By Anthony Scott
Killeen Daily Herald
Texas Agrilife presented a water quality review at the Lampasas River Watershed Partnership Steering Committee meeting Thursday, with results showing E. coli levels are generally less than state-set maximum amounts.
Lisa Prcin, watershed coordinator for Texas Agrilife Research at Blackland Research & Extension Center, presented the analysis that examined seven sites along the Lampasas River watershed.
Prcin said there were a few exceptions to the E. coli level result, such as high levels during high flow conditions at all sites studied. There were excessive E. coli loads during dry conditions at one of its Lampasas River monitoring sites. Prcin said because of limited data, which was one sample at the higher level, no assumptions could be made.
The review is part of work by Agrilife to develop a watershed protection plan, with its target date set at November 2011. More than 30 people were present at the meeting Thursday at the Lampasas County Farm Bureau Building.
During the presentation, Kenneth Schoen, president of the Cleanwater Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir, complained that the review didn't go far enough along the watershed.
Originally, the study included water quality analysis of the Lampasas River at Farm-to-Market 2484; however, it was discovered that while the data was listed from one location, it was actually taken from two.
"They funded it for the whole way down to 2484 and now they're backing off and saying they don't have specific data," Schoen said. "My gripe is that they under-funded it. If you're going to do a watershed, you should do the whole watershed."
The watershed planning is funded by a federal grant for $498,400, requiring the steering committee to match it with 40 percent, or about $332,300.
"I think there was some confusion when (Schoen) asked the question," said Aaron Wendt, state watershed coordinator for the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board.
"We wanted to include (the data) but because TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality), BRA (Brazos River Authority), and the people that were sampling, they couldn't really differentiate where the data actually came from. It was in the database from one location but as it turns out it was collected from two locations," Wendt added.
Contact Anthony Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcity.