Questions or Comments: tmdl@tceq.texas.gov
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Orange County Watersheds: A TMDL Project to Protect Aquatic Life and Recreational Uses

A community project to improve water quality for support of recreational and aquatic life uses. Total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) were developed and adopted for bacteria, dissolved oxygen, and pH. Stakeholders developed the approved implementation plan (I-Plan), which together with the TMDLs is the road map for improving water quality.

photo of Adams Bayou
Adams Bayou

Counties: Orange, Jasper, Newton
Parameters: Bacteria, dissolved oxygen, pH
River Basin: Sabine River
Segment: 0508, 0508A, 0508B, 0508C, 0511, 0511A, 0511B, 0511C, 0511E

On this page:

Background and Goals

Adams Bayou and Cow Bayou are located in southeast Texas. Their combined watersheds cover almost 250 square miles in the coastal area of the Sabine River Basin. The water flow in the bayous is intermittent, and periods of no flow are very common.

Water quality testing found that bacteria levels in the bayous and their tributaries may pose a health risk for swimmers. Low concentrations of dissolved oxygen in some areas of the creek indicate that conditions are not optimal for aquatic life.

The goals of the project are to:

  • reduce bacteria levels in the bayous to ensure that recreational use is safe, and
  • maintain concentrations of dissolved oxygen and pH in the bayous at levels that will sustain aquatic life.

The Sabine River AuthorityExit the TCEQ and other stakeholders worked with the TCEQ to develop the plan for improving water quality in the project watersheds.

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Get Involved

The Sabine River AuthorityExit the TCEQ, in partnership with the TCEQ, is coordinating the continuing efforts to implement the plan to improve water quality in Adams and Cow Bayous.

Next Meeting – Public Comment on the Draft Revised TMDLs

May 12, 2020
6:00 p.m.
Via Teleconference
Please Sign InExit the TCEQ

To join the meeting, dial 1-877-820-7831 and when prompted, enter the participant code 269684#. Please press the MUTE button on your phone so that background noise is not heard. Also, do NOT put your phone on HOLD during the meeting.

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 participate in the meeting should e-mail Roger Miranda. Please make accommodation requests as far in advance as possible.

Meeting Documents

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Status

Tracking of implementation progress allows stakeholders to evaluate actions taken, identify actions that may not be working, and make any changes as necessary.

Progress of Implementation

Progress of Updates to the TMDLs

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Comment on the Draft Revised TMDLs

The public is invited to comment on the proposed revised TMDLs for bacteria, dissolved oxygen, and pH in Adams Bayou, Cow Bayou, and associated tributaries.

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 May 26, 2020, and should reference 23 Draft Total Maximum Daily Loads for Indicator Bacteria, Dissolved Oxygen, and pH in Adams Bayou, Cow Bayou, and Associated Tributaries.

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

By Fax:
Attn: Mr. Roger Miranda
512-239-1414

Online at:
www6.tceq.texas.gov/rules/ecomments/ from April 24, 2020 through May 26, 2020.

Submit Comments at a Public Meeting

The TCEQ has scheduled a public meeting to receive comments on the proposed TMDLs:

May 12, 2020
6:00 p.m.
Via Teleconference
Please Sign InExit the TCEQ

To join the meeting, dial 1-877-820-7831 and when prompted, enter the participant code 269684#. Please press the MUTE button on your phone so that background noise is not heard. Also, do NOT put your phone on HOLD during the meeting.

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 participate in the meeting should e-mail Roger Miranda. Please make accommodation requests as far in advance as possible.

Meeting Documents

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Implementation Plan

Community stakeholders worked together to create this implementation plan. On August 5, 2015, the commission approved the stakeholder's I-Plan. 

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Total Maximum Daily Loads

The commission adopted these TMDLs on June 13, 2007. The EPA approved the TMDLs on August 28, 2007, at which time they 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 TMDLs 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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Reports and Other Documents

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For More Information

Please e-mail us at tmdl@tceq.texas.gov, and mention the Orange County 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