Skip to Content
Questions or Comments:

Big Elm Creek: Watershed Protection Plan Development

The Texas Water Resources Institute developed a watershed protection plan for Big Elm Creek.

Map of the Big Elm Creek watershed with stream segments

Project Area

River Basin: Brazos

Water Body: Big Elm Creek (1213A)

Location: Bell and Milam counties


Since 2010 Big Elm Creek has not met state water quality standards for bacteria as concentrations exceed the criteria used to evaluate attainment of the primary contact recreation use, and has a concern for excess nitrate as listed in the 2018 Texas Integrated Report of Surface Water Quality for Clean Water Act Sections 305(b) and 303(d). Little Elm Creek, a tributary to Big Elm Creek, has had listed concerns for depressed dissolved oxygen and elevated nitrate. Further, the unnamed tributary of Little Elm Creek has had concerns for elevated nitrate, and from 2010 to 2014 had concerns for an impaired aquatic habitat. In 2018, Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) completed a watershed characterization for the larger Little River watershed, which includes Big Elm Creek.

Back to the top of the page Back to top

Project Description

The watershed characterization project provided TWRI with the necessary data of potential pollution sources and relative contributions of pollution per source, and allowed them to fully develop a watershed protection plan (WPP) for Big Elm Creek.

TWRI determined the pollutant reductions needed to meet water quality standards and worked with stakeholders to choose appropriate and effective management measures for achieving those reductions.

Building upon existing stakeholder activities, TWRI developed a website to encourage and support stakeholder involvement, that included meeting information, and updates and resources related to WPP development. The Big Elm Creek WPP was accepted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in February 2021.

Back to the top of the page Back to top

For More Information

TWRI Big Elm Creek webpage

To find out more about the NPS Program, call 512-239-6682 or email us at

Back to the top of the page Back to top