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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 (I-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 I-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 2018 include:

  • Drafted and distributed the annual TMDL Questionnaire to TMDL stakeholders regarding I-Plan efforts.
  • Facilitated and coordinated a workshop on the Texas Stream Team Citizen Scientist program on March 6, 2018. A total of 26 attendees participated in the workshop.
  • Facilitated and coordinated the Texas Stream Team: Train-the-Trainer workshop featuring core water quality sampling methods on July 25, 2018. A total of 21 attendees participated in the workshop.
  • Completed the Greater Trinity River Region TMDL Implementation Plan Status ReportExit the TCEQ Adobe Acrobat PDF Document. Incorporated new data, information, maps, and administrative updates.
  • Coordinated and facilitated two Upper Trinity River Basin Coordination Committee meetings with the goal of facilitating communication between the watershed coordinators in the NCTCOG region.
  • Created a summary of financial resources available for water quality improvement projects in the NCTCOG region.
  • Supported the Doo the Right Thing Campaign with 1,147 individuals taking a pledge to eliminate pet waste from yards, helping to reduce bacteria levels in stormwater runoff.
  • Passed a resolution to support the inclusion of the Sycamore Creek tributary segment and addendum to the I-Plan.
  • Facilitated meetings with the TMDL Stormwater, Wastewater, and Monitoring Technical Subcommittees to plan and coordinate bacteria reducing projects.
  • Facilitated the TMDL Coordination Committee to give program updates, discuss upcoming projects, and gain approval from committee members to support the inclusion of the Sycamore Creek TMDL.

Member Highlights

  • City of Irving
    • The NCTCOG Public Works Council designated the City of Irving’s status as a Certified Silver Integrated Stormwater Management (iSWM) Community on June 27, 2018.
    • Actively promoted the Fats, Rags, Oil and Grease (FROG) Program to educate the public on proper FROG disposal to reduce Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs).

More details about the stakeholders' activities are available on the NCTCOG websiteExit the TCEQ and in the Greater Trinity River Region TMDL Implementation Plan Status ReportExit the TCEQ Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

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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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For More Information

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