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Lampasas River Watershed Protection Plan Implementation: Septic System Remediation

Texas A&M University is updating an existing septic system database and conducting septic system inspections, repairs, and replacements in the watershed.

Background

Map of the Lampasas River watershed.

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. The 2020 Texas Water Quality Inventory and 303(d) List identified a concern for elevated bacteria and nutrients in a portion of Lampasas River above Stillhouse Hollow Lake (1217_05), and low dissolved oxygen in Sulphur Creek (1217B). North Fork Rocky Creek (Segment 1217D), a tributary of Lampasas River, has not met water quality standards for dissolved oxygen 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

Texas A&M AgriLife Research is updating a septic system database, developed in a previous project, that provides concise locations and details about septic systems in the watershed. It will facilitate the current and future septic system remediation projects by identifying areas with a high probability of septic system failure. These areas can then be targeted for inspections, repairs, and replacements.

Texas A&M AgriLife Research will also develop a septic system repair and replace program to provide financial and technical assistance to homeowners in the watershed to repair or replace their systems. Septic system age and proximity to a water body will be used to prioritize septic systems for inspection, repair or replacement. Lastly, Texas A&M AgriLife Research will conduct education and outreach on proper septic system maintenance. This will mitigate future nonpoint source pollution from failing septic systems.

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Documents

For More Information

To find out more about the NPS Program, call 512-239-6682 or e-mail us at nps@tceq.texas.gov.

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