The Thompsons Creek watershed is located entirely in Brazos County, adjacent to the cities of Bryan and College Station, Texas. The watershed consists of three tributaries (Thompsons Creek, Still Creek, and Cottonwood Branch) that are considered impaired for not meeting the state’s water quality standards for contact recreation because of elevated levels of E. coli bacteria. Part of Thompsons Creek is also considered impaired for general use due to depressed dissolved oxygen levels. Several use concerns due to elevated nitrates, total phosphorous, depressed dissolved oxygen, ammonia, and impaired fish community and impaired macrobenthic community in water exist in the watershed.
Earlier work conducted in the watershed established the need to remediate water quality and also identified a local desire to improve the health of the watershed. Previous work in the watershed included watershed characterization, streamflow measurements, water quality monitoring, and development of the technical support document. These studies defined known pollutant sources and existing pollutant loads, established needed loading reductions to meet water quality standards and set the basis for watershed protection plan (WPP) development.
The Texas Water Resources Institute, in partnership with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, is working to engage local stakeholders to develop a WPP that describes how to best protect and improve water quality in the watershed. This project will result in the production of a WPP, which will identify implementable best management practices that are based on the goals of water quality improvement and watershed protection.