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Texas Nonpoint Source Pollution (14-TX-a)

The Texas Nonpoint Source Management Program (Management Program) is required under the Clean Water Act(CWA), specifically CWA §319(b). The Management Program outlines Texas' comprehensive strategy to protect and restore water quality impacted by nonpoint sources of pollution.

Nonpoint Source Pollution Process

14-TX-a.1 - Identify the Watershed in Which the Project will Be Located

Texas uses a watershed approach as its water quality management strategy to protect and restore water quality on a watershed basis. A watershed is the total geographic area that drains stormwater (and pollutants) to a particular stream, lake, aquifer, or other water body. The watershed approach examines and addresses water quality concerns in each water body in the context of its watershed and all the potential sources of pollution the watershed contains. ( TCEQ NPS Management Program Website).

14-TX-a.2 - Contact TCEQ for TMDLs in the Watershed and Relevant BMPs

The developer can contact the TCEQ for information on the Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) and recommended Best Management Practices (BMPs) based on the location and type of the project.

BMPs are suggested procedures and protocols for reducing TMDLs. BPMs work by establishing control measures that have been demonstrated to reduce TMDLs when properly applied. Typical BMPs include operator training, maintenance practices, and spill control procedures for identified pollutants.

An example of a TCEQ BMP that a developer might deploy is:

  • Surface Roughening - Roughening a bare, sloped soil surface with horizontal grooves or benches running across the slope (parallel to contour lines, perpendicular to runoff flow direction). Grooves can be large-scale, such as stair-step grading with small benches or terraces, or small-scale, such as grooving with disks, tillers, or other machinery, or with heavy tracked machinery which should be reserved for sandy, non-compressible soils. Roughening aids the establishment of vegetative cover, improves water infiltration, enhances seed germination, and decreases runoff velocity.

The developer can also refer to the Texas Nonpoint Source Management Program publication for detailed information on the causes of nonpoint source pollution and Texas' proposed solutions.

14-TX-a.3 - Follow Appropriate BMPs (Voluntary)

Some BMPs relevant to construction in general include: minimizing extent & duration of disturbance and surface stabilization, runoff conveyance measures, outlet protection, sediment traps and barriers, and various stream protection measures. See the Texas Nonpoint Source Management Program publication for more detail.

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Contact Information


Edit Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
Nonpoint Source Pollution Contact 512.239.6922 Visit Website