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Bacterial Source Tracking to Support the Development and Implementation of WPPs for the Lampasas and Leon Rivers

Project Goals/Objectives: This project will collect water samples ans stream flow data at 15 sites in the Leon River and 15 sites in the Lampasas River watersheds over a 12 month periord for bacterial source tracking (BST). The water samples will assess and identify different sources contributing to the bacterial loading of each waterbody. The results will assist stakeholders through on-going watershed protection planning processes.  

Project Background:  This project consists of two major components: 1) the collection of water samples in conjunction with streamflow measurements, and 2) the utilization of BST on those collected water samples. Building on work being conducted in the Lampasas River watershed (TSSWCB project 07-11) and the Leon River watershed (TSSWCB project 06-12), this project will apply portions of the TCEQ- and TSSWCB- approved Three-Tier Approach for Developing Bacteria Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), as recommended by the joint Bacteria TMDL Task Force. This project will provide critical bacteria loading information as well as source identification information through the utilization of library-dependent BST which will be used to support the development and implementation of WPPs for the Lampasas and Leon Rivers watersheds.

AgriLife-TP will conduct all environmental water sample collection and monitoring. E. coli levels in collected water samples will be enumerated utilizing USEPA method 1603; flow rates and field parameters will be collected in conjunction with water samples. Samples will be collected at 30 sites - 15 in the Lampasas River watershed and 15 in the Leon River watershed - monthly for a period of 12 months. After E. coli enumeration, Texas AgriLife Research Blackland Research and Extension Center at Temple (AgriLife-TP) will ship enumerated plates to Texas AgriLifre Research Center at El Paso (AgriLife-EP) for BST. Lastly, AgriLife-TP will collect 50 known source fecal samples per watershed (total of 100) from sources identified by AgriLife-EP; known source fecal samples will be collected, stored and shipped by AgriLife-TP to AgriLife-EP for processing using USEPA method 1603 to enumerate, culture and isolate E. coli colonies.

Water samples collected, by AgriLife-TP will be enumerated for E. coli and shipped to AgriLife-EP for BST analysis. Library-dependent BST will be conducted on samples from both the Lampasas and Leon Rivers watersheds by analyzing E. coli isolates utilizing the enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus polymerase chain reaction (ERIC-PCR) and RiboPrinting (RP) combination method (ERIC-RP). As BST has previously been conducted in the Leon River watershed, this project will assist in assessing the temporal stability of the Texas E. coli BST Library. Known source fecal samples from the study area collected by AgriLife-TP will also be processed for ERIC-RP analysis by AgriLife-EP for inclusion in the Texas E. coli BST Library.

Project Location: Lampasas River (Segment 1217) and Leon River (Segment 1221) Watersheds


Project Costs: Federal ($0); State ($432,905); Total Project: ($432,905)

Project Participation: TSSWCB, Texas Water Resources Institute, Texas AgriLife Research at El Paso, and Texas AgriLife Research Blackland Research and Extension Center at Temple

Project Workplan: 10-51

Project Quality Assurance Project Plan: 10-51

Project Final Reports: Lampasas RiverLeon River

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