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Plum Creek: Implementing a Watershed Protection Plan in Lockhart

A project that implemented portions of the Plum Creek WPP in Lockhart.

Background

From 2004 through 2008, Plum Creek (Segment 1810) did not meet water quality standards because bacteria concentrations exceeded the criteria used to evaluate attainment of the contact recreation use. These bacteria are naturally found in the intestines of humans, livestock, wildlife, and pets. Although they are not generally disease-causing, their presence in water indicate the potential presence of disease-causing microorganisms from fecal contamination. Therefore, higher levels of bacteria in water mean a higher risk to humans of contracting diseases by ingesting water during swimming, wading, or kayaking — activities, called “contact recreation,” in the state’s standards for water quality.

Additionally, the lower reaches of Plum Creek had concerns for excess nutrients. Excessive amounts of nutrients can cause extensive algae growth which can deplete oxygen in the water and ultimately harm aquatic organisms.

In 2005, the Plum Creek Watershed Partnership was formed to coordinate the development of the Plum Creek WPPExit the TCEQ in coordination with the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board. It was accepted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2008 and has been in the implementation phase since 2009. The WPP recommends several management measures to prevent or mitigate nonpoint source pollution in the watershed with the goal of improving water quality.

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Project Description

The City of Lockhart implemented several urban nonpoint source management measures of the Plum Creek WPP. Activities related to urban stormwater included:

  • Mapping the city's existing stormwater system
  • Identifying and prioritizing improvements in the stormwater system to prevent pollution in the creek
  • Cleaning out storm drains
  • Installing 80 stormwater inlet protection devices with bilingual signage
  • Street sweeping approximately 230 lane miles throughout the city

Education and outreach activities included:

  • Installing and maintaining existing dog waste stations
  • Facilitating creek clean-up events
  • Facilitating household hazardous waster collection days

The project was completed in August 2013.

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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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