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Water: Nutrients

Texas Criteria Development Progress

Texas State 

This page provides information about the progress Texas has made towards the development of numeric criteria and shows what statewide and site-specific criteria are currently in effect.

Note: The information on the tabs below reflects the information available on EPA’s Water Quality Standards Repository. The criteria presented here will be updated as new water quality standards documents are posted to the Repository.


Numeric Criteria Development

The information presented below gives a summary of state progress towards the development of numeric criteria. The information comes from EPA’s “State Adoption of Numeric Nutrient Standards (1998-2008)” report, current water quality standards, program activity measures, and nutrient criteria development plans. Links to the Texas’s Nutrient Criteria Plan and state water quality standards are also provided.


Existing Numeric Criteria

Waterbody Type N P Chl-a Clarity
Lakes and Reservoirs        
Rivers and Streams        
Estuaries        
Wetlands        

S = Statewide    W = For selected waterbody    N ⁄ A=Not Applicable

Note: See Statewide Criteria and Site-specific Criteria tabs for more information.

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Plan:

WQS: Texas Water Quality Standards
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality: Surface Water Quality Standards Exit EPA Disclaimer

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Milestone Information

Milestone information updated May 2012.


Milestone
Rivers and Streams Lakes and Reservoirs Estuaries and Coastal Waters
TN TP TN TP TN TP
Planning for criteria development  No date provided  No date provided  No date provided  No date provided  No date provided  No date provided
Collection of information and data  No date provided  No date provided  No date provided  No date provided  No date provided  No date provided
Analysis of information and data  No date provided  No date provided  No date provided  No date provided  No date provided  No date provided
Proposal of criteria  No date provided  No date provided  No date provided  No date provided  No date provided  No date provided
Adoption of criteria (EPA-Approved)  No date provided  No date provided  No date provided  No date provided  No date provided  No date provided

TN: Total Nitrogen; TP: Total Phosphorus

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Statewide Criteria

The information on this tab shows EPA-approved nutrient criteria for Texas’s waterbodies. The language presented below comes directly from state water quality standards and applies to all waterbodies within the state (unless a waterbody type or designated use is noted). Criteria applicable to specific waterbodies within the state can be found on the “Site-specific Criteria” tab. For more information, refer to the Texas water quality standards.

The following information reflects Texas’s water quality standards posted to the Water Quality Standards Repository as of November 2010 (EPA-approved November 2009).

§307.4. General Criteria.

(b) Aesthetic parameters.

(1) Concentrations of taste and odor producing substances shall not interfere with the production of potable water by reasonable water treatment methods, impart unpalatable flavor to food fish including shellfish, result in offensive odors arising from the waters, or otherwise interfere with the reasonable use of the water in the state.

(4) Surface waters shall be maintained in an aesthetically attractive condition.

(e) Nutrients.

Nutrients from permitted discharges or other controllable sources shall not cause excessive growth of aquatic vegetation which impairs an existing, attainable, or designated use. Site-specific nutrient criteria, nutrient permit limitations, and/or separate rules to control nutrients in individual watersheds will be established where appropriate after notice and opportunity for public participation and proper hearing.                

(h) Aquatic life uses and dissolved oxygen.

(3) Perennial streams, rivers, lakes, bays, estuaries, and other appropriate perennial waters which are not specifically listed in Appendix A or D of §307.10 of this title are presumed to have a high aquatic life use and corresponding dissolved oxygen criteria. In accordance with results from statewide ecoregion studies, unclassified perennial streams in southeast and northeast Texas are assigned dissolved oxygen criteria as indicated in §307.7(b)(3)(A)(ii) of this title. Higher uses will be protected where they are attainable.

(4) When water is present in the streambed of intermittent streams, a 24-hour dissolved oxygen mean of at least 2.0 mg/L and an absolute minimum dissolved oxygen concentration of 1.5 mg/L will be maintained. Intermittent streams which are not specifically listed in Appendix A or D of §307.10 of this title are considered to not have a significant aquatic life use except as indicated below in this subsection. For intermittent streams with seasonal aquatic life uses, dissolved oxygen concentrations commensurate with the aquatic life uses will be maintained during the seasons in which the aquatic life uses occur. Unclassified intermittent streams with significant aquatic life uses created by perennial pools are presumed to have a limited aquatic life use and corresponding dissolved oxygen criteria. Higher uses will be protected where they are attainable.

§307.6. Toxic Materials.

(d) Specific numerical human health criteria.

(1) Numerical human health criteria are established in Table 3.

Table 3
Criteria in Water for Specific Toxic Materials
Human Health Protection
(All values are listed or calculated in micrograms per liter)

COMPOUND   A** B** C**
CASRN Water and Fish (ug/L) FW Fish only (ug/L) SW Fish only (ug/L)
Nitrate-Nitrogen as total Nitrogen 14797-55-8 10,000*    

* Based on Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCL's) specified in 30 TAC §290 (relating to Water Hygiene).

** Categories of human health criteria:
(A)concentration criteria in freshwaters to prevent contamination of drinking water, fish and other aquatic life to ensure that they are safe for human consumption. These criteria apply to freshwaters which are designated or used for public drinking water supplies. (Column A in Table 3);
(B) concentration criteria in freshwaters to prevent contamination of fish and other aquatic life to ensure that they are safe for human consumption. These criteria apply to freshwater which have sustainable fisheries, and which are not designated or used for public water supply (Column B in Table 3);
(C) concentration criteria in saltwaters to prevent contamination of fish and other aquatic life to ensure that they are safe for human consumption. These criteria apply to saltwaters which have a sustainable fishery (Column C in Table 3).

Site-specific Criteria

The information on this tab shows EPA-approved site-specific nutrient criteria for Texas’s waterbodies. Criteria on this page apply only to the waterbodies listed below. Criteria applicable to all waterbodies within the state are found on the “Statewide Criteria” tab. For more information, refer to the Texas water quality standards.

The following information reflects Texas’s water quality standards posted to the Water Quality Standards Repository as of November 2010 (EPA-approved November 2009).

None.  


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