The streams addressed by this project are located within the Lake Houston watershed of the San Jacinto River Basin. The southern part of the watershed includes portions of the city of Houston and its northern suburbs. The Woodlands and the City of Conroe are the largest municipalities located entirely within the watershed. Other smaller municipalities located in the watershed include Cleveland, Cut and Shoot, Magnolia, New Waverly, Pinehurst, Splendora, Tomball, and Waller. The northern part of the watershed is relatively rural, and includes portions of the Sam Houston National Forest. The total drainage area for Lake Houston is 2,850 square miles. The TMDL watersheds are located primarily within Montgomery and San Jacinto Counties, but also include portions of Grimes, Harris, Liberty, and Walker Counties.
About the TMDL Project
The Lake Houston, East Fork & West Fork San Jacinto, and Crystal Creek Watersheds TMDL project was initiated through a contract between the TCEQ and Texas Institute for Applied Environmental Research (TIAER). The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) first identified the bacteria impairments within the West Fork San Jacinto River in 2002, and within East Fork San Jacinto River, Crystal Creek, and Lake Houston in 2006 and each subsequent edition through the 2012 Texas Water Quality Integrated Report for Clean Water Sections 305(b) and 303 (d) (formerly called the Texas Water Quality Inventory and 303(d) List).
This project considered bacteria impairments in 4 water bodies (segments) consisting of 7 total assessment units (AUs). The complete list of water bodies and their identifying segment_AU number are as follows:
- Lake Houston 1002_06
- East Fork San Jacinto River 1003_01, 1003_02, 1003_03
- West Fork San Jacinto River 1004_01, 1004_02
- Crystal Creek (unclassified water body) 1004D_01
Watershed stakeholders and interested organizations met between 2014 and 2017 to discuss the TMDL, considered the best approaches to reduce fecal bacteria and determined to join the Bacteria Implementation Group (BIG) and implement the BIG's Implementation Plan developed to reduce fecal bacteria . The East and West Fork of the San Jacinto River joined the BIG in October 2016. The stakeholders continue to meet annually to discuss implementation.
Additional TMDL Information
Please see the TCEQ's website for more information.