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ALLEN BERTHOLD TEXAS WATER RESOURCES INSTITUTE Water Quality and Copano Bay Watershed Efforts.

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Presentation on theme: "ALLEN BERTHOLD TEXAS WATER RESOURCES INSTITUTE Water Quality and Copano Bay Watershed Efforts."— Presentation transcript:

1 ALLEN BERTHOLD TEXAS WATER RESOURCES INSTITUTE Water Quality and Copano Bay Watershed Efforts

2 Copano Bay and Its Watershed

3 Purpose for Today: The Clean Water Act Federal Clean Water Act (CWA) Main goal is to restore and maintain the biological, chemical and physical integrity of the Nations waters. Goal of CWA is to provide water quality suitable for the protection and propagation of fish, shellfish and wildlife while providing for recreation in and on the water U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) administers and implements CWA Requires individual states to set water quality standards

4 Bacteria in Texas Waters Texas sets water quality standards on the amount of bacteria that a water body can contain 2 types of use in Copano Bay Contact Recreation Oyster Harvesting Bacteria Geometric Mean (GM) standards for E. coli in freshwaters are: Primary Contact Recreation (126 cfu/100 mL) Involves a significant risk of water ingestion Wading children Swimming Whitewater kayaking/canoeing/rafting Waterskiing, diving, tubing, surfing

5 Bacteria in Texas Waters Secondary Contact Recreation 1 (630 cfu/100 mL) Commonly occur but have limited body contact incidental to shoreline activities that pose less significant risk of water ingestion Fishing Motorboating Incidental body contact from shore Secondary Contact Recreation 2 (1,030 cfu/100 mL) Activities that occur less frequently than Secondary Contact Recreation 1 due to physical characteristics of the waterbody and limited public access

6 Bacteria in Texas Waters Noncontact Recreation (2060 cfu/100 mL) Activities that do not involve a significant risk of water ingestion such as those with limited body contact incidental to shoreline activity Birding Hiking/biking Where Primary and Secondary Contact Recreation should not occur due to unsafe conditions such as ship and barge traffic

7 Tidal and Oyster Water Standards Bacteria Geometric Mean (GM) standards for tidal waters are: Enterococci (tidal waters) – 35 cfu/100mL Bacteria standards for Oyster harvesting waters are: Fecal Coliform (oyster harvesting waters) - 14 cfu/100mL* * Applies to the median value of observed data

8 Sources of Bacteria Fecal material from warm-blooded animals In other words, anything with hair, fur, or feathers Bacteria are naturally occurring in the intestinal tract

9 How does Bacteria get into Creeks? Direct deposition Animals directly deposit fecal material into the water Birds above water, ducks on water, livestock & wildlife drinking Non-Point Sources Storm water runoff from landscape Fecal material runoff from landscape Pet waste, livestock, wildlife Failing septic systems Point Sources Improperly treated waste water treatment discharge Illegal dumping Storm water from cities

10 What Happens When Water has Too Much Bacteria CWA requires that all waterbodies exceeding standards be identified Those identified are placed on the Texas Integrated Report for Clean Water Act Sections 305(b) and 303(d) Water quality monitoring has shown elevated levels of bacteria within various waterbodies in the watershed Copano Bay/Port Bay/ Mission Bay first listed in 1998

11 Methods to Address Bacteria Impairments Recreational Use Attainability Analysis Ex. one currently in progress on Aransas Creek Developing a Plan Total Maximum Daily Load and Implementation Plan Watershed Protection Plan

12 Attempts to Address the Bacteria Impairment Seven Public Meetings from November 2005 – December 2010 Covered various topics including: Overview of TMDLs Bacterial Source Tracking (phases I and II) Modeling results (and revised results) Additional monitoring results Attempts to form a Watershed Advisory Group (WAG) Notes and presentations available at

13 Todays Meeting Goal – to deliver information to local stakeholders so that an informed decision on how to best approach the impairment can be made Next presentation will be about: An overview of alternatives to addressing water quality impairments An explanation of the TMDL and I-Plan process An explanation of the WPP process

14 Questions? Kevin Wagner Texas Water Resources Institute Allen Berthold Texas Water Resources Institute


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