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Attoyac Bayou: Watershed Protection Plan Implementation

Projects to improve water quality by identifying and addressing issues with septic systems in the area draining to Sam Rayburn Reservoir.

Map of the Attoyac Bayou watershed with stream segments.

Project Area

River Basin: Neches

Water Body: Attoyac Bayou (0612)

Location: Cities of Chireno, Attoyac, Martinsville, Grigsby, and Garrison


The Attoyac Bayou extends approximately 82 miles from its headwaters in Rusk County and flows through Nacogdoches, Shelby, and San Augustine counties before emptying into Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Attoyac Bayou (0612) has not met water quality standards for primary contact recreation use due to high fecal bacteria concentrations since 2004.

Attoyac Bayou Watershed Partnership developed the Attoyac Bayou Watershed Protection Plan (WPP) which was accepted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2015. The WPP identifies failing septic systems as a major contributor of bacteria to Attoyac Bayou and recommends septic system remediation. Two project phases (March 2016 – February 2020, and October 2019 – August 2025) have implemented septic system management measures of the WPP.

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Project Descriptions

March 2016 – February 2020

Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) continued an existing program providing technical and financial assistance to eligible homeowners for inspection, and repair or replacement of failing septic systems. TWRI improved the documentation of septic systems, identification of systems needing repairs or replacements, and distribution of resources for technical assistance. 
Twenty-four systems were remediated during the project. TWRI also coordinated with county representatives involved in septic system regulation to discuss standardizing of septic system data acquisition and storage practices.

October 2019 – August 2022

TWRI continued the septic system inspections, repairs, and replacement program and remediated an additional 15 systems. They also assisted and trained Rusk County officials in electronic record-keeping and management of septic system data, and hosted an online program on Riparian Education.

November 2021 – August 2025

TWRI will continue with the existing program for septic system inspections, repairs, and replacements. They will also distribute educational materials about septic system maintenance via direct mailer.

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For More Information

TWRI Attoyac Bayou Watershed webpage

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

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