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

A project to reduce bacteria and protect recreational safety in Hillebrandt Bayou. The stakeholders and TCEQ developed a total maximum daily load (TMDL) and are working on an implementation plan (I-Plan), which together will be the road map for improving water quality. The TMDL is adopted.
photo of Hillebrandt Bayou
Hillebrandt Bayou
map of the Hillebrandt Bayou TMDL watershed

County: Jefferson
Parameter: Bacteria
Basin: Neches-Trinity Coastal
Segment: 0704
Assessment Unit (AU): 0704_02

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Background and Goal

High concentrations of bacteria, which are found in both human and animal waste, have been observed in the upstream assessment unit of Hillebrandt Bayou (AU 0704_02). 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 to protect recreational uses. Toward that goal, the TCEQ and stakeholders are developing a TMDL to reduce bacteria in Hillebrandt Bayou and a coordinated I-Plan for the Hillebrant Bayou and Neches River Tidal watersheds.

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Watershed Description

The Hillebrandt Bayou watershed lies in the gulf coast region of east Texas in the Neches-Trinity Coastal Basin. The city of Beaumont, in Jefferson County, encompasses nearly all of the watershed.

The impaired portion of Hillebrandt Bayou, AU 0704_02, flows from its meeting with Willow Marsh Bayou to a point roughly 110 yards upstream of State Highway 124 in Jefferson County, The AU's watershed is about 36 square miles. The dominant land covers are developed (70%), hay/pasture (14%), and woody wetlands (8%). The watershed is almost wholly within the city of Beaumont.

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Get Involved

Staff from the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) are working with 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 and on the TWRI websiteExit the TCEQ.

Meeting Records

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Adopted TMDL

The Commission adopted the TMDL on August 11, 2021. EPA approved it on February 1, 2022, at which time it becamne an update to the state's Water Quality Management Plan.

Reports

TWRI completed a technical report in 2020 that compiled and analyzed all available bacteria data and considered sources of the bacteria and their relative contributions.

photo of stakeholders at August 2019 meeting photo of presenter and stakeholders

Hillebrandt Bayou stakeholders at one of their meetings.

Contact the TMDL Program

Please email tmdl@tceq.texas.gov, and mention the Hillebrandt Bayou bacteria 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