The Lampasas and Leon Rivers, located in the Brazos River Basin, flow through predominantly agricultural landscapes characterized by row crops and grasslands. Segments of both rivers were listed on the Texas Water Quality Inventory and 2008 303(d) List for elevated bacteria levels causing recreational uses to be impaired. Potential sources of bacterial pollution in the Leon River watershed include wastewater facility discharges, stormwater runoff, leaking public and private septic systems, feces from wildlife and feral animals as well as from livestock and pets. However, potential sources in the Lampasas River remain unclear.
The Lampasas and Leon Rivers Bacterial Source Tracking Assessment Project will provide critical bacteria loading information as well as source identification information through the use of library-dependent bacterial source tracking (BST). Water samples and stream flow measurements will supplement the BST work, and will be used to assess and identify the sources of bacteria responsible for the impairment. The results of the study will be used to support the development and implementation of watershed protection programs (WPPs) for the Lampasas and Leon Rivers watersheds, which will be developed under two separate projects by stakeholders within their respective watersheds. This information will enable stakeholders to adequately address bacteria-related issues in the places where they live and work.