Greater Trinity Region: Implementing a Plan to Protect Recreational Uses
Watershed Counties: Dallas, Tarrant
River Basin: Trinity
Segments: 0805, 0822A, 0822B, 0841, 0841B, 0841C, 0841E, 0841G, 0841H, 0841J, 0841L, 0841M, 0841R, 0841T, 0841U
Bacteria concentrations are occasionally elevated in portions of the Trinity River that flow through Dallas and Tarrant counties. High bacteria concentrations might pose a risk to people who swim or wade in natural waters. Swimming and wading are called “contact recreation” in the state’s standards for water quality; the term refers to all recreation in which people are likely to swallow natural waters.
The watersheds for the Greater Trinity River I-Plan encompass an area of 406 square miles. The human population is 1.33 million as of 2013, with a population density of approximately 3,232 people per square mile. The Implementation Plan implements TMDLs for:
- Upper Trinity River (Segment 0805, upper end)
- Elm Fork Trinity River tributaries of Grapevine Creek and Cottonwood Branch (Segments 0822A and 0822B)
- Lower West Fork Trinity River (Segment 0841) and 11 of its tributaries
The goal of this project is to reduce bacteria concentrations and protect recreational safety by implementing total maximum daily loads. A TMDL is like a budget for pollutants—it estimates the amount of a pollutant that a water body can receive from categories of sources and still support its designated uses.
The North Central Texas Council of Governments is working with stakeholders to implement bacteria TMDLs throughout their region.
Status and Activities
Cities in the watersheds began addressing bacteria levels in the impaired waterways prior to TCEQ approval of the Implementation Plan in December 2013. Highlights from 2014 include:
- Created the Monitoring Coordination Forum to provide real-time analysis of water monitoring for better feedback on best management practices (BMPs).
- Reviewed existing materials for the Regional Stormwater Management Program Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination program to evaluate need to adapt for greater emphasis on bacteria.
- Developed two age-appropriate stormwater education videos for students that included bacteria-specific information.
- Adapted the pet waste education promotional item, the annual DOO the Right Thing cutest dog calendar, to further emphasize the bacteria component in pet waste.
- Began seeking input into and development of Implementation Strategy 8, the BMP Library.
More details about the stakeholders' activities are available on the NCTCOG website .
Please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and mention the Greater Trinity River plan in the subject line. Or call us at 512-239-6682.