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Elm and Sandies Creeks: Evaluating Aquatic Life and Recreational Uses

A completed project to evaluate high bacteria and low dissolved oxygen concentrations in Elm and Sandies creeks in south central Texas

photo of Sandies Creek
Sandies Creek

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Counties: De Witt, Guadalupe, Gonzales, Karnes, Wilson
Parameters: Bacteria, dissolved oxygen
Basin: Guadalupe River
Segments: 1803A, 1803B

Background and Status

In Elm Creek and Sandies Creek in south central Texas, water quality assessment in 1999 found elevated levels of fecal coliform bacteria and low concentrations of dissolved oxygen. The TCEQ worked with the Guadalupe-Blanco River AuthorityExit the TCEQ and other regional stakeholders to develop a plan to restore the quality of the affected streams. The program's South Central Texas Streams project verified the need for further assessment to determine the most appropriate strategy for the creeks.

Disease-causing bacteria from human and animal waste may threaten public health. People who swim or wade in the creek may be at risk. Oxygen, which dissolves in water, is essential for the survival of aquatic life. While the amount of dissolved oxygen in water fluctuates naturally, various human activities can cause unusually or chronically low dissolved oxygen levels, which may harm fish and other aquatic organisms.

Stakeholders and the TCEQ determined that an analysis of use attainability of both the aquatic life and contact recreation uses was the most appropriate strategy for the creeks. No TMDLs were developed.

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Public Participation

The TCEQ informed stakeholders about this project at public meetings and in print and electronic media. Meetings about TMDL projects are open to everyone.

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Project Documents

Final reports from the assessment to determine the need for TMDLs, in PDF.

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For More Information

Please e-mail us at, and mention the Elm and Sandies Creeks project in the subject line. Or call us at 512-239-6682.

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communities working together taking care of our rivers, lakes, and bays