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North Bosque: Evaluating Effectiveness of TMDL Implementation

A project that conducted routine and storm event monitoring on the North Bosque River to evaluate effects associated with changes in land management practices.


The North Bosque River (Segments 1226 and 1255) originates near Stephenville and flows southeast over a primarily rural landscape, eventually flowing into Lake Waco (Segment 1225). Nutrient and algal concentrations in excess of screening levels established by the TCEQ have been found since 1996. 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 water quality concerns, the TCEQ completed two total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) for phosphorus, the limiting nutrient of the watershed, in 2001. A subsequent TMDL Implementation Plan (I-Plan) was adopted 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 nutrient loadings in the watershed. To assess the effectiveness of these activities in improving water quality, the TCEQ installed many monitoring stations  in the watershed.

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Project Description

This project maintained sampling at eight monitoring stations and conducted storm-event sampling at seven stations. The monitoring results were compared with updated land use and management data to evaluate how changes have influenced water quality. Data from more than a year of monitoring have been entered into the SWQMIS database.

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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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