The Lower Neches River Basin can loosely be described as the watershed area for the river downstream of Lake B.A. Steinhagen, which lies between Tyler and Jasper counties. The Lower Neches Valley Authority manages water resources in the basin and works to provide freshwater supplies to area users, protect water quality, insure affordability of water resources and enhance economic development in the area.
Despite generally good water quality across the Lower Neches River Basin, several impairments do exist. Elevated concentrations of E. coli and enterococcus in some water bodies impair recreational uses in these water bodies. As a result, these water bodies are listed in the Texas Integrated Report of Surface Water Quality for not meeting the state’s water quality standard.
Through this project, TWRI is undertaking a multi-year effort to address bacterial impairments in the Lower Neches River Basin and Hillebrandt Bayou. This involves the characterization of watershed conditions, education and outreach efforts to raise awareness of water quality impairments locally, and facilitating a stakeholder process to develop plans to restore instream water quality.
- Characterize potential causes and sources of pollution through water quality and watershed-related data gathering and assessment to develop a better understanding of the factors causing bacteria impairments
- Engaging watershed stakeholders through public participation programs including general education program delivery and meeting with key stakeholders to understand water quality issues and determine a preferred restoration approach
- Initiate efforts to form and facilitate watershed stakeholder groups to develop local plans to restore water quality