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Recreational Use Attainability Analysis of Sweetwater Creek

Project Goals/Objectives: This project will collect data to evaluate factors affecting attainment of recreational use in Paradise Creek (0230A). Possible sources of bacteria will be assessed by developing a comprehensive GIS inventory, evaluating historical water quality data, and conducting a watershed source survey. To ensure decision-making is founded on local input and that watershed action is successful, public participation and stakeholder interaction will be a critical component of this project.

Project Background: The Paradise Creek watershed is rural and land use is predominantly pastureland and cropland.  While mainly rural, the cities of Thalia and Vernon are located within or near the watershed.  Paradise Creek is a headwater tributary of the Pease River within the Red River Basin.  The creek flows 45 miles east from near Thalia in Foard County to the confluence with the Pease River in Wilbarger County.  The watershed includes approximately 72,190 acres that encompasses the City of Thalia and borders the City of Vernon. Paradise Creek was first listed as having a bacteria impairment for contact recreation on the 2006 Texas 303 (d) List and has been listed as having a concern for chlorophyll-a and nitrates in the 2010 Texas Water Quality Inventory. Paradise Creek is one of many rural waterbodies listed on the Texas 303(d) List due to elevated levels of E. coli, the non-pathogenic indicator bacteria found in warm-blooded animals. These indicator bacteria are used to assess the possible presence of pathogens that would limit the contact recreation use of a waterbody.

This project consists of performing a Comprehensive RUAA on Paradise Creek (0230A) for the purpose of ascertaining the level of recreational use occurring in the creek. This project will adhere to the procedures provided in the TCEQ Procedures for a Comprehensive RUAA and a Basic RUAA Survey.

This Comprehensive RUAA of Paradise Creek consists of 3 main tasks: a) conducting the required two surveys of Paradise Creek, b) public participation and stakeholder interaction and c) evaluation of historical bacterial water quality data and survey of possible bacteria sources.

Project Location: Paradise Creek (0230A)

Project Participation: TSSWCB, Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Stephenville, and Texas Institute for Applied Enviornmental Research

Project Workplan: 12-52

Project QAPP: 12-52 

Final Report: 12-52

"Protecting and Enhancing Natural Resources since 1939."

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