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Lampasas River: Watershed Protection Plan Implementation

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and AgriLife Research are updating an existing septic system database and conducting septic system inspections, repairs, and replacements in the watershed.

Map of the Lampasas River watershed with stream segments.

Project Area

River Basin: Lampasas

Water Bodies: Lampasas River above Stillhouse Hollow Lake (1217), Rocky Creek (1217A), Sulphur Creek (1217B), Simms Creek (1217C), North Fork Rocky Creek (1217D), South Rocky Creek (1217E), Reese Creek (1217F), and Clear Creek (1217G)

Location: Cities of Lampasas, Kempner, Copperas Cove, and Killeen


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.

Bacteria and nutrients are elevated in a portion of the Lampasas River above Stillhouse Hollow Lake, and low dissolved oxygen levels in Sulphur Creek are also identified as a concern in the 2020 Texas Integrated Report of Surface Water Quality for Clean Water Act Sections 305(b) and 303(d). North Fork Rocky Creek, a tributary of Lampasas River, has not met state water quality standards for aquatic-life use due to low levels of dissolved oxygen since 2006.

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. The 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 bacteria and nutrients.

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Project Descriptions

January 2017 – August 2019

Personnel at the Blackland Research Extension Center of Texas A&M AgriLife Research developed a database that provides concise locations and details about septic systems in the watershed. The database 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. Priority is given to those failing systems located within 2,000 feet of an identified water body.

October 2019 – August 2022

In the first phase, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension implemented septic system management measures of the Lampasas River WPP. They updated the septic system inventory database developed in the previous project, and developed a remediation program to guide and partially fund homeowners in the repair or replacement of 20 failing septic systems. In addition, this project conducted workshops on proper maintenance of septic systems that educated 126 watershed residents.

September 2022 – August 2025

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension will continue the efforts begun in the first phase of septic system remediation in the Lampasas River watershed by inspecting and repairing or replacing at least 20 additional failing systems. Project staff will also continue to update the septic system inventory database and will deliver education programs regarding proper maintenance of septic systems within the watershed.

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For More Information

Lampasas River Septic System Resources webpage

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

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