Sabine River Authority of Texas

To: Interested Parties

From: Environmental Services division

RE: September 2000 Water Quality Monitoring Report

This is the Sabine River Authority Water Quality Summary for September 2000. Water quality sampling was performed September 12th through September 14th. Recent weather in the Basin was hot and very dry with the exception of a few light rains at Toledo Bend and in the Lower Basin.  Scattered showers the day before sampling influenced the results in the Longview area. Daytime high air temperatures during the seven days prior to the sampling dates were in the low to upper 90s and low 100s in the Upper Basin and in the 80s and 90s in the Lower Basin.  Nighttime lows were in the 60s and 70s.

Upper Sabine Basin Above Toledo Bend Including Lake Fork and Lake Tawakoni

The annual review of the sampling program and discussion with other stakeholders in the Basin resulted in a few changes to the program.  Two monitoring sites have been added to the Upper Basin.  One requested by the TNRCC is designated SR22 and is sampled from the FM17 bridge South of Alba. The other site is on Harris Creek at FM16 near the city of Winona.  This site is downstream of effluents from the City of Winona, the Smith County WCID #1 wastewater treatment plant, and the grounds of a controversial deep-well injection site for hazardous waste.  One site, LF7, has been deactivated from the Upper Basin sample run.

For the September sample run, most of the water quality values seen at the Upper Basin sites were consistent with water of high quality.  Lake Fork and Tawakoni reservoirs had very little temperature difference from surface to bottom so the water column is beginning to mix, but gradual dissolved oxygen gradients were recorded at most of the deep reservoir sites.  Percent saturation of oxygen was over 100% at one river site, SR19.  Dissolved oxygen was 2.87mg/L near the dam at Lake Tawakoni (LT23A).  This site also had elevated ammonia at 0.217mg/l. Additional measurements indicated dissolved oxygen at the surface was 3.34 and 4.75mg/l about mile and one mile respectively up-lake from the dam.  Two river sites (BS18 and SR14) and the new site, HRS16, also had dissolved oxygen less than 5mg/l.  Most of the river sites were unusually clear after extended dry weather conditions.  Two sites, SR15 and SR14, had elevated fecal coliform. SR15, which had the highest coliform count, had probably just received runoff from a local rain as was noted on the field data sheet.  The river was very muddy and had elevated turbidity, ammonia, and nitrate/nitrite.  Sulfate was slightly higher than screening levels at SR11.

Lower Sabine Basin Including Toledo Bend to Morgan Bluff

September WQM sampling results were indicative of water of high quality at most sites. Toledo Bend Reservoir levels were still lower than normal because of continuing drought conditions. Deep-water stations sampled on the reservoir exhibited profiles that were thermally stratified. Sites TB6, TB6N, TB8, TB6M and TB6L had oxygen levels that were below stream standards. Higher conductivity readings, fecal coliform counts, and chloride levels were observed at Stations TB6N. TB6N is located downstream from a municipal wastewater treatment plant. Station BA4 had higher fecal counts and nitrate/nitrate, sulfate, and chloride levels. This station is sampled from a bayou that receives discharge from a paper mill.

Tidal Section of the Sabine Basin below Morgan Bluff

Stations sampled in the tidal portion of the Sabine Basin had values that were consistent with water of high quality. All values measured were within stream standards criteria. Salinity was detected at six tidal stations: AB7, AB2, CB1, SRT1, BB1 and ICW1. The greatest salinity reading of 23 ppt was observed at the deepest depth at Station SRT2. A definite salt-water wedge was observed at all tidal stations.



This Report and additional data for these monitoring stations are available on our World Wide Web site ( If you have any questions or comments concerning this report, please contact:


      Upper Sabine Basin
John Payne, Upper Basin Field Office Coordinator
903-878-2420 (

      Lower and Tidal Sabine Basin
Cynthia Darbonne, Lower Basin Field Office Coordinator
409-746-3284 (

      If above are unavailable
Miles Hall, Environmental Services Assistant Division Manager
409-746-3284 (



Printed Friday, November 03, 2000