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Clear Creek Above Tidal: A TMDL Project for Total Dissolved Solids and Chloride

A completed project to develop and implement total maximum daily loads for total dissolved solids and chloride in the freshwater portion of Clear Creek that is above tidal influence. The TCEQ withdrew these TMDLs via the July 2014 Update to the Water Quality Management Plan.
Clear Creek Above Tidal
Clear Creek Above Tidal

Counties: Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris
Parameters: chloride, total dissolved solids (TDS)
River Basin: San Jacinto-Brazos Coastal
Segment: 1102

On this page:

Summary

Clear Creek is a suburban freshwater stream located in the southernmost portion of the city of Houston, Texas. Water quality testing in 2002 found that concentrations of chlorides and total dissolved solids in Segment 1102, Clear Creek Above Tidal, were not optimum for supporting aquatic life.

The goal of this project was to reduce chloride and TDS in Clear Creek to levels that support a healthy aquatic community.

The TMDL Program found that the excess salinity was the result of a single discharge associated with dewatering of a sand and gravel quarry. This quarry was on top of the Mykawa Salt Dome and had salty groundwater.

That discharge was remediated via permit enforcement. Since then, the quarry operation has closed. In 2014, the TCEQ withdrew the TMDLs because the TMDL is no longer needed to manage the impairment for which it was written. Permitted dischargers other than the quarry and stormwater run-off have never been sources of the impairment, nor are they expected to be in the future.

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Adopted TMDLs

The commission first adopted these TMDLs on August 10, 2005. The commission adopted revisions to them on April 12, 2006. The EPA approved them on June 26, 2006, at which time they became part of the state's Water Quality Management Plan. The TCEQ withdrew these TMDLs via the July 2014 update to the Water Quality Management Plan. The EPA approved their withdrawal on 11/25/14.

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Updates to TMDLs

From time to time, it is necessary to revise TMDLs to account for changing conditions in the watershed, such as new or amended permits, or urban growth, or to correct oversights in the original TMDL report. Revisions to the load allocations in TMDLs are made via the state’s Water Quality Management Plan (WQMP), which is updated quarterly.

The WQMP provides projected effluent limits for use in planning and permitting activities under the Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES). The TCEQ reviews all applications for new and amended permits for conformance with applicable portions of the WQMP, including adopted TMDLs.

Revisions to the TMDL are documented in the approved WQMP update listed below.

The TCEQ withdrew these TMDLs via the approved WQMP update listed below. The EPA approved their withdrawal on 11/25/14.

Learn more about  WQMP updates and about opportunities to comment on revisions to them.

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Implementation Plan

The commission approved this I-Plan on August 23, 2006.

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For More Information

Please e-mail us at tmdl@tceq.texas.gov and mention the Clear Creek TDS project in the subject line. Or call us at 512-239-6682.

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