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Guadalupe River Above Canyon Lake: Implementing a Plan to Protect Recreational Uses

A community project to keep recreation safe in this segment of the river by reducing bacteria levels. The adopted total maximum daily load (TMDL) and the approved implementation plan (I-Plan) combined are the road map to improving water quality in the creek.
photo of the Guadalupe River at Town Creek
Guadalupe River at the Confluence with Town Creek

County: Kerr
Parameter: Bacteria
River Basin: Guadalupe
Segments: 1806, 1806D, 1806E

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The goal of this project is to reduce bacteria concentrations to protect the safety of recreational uses. High concentrations of fecal bacteria, which are naturally found in both human and animal waste, may indicate a health risk to people who swim or wade in the creek—activities called “contact recreation” in the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards.

Water quality testing conducted prior to 2006 indicated that concentrations of bacteria were sometimes too high in Segment 1806 of the Guadalupe River, the Guadalupe River above Canyon Lake. The areas of concern were confined to two small assessment areas within the city of Kerrville: (1) one mile upstream of Flat Rock Dam to a confluence with Camp Meeting Creek, and (2) from RR 394 to one mile downstream.

Assessment in 2014 indicated that the impaired portions of Segment 1806 are now fully supporting the contact recreation use. However, the tributaries Quinlan Creek (Segment 1806D) and Town Creek (Segment 1806E) were added for nonsupport of contact recreation in 2014. Since the adopted TMDL was for the entire watershed, the TMDLs for these two tributaries were added through an addendum in the state's Water Quality Management Plan.

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Get Involved

The TCEQ is working with the Upper Guadalupe River AuthorityExit the TCEQ to keep the public informed of project status. Find out more about what it means to participate in TMDL projects.


The organizations listed below are partners in improving water quality in the Guadalupe River Above Canyon Lake. All of the links in this section exit the TCEQ website


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For More Information

Please e-mail us at, and mention the Guadalupe River 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