By Aaron Hoff, Watershed Coordinator and Environmental Scientist for the
Village Creek-Lake Arlington Watershed Protection Project of the Trinity River Authority
A longer version appeared in the 2016 Arlington Conservation Council Post Oak Newsletter page 10, see http://www.acctexas.org/downloads/ACC-2016-11.pdf
For more details, see Aaron Hoff's presentation at the November ACC meeting at ftp://ftp.trinityra.org/pub/Aaron/VCLA_WPP/Workshops/ACC_Presentation/
Village Creek is on the 303(d) list of impaired water bodies and Lake Arlington is on the "Concerns" list.
In December 2009, the City of Arlington began developing a long-term plan that would guide growth and development around Lake Arlington. Under the guidance of this Lake Arlington Master Plan (LAMP), several studies will be conducted for various water quality constituents, with several best management practices recommended as results. Many of these practices will be evaluated during the development of a watershed protection plan (WPP) for the Village Creek-Lake Arlington watershed.
The watershed begins at Village Creek’s headwaters near the town of Joshua in northern Johnson County, traveling northward 35 miles before emptying into Lake Arlington in southeastern Tarrant County. Village Creek is currently listed as impaired on the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) 2014 Texas Integrated Report of Surface Water Quality, which indicates that the creek is not meeting the designated contact recreation use standard due to elevated levels of bacteria. High concentrations of a monitored, non-pathogenic strain of E. coli in water bodies like Village Creek may indicate elevated levels of other bacteria that may endanger human health. While the lake itself is not currently listed as impaired, Lake Arlington was included in the 2014 Integrated Report for nitrate and chlorophyll-a concerns.
This stakeholder-driven process is intended to protect water quality in Lake Arlington and Village Creek, while meeting the socio-economic needs of those that live, work, and play in the watershed. A series of public meetings will be held where stakeholders will be able to review the collected data and use it to recommend the most applicable strategies for inclusion in the WPP document. Once this document receives both Federal and state approval, various organizations can apply for federal grants to help share the costs of water quality improvement projects that fall under one of the strategies identified in the WPP.