The Attoyac Bayou in East Texas is one of many rural watersheds listed as impaired on the Texas Water Quality Inventory and 303(d) List due to high levels of E. coli. Water quality data collected by the Angelina & Neches River Authority demonstrates that E. coli concentrations are often higher than allowed by state standards.
In 2009, efforts began to better understand the sources of E. coli in the watershed and develop a strategy to reduce their impacts on instream water quality. The Attoyac Bayou Watershed Partnership was formed and consists of interested watershed stakeholders supported by agency and university personnel.
The Partnership developed the Attoyac Bayou Watershed Protection Plan. They were assisted by the Angelina & Neches River Authority, Castilaw Environmental Services, Stephen F. Austin State University, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Texas A&M AgriLife Research and TWRI.
TWRI published the plan in July 2014. Through this process, we continue to engage local stakeholders to raise their awareness of these issues and work with them to develop local solutions to improve water quality and watershed health.
This plan includes management recommendations for E. coli sources that are practical to manage and acceptable to stakeholders. Specific recommendations include:
- developing conservation plans and/or water quality management plans for livestock operations to reduce E. coli loading,
- removing at least 15 percent of the feral hog population annually,
- repairing or replacing failing septic systems,
- delivering education and outreach on septic system operation and maintenance, and
- reducing the number of hunting camps without septic systems.
Attoyac Bayou Watershed Partnership Mission Statement:
To promote the long-term conservation and stewardship of the Attoyac Bayou watershed in a manner that improves and sustains instream water quality, protects its ecologically diverse natural resources and maintains the economic viability of the watershed while simultaneously supporting the needs of watershed stakeholders.
- Meet designated water quality standards set by the State of Texas for the Attoyac Bayou
- Improve local awareness and understanding of local water quality concerns
- Encourage voluntary adoption of practices that improve water quality through better watershed stewardship