Questions or Comments:
You are here:

Lavaca River Above Tidal and Rocky Creek: A Community Project to Protect Recreational Uses

A project to reduce bacteria and protect recreational safety in the Lavaca River Above Tidal and Rocky Creek. The community has developed an Implementation Plan (I-Plan), which together with total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) developed by the TCEQ with community feedback, provide the the road map for improving water quality. The commission has adopted the TMDLs and approved the I-Plan.

photo of Rocky Creek
Rocky Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Texas Water Resources Institute

Counties: Lavaca, Jackson
Parameter: Bacteria
River Basin: Lavaca
Segment: 1602, 1602B

On this page:

Background and Goals

The Lavaca River Above Tidal (Segment 1602) and Rocky Creek (Segment 1602B) are located on the Texas Gulf Coast. The watershed of the combined segments lies primarily in Lavaca and Jackson counties. The above-tidal portion of the Lavaca River is a perennial (always flowing) stream. Rocky Creek, a tributary of the Lavaca River, is also perennial, and joins the Lavaca River just below the city of Hallettsville.

High concentrations of bacteria, which are found in both human and animal waste, have been observed in both water bodies—since 2008 for the Lavaca River Above Tidal and since 2014 for Rocky Creek. The presence of these bacteria may indicate a health risk to people who swim or wade in the water bodies—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, the TCEQ is developing a TMDLs and an I-Plan to reduce bacteria in the Lavaca River and Rocky Creek.

Back to the top of the page Back to top

Get Involved

Staff from the Texas Water Resources InstituteExit the TCEQ worked with stakeholders to distribute information about this project and involve them in developing the TMDLs and I-Plan for watershed improvement. All public meetings about this project are open to anyone interested. See the For More Information section below to contact the TMDL Program about ways you could be involved.

Back to the top of the page Back to top


The commission adopted these TMDLs on August 14, 2019. The EPA approved them on October 25, 2019, at which time they become part of the state's Water Quality Management Plan.


The commission approved this I-Plan on August 14, 2019.

Back to the top of the page Back to top


Technical Support Document Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

For More Information

Please send an e-mail to, and mention the Lavaca River bacteria project in the subject line. Or call us at 512-239-6682.

Back to the top of the page Back to top

communities working together taking care of our rivers, lakes, and bays