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Greater Trinity Region: Implementing a Plan to Protect Recreational Uses

The goal of this project is reduce bacteria levels and protect recreational safety in waterways of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The stakeholders and the TCEQ developed total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) and an implementation plan, which together are the road map to improving water quality. The TCEQ has adopted the TMDLs and approved the Implementation Plan.

fishing at Lower West Oakland LakeTrinity River Segment 0841 at Collins Streetheron on the Trinity River

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Watershed Counties: Dallas, Tarrant
Parameter: Bacteria
River Basin: Trinity
Segments:  0805, 0806E, 0822A, 0822B, 0841, 0841B, 0841C, 0841E, 0841F, 0841G, 0841H, 0841J, 0841K, 0841L, 0841M, 0841N, 0841R, 0841T, 0841U, 0841V

Greater Trinity Project Navigation



Bacteria concentrations are occasionally elevated in portions of the Trinity River that flow through Dallas and Tarrant counties. High bacteria concentrations might pose a risk to people who swim or wade in natural waters. Swimming and wading are called “contact recreation” in the state’s standards for water quality; the term refers to all recreation in which people are likely to swallow natural waters.

Watershed Description

The watersheds for the Greater Trinity River I-Plan encompass an area of 406 square miles. The human population is 1.33 million as of 2013, with a population density of approximately 3,232 people per square mile. The Implementation Plan implements TMDLs for:


The goal of this project is to reduce bacteria concentrations and protect recreational safety by implementing total maximum daily loads. A TMDL is like a budget for pollutants—it estimates the amount of a pollutant that a water body can receive from categories of sources and still support its designated uses.

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Get Involved

The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) Exit the TCEQ is working with stakeholders to implement bacteria TMDLs throughout their region.

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Status and Activities

Cities in the watershed continue to address bacteria levels in the impaired waterways covered by the Implementation Plan. Highlights from 2017 include:

  • Developed and distributed a TMDL Information Request. Collected information from TMDL area stakeholders about TMDL I-Plan efforts.
  • Attended public meetings in preparation for the inclusion of the Sycamore Creek watershed to the Greater Trinity I-Plan.
  • Completed the Greater Trinity River Region TMDL Implementation Plan Status Report Adobe Acrobat PDF DocumentExit the TCEQ. Incorporated data and information from the Four Total Maximum Daily Loads for Indicator Bacteria in the Cottonwood Creek, Fish Creek, Kirby Creek, and Crockett Branch Watershed Upstream of Mountain Creek into the current I-Plan.
  • Coordinated and facilitated the North Texas Urban Feral Hog Forum in May 2017, which engaged nearly 50 interested stakeholders.
  • Helped plan and promote the North Texas Feral Hog Conference in November 2017, led by our partner agency, Trinity River Authority, which created further progress on Strategy 4.0: Feral hog management.
  • Created a Texas Stream Team web page on the NCTCOG website including an overview of the program, contacts, and equipment information.
  • Coordinated and facilitated the Sanitary Sewer Overflow Initiative (SSOI) Benefits webinar on August 21, 2017. The webinar had 31 participants, with speakers including Mary Gugliuzza from the Fort Worth Department and Scott Hoelzle from the North Texas Municipal Water District.

More details about the stakeholders' activities are available on the NCTCOG website Exit the TCEQ and in the Greater Trinity River Region TMDL Implementation Plan Status Report Adobe Acrobat PDF DocumentExit the TCEQ.

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Arlington Conservation Council
City of Arlington
City of Bedford
City of Cockrell Hill
City of Coppell
City of Dallas
City of Euless
City of Fort Worth
City of Grand Prairie
City of Grapevine
City of Irving
City of Keller
City of Kennedale
City of North Richland Hills
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART)
Dallas County Utility & Reclamation District
Dallas Downriver Club
Dallas Regional Chamber
Dalworth Soil and Water Conservation District
DFW International Airport
Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce
Greater Fort Worth Sierra Club
North Texas Tollway Authority
Park Cities Municipal Utility District (MUD)
Southwest Paddler
Tarrant County
Tarrant Regional Water District
Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT)
Trinity River Authority (TRA)
Trinity River Environmental Education Society (TREES)

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Contact Us

Please e-mail us at tmdl@tceq.texas.gov, and mention the Greater Trinity River plan 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