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Jim Guidry Commentaries
Harris County
Houston-Galveston Area Council
News Release
Monday, December 27, 2010

I-Plan Developed to Reduce Bacteria in Area Waterways

The State of Texas sets standards to establish whether waterways are safe for recreational activities, such as swimming or wading. Testing by both volunteer and professional water quality monitors revealed that most rivers, bayous, creeks and streams in the Houston-Galveston region have bacteria levels that are higher than the state-accepted level. Reducing this bacteria will help provide cleaner waterways and allow residents and visitors to enjoy the region’s many rivers, lakes, streams and bayous.

In 2008, the Houston-Galveston Area Council formed the Bacteria Implementation Group (BIG), a group of government, business and community leaders who met with a goal of developing a plan for reducing bacteria levels in area waterways. This Implementation Plan, or I-Plan, is a choice of activities for municipalities, industry and landowners designed to reduce bacteria levels and prevent future problems. Some of the activities recommended in the draft I-Plan include identifying and addressing failing or old septic systems, providing public education on proper disposal of potential contaminants and pet wastes, implementing better landscaping practices, and inspecting, maintaining and repairing wastewater and sewage facilities. 

The I-Plan proposes activities to reduce or prevent bacteria impairment in twelve waterways encompassing most of Harris County and portions of Montgomery, Galveston, Fort Bend, Brazoria, Walker, Liberty, Grimes, and San Jacinto counties.

The draft I-Plan is now available online for public comment through February 15, 2011, at http://www.h-gac.com/big; click on “BIG Implementation Plan” link. A series of public meetings has also been scheduled so the BIG can share the proposed I-Plan and receive to questions or comments. 

·         Tuesday, January 18, 2011
4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
H-GAC Conference Room A, Second Floor (in conjunction with the Clean Waters Initiative workshop)

·         Thursday, January 27, 2011
5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Spring Creek Greenway Nature Center (Montgomery County's brand new facility)

·         Friday, January 28, 2011
7:30 am to 2:00 pm
Counting on Quality of Place Conference on water quality and water supply
George R. Brown Convention Center (reservations required)

·         Monday, January 31, 2011
6:00 pm to 7:45 pm
Park Place Regional Library (Sims Bayou area)

·         Tuesday, February 1, 2010
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Johnnie Arolfo Civic Center, League City

·         Monday, February 7, 2010
5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
High Meadows Branch Library (Aldine area)

·         Thursday, February 10, 2010, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Bear Creek Community Center in Bear Creek Park

More information is available online or by contacting Rachel Powers at 713-993-4559.

More information about the BIG: www.h-gac.com/BIG

Houston-Galveston Area Council
H‑GAC (
www.h-gac.com) is a voluntary association of local governments in the 13-county Gulf Coast Planning Region—an area of 12,500 square miles and more than 5.7 million people.  H‑GAC works to promote efficient and accountable use of local, state, and federal tax dollars and serves as a problem-solving and information forum for local governments.






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