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Plum Creek: Watershed Protection Plan Implementation

Several grant-supported projects that have implemented the Plum Creek Watershed Protection Plan through illicit discharge monitoring, low impact development, and conducting education and outreach programming.

Map of the Plum Creek watershed with stream segments.

Project Area

River Basin: Guadalupe

Water Bodies: Plum Creek (1810)

Location: Hays and Caldwell counties


Since 2004, Plum Creek has consistently been identified in the Texas Integrated Report of Surface Water Quality as exceeding the primary contact recreation standard due to high levels of bacteria. Nutrient levels have also been identified as a concern. In 2005, the Plum Creek Watershed Partnership was formed to pilot coordinated watershed planning efforts in Texas and to address the water quality concerns within the Plum Creek watershed. The Plum Creek Watershed Protection Plan (WPP) was developed in 2006, accepted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2008, and updated in 2014. Cities in the Plum Creek watershed, experiencing rapid population growth, are implementing strategies including low impact development (LID) to reduce nonpoint source pollution in runoff. LID uses or mimics natural processes like infiltration to manage stormwater and the pollutants it carries.

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Project Descriptions

August 2009 – August 2011

The City of Kyle mapped and evaluated the existing storm water system, retrofitted detention facilities to improve water quality, implemented storm sewer education and awareness, installed pet waste stations, facilitated creek clean-up days, and implemented city street sweeping. These activities were identified in the Plum Creek WPP as important for reducing bacteria and nutrient load contributions from the City of Kyle.

September 2014 – November 2016

The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority conducted illicit discharge monitoring of the City of Lockhart’s stormwater conveyance system. The system was monitored under dry weather conditions to identify contributions of target pollutants from illicit discharges. If water was present in the conveyance system, water quality samples were collected and analyzed for the following pollutants of concern in the Plum Creek watershed: E. coli, nitrate-nitrogen, ammonia-nitrogen, and total phosphorus. When illicit discharge was identified, the City of Lockhart was notified for enforcement of the city’s drainage ordinance. Subsequent sampling at the locations where illicit discharges were detected was conducted to verify the reduction or elimination of illicit discharges.

November 2015 – February 2020

Caldwell County retrofit several LID features at the County Justice Center in Lockhart, including a rainwater harvesting cistern, a rain garden, and xeriscaping. Caldwell County also conducted an education campaign at the justice center, which included installing permanent signage, disseminating brochures about the LID features, and hosting volunteer workdays and tours.

September 2017 – August 2021

The 2014 Texas Integrated Report of Surface Water Quality described new concerns for elevated bacteria and nitrate, and depressed dissolved oxygen for Town Branch, a small tributary of Plum Creek located in downtown Lockhart. To address these water quality concerns the City of Lockhart implemented LID and education and outreach measures. Project tasks included conducting a riparian evaluation of Town Branch to plan and design improved sustainable riparian zones along the creek, building urban riparian best management practices, constructing a LID feature, and conducting public outreach and education activities.

January 2017 – May 2022

The City of Kyle installed LID features including a rainwater harvesting system, a bioswale, xeriscaping, and permeable pavement parking spaces at a new Wastewater Treatment Facility Operations Center. The center was also used to expand nonpoint source pollution outreach and education efforts. The City of Kyle plans to give tours to citizens, municipal officials, and local developers. Educational materials are available on-site to new residents, local businesses, and community leaders.

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For More Information

Plum Creek Watershed Partnership webpage

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

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