Bayou, located in Galveston Bayou, is a tributary of Clear Lake. Since 2002, high concentrations of bacteria, which are found in both human and animal waste, have been observed in the bayou. The presence of these bacteria may indicate a health risk to people who swim or wade in the bayou—activities referred to as “contact recreation” in the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards.

The goal of this project is to improve water quality to protect people who swim in the bayou. Toward that goal, the TCEQ and stakeholders are developing a TMDL and an I-Plan to reduce bacteria in Jarbo Bayou. A TMDL is like a budget—it determines the amount (or load) of bacteria that the bayou can receive and still support recreational safety. The I-Plan outlines the things stakeholders will do to reduce pollutant loads and what parties will be responsible for those activities.

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Get Involved

Staff from the Houston–Galveston Area Council Exit Site will work with stakeholder communities, interest groups, and local organizations to distribute information about this project. The H-GAC will also support stakeholders in developing a plan for watershed improvement. All public meetings about this project are open to anyone interested.

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Photo Gallery

Stakeholder Meeting, December 12, 2013





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For More Information

Please send an e-mail to, and mention the Jarbo Bayou bacteria project in the subject line. Or call us at 512-239-6682.

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