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Tres Palacios Creek: A Community Project to Protect Recreational Uses

A project to reduce bacteria and protect recreational safety in Tres Palacios Creek. The stakeholders and the TCEQ are developing a total maximum daily load (TMDL) and implementation plan, which together will be the road map for improving water quality.
photo of Tres Palacios Creek
Tres Palacios Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Texas Institute for
Applied Environmental Research

Counties: Wharton, Matagorda
Parameter: Bacteria
Coastal Basin: Colorado–Lavaca
Segment: 1501

Background and Goals

The Tres Palacios Creek (Segment 1501) watershed is located along the Texas Gulf Coast midway between the cities of Victoria and Houston. The creek flows into Tres Palacios Bay, and then into Matagorda Bay. Segment 1501 is the portion of Tres Palacios Creek that is influenced by tidal action, meaning the tidal segment receives freshwater inflows from the watershed and saline water from Tres Palacios Bay.

Since 2006, high concentrations of bacteria, which are found in both human and animal waste, have been observed in the creek. 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 in order to protect recreational uses. Toward that goal, the TCEQ is developing a total maximum daily load (TMDL) and an implementation plan (I-Plan) to reduce bacteria in Tres Palacios Creek.

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Get Involved

Staff from the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) have been working with stakeholder 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. The next meeting will be the public comment meeting for the TMDL and I-Plan Watch for meeting announcements here and on the TWRI website Exit the TCEQ.

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Draft Total Maximum Daily Load and Draft Implementation Plan

Public comment on the proposed TMDL and the proposed I-Plan closed on August 21, 2017. Community stakeholders worked with the TCEQ to develop the TMDL and worked together to create the implementation plan. There will be notification on this page if the TMDL is adopted by the commission and the I-Plan approved. If adopted, the TMDL will become part of the state's Water Quality Management Plan.

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Reports

Technical Support Document Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

Contact Us

Please send an e-mail to tmdl@tceq.texas.gov, and mention the Tres Palacios 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