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Texas Bacterial Source Tracking Program (FY23-FY24)

Project Goals/Objectives: Bacteria continues to remain the number one cause of water quality impairments in the state of Texas. Numerous approaches have been applied to evaluate bacteria sources in streams and rivers to develop effective watershed management practices. Evaluating water quality integrity for contact recreation (and shellfish harvesting) has been dependent on measuring fecal indicator bacteria (FIB), specifically Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Enterococcus species. Bacteria source tracking (BST) has been identified as a valuable tool for identifying the different sources of fecal pollution, therefore informing the development of watershed plans, TMDLs, and other strategies for addressing the impairments. Comprehensive BST has been completed by UTSPH EP and AgriLife SCSC in numerous watersheds throughout Texas with support provided by the TSSWCB. As a result of these joint efforts over the last decade, the Texas E. coli BST Library (ver. 03-20) currently contains 1,912 E. coli isolates obtained from 1,653 different domestic sewage, wildlife, livestock, and pet fecal samples.

Project Location: Statewide

Project Partners: TSSWCB, TWRI, AgriLife SCSC, UTSPH EP, LNRA, HARC, Texas Sea Grant, and TAMU CC. 

Total Costs: $646,154

Project Workplan:  22-50

Project QAPP: 22-50

"Protecting and Enhancing Natural Resources since 1939."

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