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Lower San Antonio River: A Community TMDL Project to Protect Recreational Uses

A community project to reduce bacteria concentrations and protect recreational safety in the river. The TMDLs are adopted; stakeholders are developing the implementation plan. Together, the TMDLs and I-Plan provide the road map to improving water quality.
photo of the Lower San Antonio River at FM 791
Lower San Antonio River
at FM 791

Watershed Counties: DeWitt, Goliad, Karnes, Refugio, Victoria
Parameter: Bacteria
Basin: San Antonio River
Segment: 1901

On this page:


In the Lower San Antonio River, Segment 1901, water quality testing found concentrations of bacteria that may pose a health risk for swimmers. Swimming and other forms of recreation in which people come into direct contact with the water are called “contact recreation” in the state’s standards for water quality.

The goal of this project is to reduce bacteria concentrations in the Lower San Antonio River to within acceptable risk levels for contact recreation.

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Get Involved

In all our projects, we seek opinions and information from stakeholders—people who represent government, permitted facilities, agriculture, business, environmental, and community and private interests in the watershed. All stakeholders are welcome to get involved in developing the strategy to improve water quality. Public meetings about the project are open to everyone. Texas A&M AgriLife Research is coordinating with stakeholders to develop an implementation plan for the TMDL. Find out more about what it means to participate in TMDL projects.

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Comment on the Proposed I-Plan

The public is invited to comment on the proposed I-Plan for bacteria. Community stakeholders worked together to create this implementation plan.

You may submit your comments in writing, or orally at a public meeting.

Submit Comments in Writing

Written comments must be received at the TCEQ no later than midnight on April 23, 2018, and should reference the Implementation Plan for Five TMDLs for Bacteria in the Lower San Antonio River Watershed.

By Mail:
Attn: Ms. Lauren Oertel
Water Quality Planning Division
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
MC 203
P. O. Box 13087
Austin, Texas, 78711-3087

By Fax:
Attn: Ms. Lauren Oertel

Online at: from May 23 to April 23, 2018.

Submit Comments at a Public Meeting

The TCEQ has scheduled a public meeting to receive comments on the proposed I-Plan:

April 12, 2018
6:00 p.m.
ConocoPhillips Eagle Ford Office
Room 411
3778 CR 344
Kenedy 78119

At this meeting, people have the opportunity to present oral statements when called upon in order of registration. An agency staff member will give a brief presentation at the start of the meeting and will be available to answer questions before and after all public comments have been received.

Persons with disabilities who have special communication or other accommodation needs who are planning to attend the meeting should contact the commission at (512) 239-6682. Please make accommodation requests as far in advance as possible.

Adopted TMDL

The commission adopted the TMDL on August 20, 2008.

The EPA approved the TMDL on October 20, 2008, at which time it became part of the state’s Water Quality Management Plan.

Updates to TMDLs

From time to time, it is necessary to revise TMDLs to account for changing conditions in the watershed, such as new or amended permits, or urban growth, or to correct oversights in the original TMDL report. Revisions to the load allocations in TMDLs are made via the state’s WQMP, which is updated quarterly.

The WQMP provides projected effluent limits for use in planning and permitting activities under the Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES). The TCEQ reviews all applications for new and amended permits for conformance with applicable portions of the WQMP, including adopted TMDLs.

Revisions to the TMDL are documented in the approved WQMP updates listed below.

Learn more about WQMP updates and about opportunities to comment on revisions to them.

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For More Information

Please e-mail us at, and mention the Lower San Antonio River Bacteria TMDL 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