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Lampasas River: Implementing a Watershed Protection Plan with a Septic System Database

This project implemented a septic system management measure in the Lampasas River Watershed Protection Plan by developing a watershed-wide septic system database.


The Lampasas River begins in eastern Mills County and flows southeast for 75 miles, passing through Lampasas, Burnet, and Bell counties. In Bell County the river turns northeast and is dammed five miles southwest of Belton, forming Stillhouse Hollow Lake. At the start of this project, two tributaries of the the Lampasas River had not met water quality standards or had concern for dissolved oxygen levels since 2006. Low dissolved oxygen can negatively affect aquatic life.

Population growth and rapid urbanization in the lower portion of the watershed put increasing stress on the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the river. In response, Lampasas River Watershed Partnership, established in 2009, developed the Lampasas River Watershed Protection Plan (WPP) which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency accepted in May 2013. The WPP identifies failing septic systems as a likely source of nonpoint source pollution and estimated that there are approximately 8,244 septic systems in the watershed.

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Project Description

The Blackland Research Extension Center (BREC) of Texas A&M AgriLife Research developed a database that provides concise locations and details about septic systems in the watershed. It will facilitate future septic system remediation projects by easily identifying areas with a high probability of septic system failure. These areas can then be targeted for inspections, repairs, and replacements.

The project ended in 2018. Texas A&M University is updating the database and conducting septic system repair and replacements under a related project.

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For More Information

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

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