Navasota River Water Quality Improvement

Navasota River Credit: Photo by Lucas Gregory
Navasota River
Navasota River Credit: Photo by Lucas Gregory
Navasota River
Carters Creek Credit:
Carters Creek
Navasota River Credit:
Navasota River

The Navasota River is a predominantly rural watershed with portions of the river below Lake Limestone and several of its tributaries listed as impaired on the Texas Water Quality Inventory and 303(D) List due to high levels of E. coli. These bacteria come from the many animal and human sources across the watershed. Their presence in surface water above state water quality standards indicates an increased risk to human health for those choosing to contact recreate (swimming, diving, children wading, etc.) in these waters.

In an effort to reduce E. coli levels in the river, TWRI is working with watershed stakeholders to address water quality concerns and improve watershed health and function. A planning process was completed that yielded a scientifically supported plan to restore water quality through voluntary management of E. coli at its source across the watershed. A watershed protection plan, a total maximum daily load and an implementation plan were all developed for the watershed. These plans are built upon stakeholder feedback and addresses human sources (septic systems and wastewater infrastructure) and animal sources (feral hogs, livestock, and pets) through physical management and increased education and outreach.  

Stakeholder Watershed Goals

  • Meet designated water quality standards set by the State of Texas for the Navasota River and its tributaries

Lucas Gregory

Dr. Lucas Gregory currently serves as a senior research scientist and quality assurance officer for TWRI.


August is Water Quality Month, and we are sharing information from the Water Security issue of txH2O, How does water quality monitoring work?, an explainer on the process of watershed restoration.

The Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI), Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board are hosting two public meetings in July for anyone interested in improving and protecting water quality in the Navasota River and its watershed downstream of Lake Limestone. 

    Upcoming Meetings

    Stakeholder Resources