Questions or Comments: tmdl@tceq.texas.gov
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Mustang Bayou: A Community Project to Protect Recreational Uses

A project to reduce bacteria and protect recreational safety in the Mustang Bayou watershed. The stakeholders and TCEQ are developing total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) and an implementation plan (I-Plan), which together will be the road map for improving water quality.
photo of Mustang Bayou
Mustang Bayou at Alvin
Photo Courtesy of the
Houston-Galveston Area Council

Counties: Brazoria, Fort Bend
Parameter: Bacteria
Basins: Bays and Estuaries, San Jacinto-Brazos Coastal
Segments: 2432B, 2432C
Assessment Units (AUs): 2432A_01, 2432A_02, 2432D_01, 2432E_01

On this page:

Background and Goals

Mustang Bayou (Segment 2432A) is a tributary of Chocolate Bay (Segment 2432), an embayment of West Galveston Bay. The Mustang Bayou watershed, which includes Persimmon Bayou and New Bayou, is home to agricultural, residential, and commercial uses. Agricultural production is an important economic base for most of the watershed.

Mustang Bayou, Segment 2432A, is approximately 43 miles long and flows southeast, beginning in Fort Bend County and continuing through Brazoria County. Its headwaters are within the city limits of Missouri City, although most of the stream is within the boundaries of Brazoria County. Mustang Bayou has been heavily modified and channelized along most of its length. It flows into New Bayou about 5 miles upstream of Chocolate Bay. 

Persimmon Bayou, Segment 2432D, branches off from Mustang Bayou near the intersection of FM 2004 and CR 2917. The bayou flows southeastward for approximately 5 miles until it joins New Bayou near Chocolate Bay. New Bayou, Segment 2432E, flows southeastward about 16 miles and empties into Chocolate Bay.

Since 2010, high concentrations of certain fecal bacteria have been identified in Mustang Bayou. Fecal bacteria are found in both human and animal waste. The presence of these bacteria may indicate a health risk to people who swim or wade in the bayou—activities referred to as “contact recreation” in the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards.

The goal of this project is to improve water quality in order to protect recreational uses. Toward that goal, TCEQ and stakeholders are developing TMDLs for bacteria in the bayous. Stakeholders will also develop one I-Plan to reduce bacteria in Mustang, Persimmon, and New bayous, Chocolate Bayou, and Halls and Willow bayous, all of which are in the larger watershed that drains to Chocolate Bay.

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Get Involved

Staff from the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) have been working with stakeholder communities, interest groups, and local organizations to distribute information about this project and involve stakeholders in developing the I-Plan for watershed improvement. All public meetings about this project are open to anyone interested. Watch for meeting announcements here.

UPDATENext Meeting

August 24, 2021
5:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Online via ZOOM

Please register to attend the meetingExit the TCEQ. After you register, you will receive an email with instructions for joining the meeting on August 24.

At this meeting, H-GAC staff and stakeholders will discuss development of the TMDLs and a combined I-Plan for three TMDL watersheds, all of which are in the larger Chocolate Bayou watershed—Mustang Bayou, Chocolate Bayou, and Halls and Willow bayous.

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Contact the TMDL Program

Please email us at tmdl@tceq.texas.gov and mention the Mustang Bayou 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