Orange County Watersheds: Implementing TMDLs to Protect Aquatic Life and Recreational Uses
Counties: Orange, Jasper, Newton
Parameters: Bacteria, dissolved oxygen, pH
River Basin: Sabine River
Segment: 0508, 0508A, 0508B, 0508C, 0511, 0511A, 0511B, 0511C, 0511E
- Project Overview (PDF)
- Background and Goals
- Adopted TMDLs
- Get Involved
- For More Information
Adams Bayou and Cow Bayou are located in southeast Texas. Their combined watersheds cover almost 250 square miles in the coastal area of the Sabine River Basin. The water flow in the bayous is intermittent, and periods of no flow are very common.
Water quality testing found that bacteria levels in the bayous and their tributaries may pose a health risk for swimmers. Low concentrations of dissolved oxygen in some areas of the creek indicate that conditions are not optimal for aquatic life.
The goals of the project are to:
- reduce bacteria levels in the bayous to ensure that recreational use is safe, and
- maintain concentrations of dissolved oxygen and pH in the bayous at levels that will sustain aquatic life.
The TCEQ is working with the Sabine River Authority and other stakeholders to develop a plan for improving water quality in the project watersheds.
The commission adopted these TMDLs on June 13, 2007. The EPA approved the TMDLs on August 28, 2007, at which time they became part of the state's Water Quality Management Plan.
- Seventeen Total Maximum Daily Loads for Bacteria, Dissolved Oxygen, and pH in Adams Bayou, Cow Bayou, and Their Tributaries, Segments 0508, 0508A, 0508B, 0508C, 0511, 0511A, 0511B, 0511C, and 0511E.
- Response to Public Comment on the TMDLs for Adams and Cow Bayous and Tributaries
Updates to TMDLs
From time to time, it is necessary to revise TMDLs to account for changing conditions in the watershed, such as new or amended permits, or urban growth, or to correct oversights in the original TMDL report. Revisions to the load allocations in TMDLs are made via the state’s WQMP, which is updated quarterly.
The WQMP provides projected effluent limits for use in planning and permitting activities under the Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES). The TCEQ reviews all applications for new and amended permits for conformance with applicable portions of the WQMP, including adopted TMDLs.
Revisions to the TMDLa are documented in the approved WQMP updates listed below.
- July 2008, pages 7-9
The Sabine River Authority, in partnership with the TCEQ, is coordinating public involvement in development of the TMDL implementation plan. Public meetings about the plan are open to everyone. The Sabine River Authority will inform the public about the project and opportunities for involvement at meetings and with notices in print and electronic media.
Records of the public meetings are available below in PDF.
I-Plan Meeting Summaries
- August 23, 2012
- December 2010
TMDL Advisory Group
A named-member stakeholder group called the Orange County TMDL Stakeholder Advisory Group advised the TCEQ on development of the TMDLs for this project. Records of the group membership and meetings are available below in PDF.
- July 2006
- April 2006
- December 2005
- Clean Bayous Fair—January 2005
- August 2004
- April 2004
- January 2004
- October 2003
- July 2003
- April 2003
Project documents are available in PDF.
Please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and reference the Orange County project in the subject line. Or call us at 512-239-6682.