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Upper Guadalupe River: A Plan to Reduce Bacteria

This project aimed to reduce bacteria levels in a portion of the Upper Guadalupe River, within the City of Kerrville, by controlling waterfowl populations and bird nesting under river bridges, as well as implementing education programs about management of septic systems.


A portion of the Upper Guadalupe River (Segment 1806) in Kerrville, has had high concentrations of bacteria since 2002. High bacteria can pose a health risk to people who swim or wade in the water body—activities called “contact recreation” in the state’s standards for water quality.

In 2007, the commission adopted a total maximum daily load (TMDL) for the impaired reach of the river, which includes two small areas within the city of Kerrville. In 2011, the commission approved a TMDL Implementation Plan developed by stakeholders in the watershed.

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Project Description

The Upper Guadalupe River Authority coordinated with personnel from the City of Kerrville, Kerr County, and the Texas Department of Transportation to install structures that deter birds on bridges, manage waterfowl along the river, and develop a "Homeowners Septic System Guide." The River Authority also collected routine water samples to measure the impact of these measures on bacteria levels in the river.

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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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