Rocky Creek and Salado Creek: Investigating Aquatic Life Conditions
Counties: Bell, Burnet, Williamson
Parameter: Dissolved oxygen
Basin: Brazos River
Segments: 1217A, 1243
Background and Goals
In Rocky Creek and Salado Creek in the middle Brazos River Basin, water quality testing indicated that low dissolved oxygen levels were not optimal for supporting a healthy aquatic community. Both watersheds are wholly or partially located in the Edwards Plateau region. Land use in these rural watersheds consists predominantly of broad rangeland areas with some cropland use. Urban development is greatest in the Salado Creek watershed.
Project staff evaluated the sources of oxygen-demanding materials and their impacts on dissolved oxygen in the two creeks. The purpose of the project was to determine the best strategy for managing water quality in the creeks.
To involve stakeholders in this project, the TCEQ worked with an existing forum—the Brazos River Authority Steering Committee, which was established under the Texas Clean Rivers Program. The steering committee is includes representatives from state and federal agencies, cities, industries, citizen groups, local governments, universities, water districts, agriculture groups, and other water user groups.
All dissolved oxygen measurements taken in Salado Creek were in compliance with the water quality standards. All measurements in Rocky Creek were in compliance with the water quality standards, with the exception of one station on the North Fork Rocky Creek.
Biological data collected from the North Fork of Rocky Creek indicates that it supports a relatively healthy biological community, better than that which would be expected based upon the results of the dissolved oxygen monitoring.
Salado and Rocky creeks were removed from the state’s 303(d) list of impaired waters in 2006. In 2010, the TCEQ adopted revised, site-specific standards for dissolved oxygen in Rocky and Salado Creeks. EPA approved the revisions.
For More Information
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