Denton, TX Watershed Protection Program
Status: Launched in January 2001
The Watershed Protection Program was initiated in January 2001 as a part of a plan to reduce the overall pollutants within the surface waters of Denton and to ensure compliance with the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Storm Water Phase II rule.
This program incorporates the infrastructure established by an Environmental Protection Agency EMPACT grant awarded to the City of Denton and the University of North Texas in 1998. During the first year of the Watershed Protection Program, monitoring results from the EMPACT system and additional watershed monitoring were used to establish preliminary baseline conditions for the physical, chemical, and biological components of the city's surface water resources. Results from this monitoring program are used to support the requirements of the Phase II storm water program, assess water quality for the purposes of source water protection, and establish baseline conditions that can be used to evaluate any future changes in water quality.
Cooper Creek, Hickory Creek, and Pecan Creek are the three main watersheds that convey water through Denton. Using topographical information and professional judgment, approximately 71 sub-basins were delineated within the city. Sampling stations were established within these 71 sub-basins at locations that would likely represent the water quality of the sub-basins. Monitoring of these 71 sub-basins during base-flow conditions was initiated in January 2001 and has continued on a monthly basis ever since.
Permanent monitoring stations were established near the ends of the three major watersheds prior to the confluence of the watersheds with Lewisville Lake. These include a station above and below the Pecan Creek Water Reclamation Plant's outfall.
More extensive monitoring is conducted at these stations to provide a more comprehensive assessment of the combined effects of sub-basin water quality just prior to entering the city's main drinking water source, Lake Lewisville.
The data collected at one of these stations and at the drinking water intake structure are available on the EMPACT web site at http://www.ecoplex.unt.edu. The program hopes to add all of the permanent stations to this web site in the near future.