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

Armand Bayou Watershed: A TMDL Project to Protect Recreational Uses

A community project to reduce bacteria levels and protect recreational safety in the waters of Armand Bayou. The commission adopted total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) for the bayou and approved the stakeholders action to join in the BIG's implementation plan (I-Plan). Together, the two TMDLs and I-Plan provide a road map for improving water quality.
photo of Armand Bayou Above Tidal
Armand Bayou Above Tidal

County: Harris
Parameter: Bacteria
River Basin: San Jacinto–Brazos Coastal
Segments: 1113, 1113A, 1113B, 1113C, 1113D , 1113E

Background and Goals

Armand Bayou is a tributary of Clear Lake, located in the San Jacinto–Brazos Coastal Basin. High concentrations of bacteria, which are found in both human and animal waste, have sometimes 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 in order to protect people who swim in the bayou. Toward that goal, the TCEQ is developing total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) and an implementation plan (I-Plan) to reduce bacteria in Armand Bayou and several of its tributaries. Before beginning TMDL development, the TCEQ evaluated recreational uses and standards for Armand Bayou Above Tidal, Segment 1113A.

Learn more about water quality standards and management by reading the TCEQ’s publication Preserving and Improving Water Quality.

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Get Involved

In all our projects, we seek opinions and information from people who represent government, permitted facilities, agriculture, business, environmental, and community and private interests in the watershed.

Throughout this project, any person or organization that uses or affects these streams is invited to work on developing the strategy to improve water quality.

The Houston–Galveston Area Council Exit the TCEQ is coordinating public involvement for this TMDL project. Meeting records are posted on their website.

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Adopted TMDLs

The commission adopted these TMDLs on August 5, 2015. The EPA approved them on October 2, 2015, at which time they became part of the state's Water Quality Management Plan.

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Implementing the TMDLs

The Stakeholder Coordination Committee chose to petition the Bacteria Implementation Group (BIG) to join its Implementation Plan, which was approved by the TCEQ in January 2013. The plan addresses bacteria impairments in many water bodies in the greater Houston area, and covers an area directly adjacent to the Armand Bayou watershed. The BIG voted to accept this petition in May 2014. The commission approved this action on August 5, 2015. Learn more about the Houston-Galveston Region Bacteria Implementation Group and its plan (which will not list Armand Bayou until it is amended).

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For More Information

Please e-mail us at, and mention the Armand Bayou Bacteria project in the subject line. Or call Jason Leifester (TMDL) or Lauren Oertel (I-Plan) at 512-239-6682.

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