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You are here: Home / Water Quality / Total Maximum Daily Load Program / Projects / Houston Bacteria / Houston-Galveston Region: Implementation Plan and TMDLs

Houston-Galveston Region: Implementation Plan and TMDLs

The goal of this plan, developed by the Bacteria Implementation Group (BIG), is to make recreation safer by reducing bacteria levels in waterways of the Houston area. The TMDLs and Implementation Plan together are the road map to improving water quality.
Lake Houston Wilderness ParkBuffalo BayouClear Creek

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Project Location and ParametersHouston–Galveston BIG Project NavigationTMDL Program Navigation
Watershed Counties: Brazoria, Harris, Fort Bend, Grimes, Liberty, Montgomery, San Jacinto, Walker, and Waller
Parameter: Bacteria
River Basin: San Jacinto, San Jacinto–Brazos Coastal

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Status and Activities

Reports and Other Documents

TMDL Projects

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Implementation Plan

The commission approved the implementation plan on January 30, 2013. This plan was developed by stakeholders in the Bacteria Implementation Group (BIG) Exit the TCEQ.

This plan originally implemented 72 TMDLs for 60 waterway segments in 10 counties. Other TMDLs and water bodies have since been added. The TMDLs for Armand Bayou were added to the BIG I-Plan by vote of the BIG and the Armand Bayou stakeholders in 2014; the commission approved this action in 2015. The TMDLs for San Jacinto River were added by vote of the BIG and the San Jacinto stakeholders in 2015; the commission approved this action in 2016.

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TMDLs

On the date of their approval by EPA, all these TMDLs became part of the state’s Water Quality Management Plan.

  • Armand Bayou
    The commission adopted these TMDLs on August 5, 2015. The EPA approved them on October 2, 2015.
  • Brays Bayou watersheds
    The commission adopted these TMDLs on September 15, 2010. The EPA approved them on September 27, 2010.
  • Buffalo and Whiteoak Bayous
    The commission adopted these TMDLs on April 8, 2009. The EPA approved them on June 11, 2009.
  • Clear Creek
    The commission adopted these TMDLs on September 10, 2008. The EPA approved them on March 6, 2009.
  • Eastern Houston watersheds
    The commission adopted these TMDLs on September 15, 2010. The EPA approved them on September 27, 2010.
  • Greens Bayou
    The commission adopted these TMDLs on June 2, 2010. The EPA approved them on August 12, 2010.
  • Halls Bayou
    The commission adopted these TMDLs on September 15, 2010. The EPA approved them on September 27, 2010
  • Lake Houston Watersheds
    The commission adopted these TMDLs on April 6, 2011. The EPA approved them on June 29, 2011.
  • San Jacinto River, East and West Forks; Lake Houston; and Crystal Creek
    The commission adopted these TMDLs on August 24, 2016. The EPA approved them on October 7, 2016.
  • Sims Bayou
    The commission adopted these TMDLs on September 15, 2010. The EPA approved them on September 27, 2010.

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Revisions to TMDLs

From time to time, it is necessary to revise TMDLs to account for changing conditions in the watershed. Revisions to the load allocations in TMDLs are made via the state’s Water Quality Management Plan (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 are made to TMDLs in one of two ways:

  • Updates are made to account for changing conditions in the watershed, such as new or revised wasteload allocations, permits that have been canceled or have expired, or changed facility names.
  • Addenda are created to add load allocations for assessment units that are impaired by the same pollutant or condition, within the same watershed as in the original TMDL report.

Revisions to the TMDLs are documented next to the original TMDL report. Both updates and addenda are provided in the same units of measure used in the original TMDL.

Summary of TMDLs, Addenda, and Updates

All linked files in the table below are provided in PDF Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

TMDLsAddendaUpdates

Armand Bayou

Six Total Maximum Daily Loads for Indicator Bacteria in Armand Bayou

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Brays Bayou

Five Total Maximum Daily Loads for Indicator Bacteria in Brays Bayou Above Tidal and Tributaries

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TMDL Addendum: Three TMDLs for Brays Bayou Watershed
Submitted in the April 2013 Update to the WQMP. EPA approved August 2013.

Buffalo and Whiteoak Bayous

Eighteen Total Maximum Daily Loads for Bacteria in Buffalo and Whiteoak Bayous and Tributaries

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TMDL Addendum I: One TMDL for Bacteria in Vogel Creek
Submitted to EPA in the April 2013 Update to the WQMP. EPA approved August 2013.

TMDL Addendum II: One TMDL for Bacteria in Rolling Fork Creek
Submitted to EPA in the April 2015 Update to the WQMP. EPA approved July 2015.

Clear Creek

Nine Total Maximum Daily Loads for Bacteria in Clear Creek and Tributaries

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TMDL Addendum: Four TMDLs in Clear Creek Watershed
Submitted in the October 2012 Update to the WQMP. EPA approved March 2013.

Eastern Houston Watersheds

Thirteen Total Maximum Daily Loads for Indicator Bacteria in Eastern Houston Watersheds

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TMDL Addendum: One TMDL for Eastern Houston Watersheds
Submitted in the April 2013 Update to the WQMP. EPA approved August 2013.

Greens Bayou

Eight Total Maximum Daily Loads for Indicator Bacteria in Greens Bayou Above Tidal and Tributaries

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Halls Bayou and Tributaries

Four Total Maximum Daily Loads for Indicator Bacteria in Halls Bayou and Tributaries

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Lake Houston Watersheds

Fifteen Total Maximum Daily Loads for Indicator Bacteria in Watersheds of the Lake Houston Area

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TMDL Addendum: Six TMDLs for Lake Houston Area Watersheds
Submitted in the October 2013 Update to the WQMP. EPA approved February 2014.

San Jacinto River, East and West Forks; Lake Houston; and Crystal Creek

Seven Total Maximum Daily Loads for Indicator Bacteria in the East and West Forks of the San Jacinto River, Lake Houston, and Crystal Creek Watersheds

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Sims Bayous and Tributary

Four Total Maximum Daily Loads for Indicator Bacteria in Sims Bayou Above Tidal and Tributary

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TMDL Addendum: One TMDL for Sims Bayou Watershed
Submitted in the April 2013 Update to the WQMP. EPA approved August 2013.

Contact Us

For more information regarding this project, please e-mail us at tmdl@tceq.texas.gov, and mention the Houston-Galveston bacteria project in the subject line. Or call us at 512-239-6682.

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