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Upper San Antonio River: Implementing a Watershed Protection Plan in San Antonio

San Antonio River Authority (SARA) installed low impact development features as part of implementing the Upper San Antonio River Watershed Protection Plan.

Background

Since 2000, portions of the Upper San Antonio River (Segment 1911) had not met state water quality standards for bacteria. In 2006, the San Antonio River Authority (SARA) completed the Upper San Antonio River Watershed Protection Plan (WPP), and in 2007 TCEQ adopted a total maximum daily load (TMDL) addressing this segment. The WPP was updated and approved in 2015. This update calls for a 30% reduction in bacteria loading from stormwater across the watershed. The WPP recommends implementing low impact development (LID), a best management practice (BMP) for reducing stormwater pollution.

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Project Description

This project, led by the San Antonio River Authority (SARA), demonstrated the feasibility of LID retrofit projects in a heavily urbanized area to reduce bacteria loading. They installed rainwater harvesting cisterns, permeable pavement, and bioretention cells at two of their properties. The selected sites presented challenges that offer important demonstration opportunities, including limited unpaved land and limited right-of-way at each site. SARA also conducted stormwater quality monitoring to evaluate the performance of the BMPs. The project was completed in 2018.

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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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