Summary of Water Quality Impairments and Concerns

H-GAC's Clean Rivers Program coordinates with scientists and specialists to sample and evaluate local water quality. Samples are run through a battery of tests to measure physical characteristic, such as DO, bacteria and nutrient levels. Following a rigorous review process, the data are then submitted to the TCEQ. Every two years, TCEQ evaluates water bodies throughout the state and identifies those that do not meet their defined uses and criteria. This biennial assessment, called the Integrated Report, describes the status of water quality in all surface water bodies of the state including the greater Houston region.

The table on the following pages gives a brief overview of the water quality in H-GAC's Clean Rivers Program basins. Using the information found in the Integrated Report, H-GAC conducted additional analyses to gain a more in-depth understanding of local water quality conditions. The numbers in the table represent the percent of total segment length that is impaired for each parameter. Staff also reviewed trend data for each segment for a period of up to 15 years beginning in 1995 and interpreted which segments were exhibiting improvements or degradations. Parameter cells for segments showing significant improvement are colored green. Parameter cells for segments showing significant degradations are colored red. In many cases, there were conflicting trends at different monitoring stations within each water body, and H-GAC's determination of the overall trend was made on the basis of best professional judgment.

In addition to listing levels of impairment, H-GAC staff also interpreted the data and assigned one to five frogs to give a snapshot of overall water quality. The "frog" count is based on the percentage of each segment that is impaired and the severity of the impairment. Impairments relating to human health were deemed more severe than impairments for general uses.

Report Contents