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Comal River and Dry Comal Creek: Watershed Protection Plan Development

The City of New Braunfels developed a watershed protection plan for Dry Comal Creek and the Comal River in two phases: characterization and watershed protection plan development.


In 2012, Dry Comal Creek (Segment 1811A), a major tributary of the Comal River (Segment 1811), did not meet state water quality standards because bacteria concentrations exceeded the primary contact recreation use criteria. Since then the bacteria levels in Comal Creek have continued to rise, and water quality data indicate that Dry Comal Creek is contributing to the increasing bacteria levels. The Dry Comal Creek and Comal Creek watersheds, which stretch from New Braunfels to the eastern suburbs of San Antonio, are also experiencing rapid urbanization, a source of nonpoint source pollution. In response to these water quality concerns, watershed stakeholders organized to develop a watershed protection plan (WPP) for the Dry Comal Creek and Comal River watersheds.

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Project Descriptions

August 2015 - July 2016

In Phase I of this project, the City of New Braunfels (CoNB) and partners completed a watershed characterization for the Dry Comal Creek and Comal River watershed. The characterization identified potential sources of bacteria within the watershed and determined pollutant reductions needed to meet state water quality standards.

August 2016 - August 2018

In Phase II of the project, CoNB conducted additional bacteria source tracking (BST) in the watershed, which identified wildlife as the major contributor of bacteria. CoNB used collective BST results to develop WPP management measures to address sources of bacteria in the watershed and improve water quality.

CoNB established a water quality workgroup that provided opportunities for public participation in developing the WPP. Stakeholders were recruited and educated through a variety of programs focused on the local water quality issues, sources of pollution, and ways to help reduce pollution and protect water quality.

The Dry Comal Creek and Comal River WPP was completed and accepted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in September 2018.

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For More Information

Visit the City of New Braunfels' Watershed Protection Planning website.

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

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