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North Bosque River: Continuous Water Quality Monitoring

Operation of stations on the North Bosque River near Clifton to continuously monitor water quality.

Background

The North Bosque River (Segments 1226 and 1255 in the Brazos River Basin) originates north of Stephenville and flows southeast over a primarily rural but developing landscape, eventually flowing into Lake Waco (Segment 1225). Nutrient and algal concentrations in excess of screening levels established by TCEQ to protect water quality have been found in some parts of the river since 1996. Because of the high algal levels, TCEQ listed the river as impaired because it failed to meet narrative criteria in the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards. Excessive algal growth can lead to taste and odor problems for drinking water and can cause low levels of dissolved oxygen within a stream, which could kill fish.

In response to the water quality concerns, TCEQ completed two total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) in 2001 to reduce loading of phosphorus, the nutrient found most likely to limit algal blooms in the river if its levels were reduced. TCEQ approved a subsequent TMDL Implementation Plan (I-Plan) in 2003. Dairy-waste application fields and municipal wastewater treatment plants were shown to be the major controllable sources of phosphorus in the watershed.

Since approval of the I-Plan, many projects and activities have been put in place to control and remove sources of phosphorus loadings in the watershed. To assess the effectiveness of these activities in improving water quality, TCEQ installed and operates many stations in the watershed where water quality is continuously monitored.

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Project Description

This project supported continued operation by the Texas Institute for Applied Environmental Research of two stations in the continuous water quality monitoring network near Clifton and SH 6 through August of 2013. The data from these stations helps staff of the TCEQ Stephenville field office to target field investigations to likely sources when pollutant concentrations exceed trigger levels.

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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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