Sabine River Authority of Texas

To: Interested Parties

From: Environmental Services division

RE: OCTOBER 2000 Water Quality Monitoring Report

This is the Sabine River Authority Water Quality Summary for October 2000. Water quality sampling was performed October 10th through October 12th. Rainfall was sparse in the Upper Basin with only 2.08" of rain recorded at Lake Tawakoni and 2.28" at Lake Fork.  Toledo Bend recorded 3.48" and Orange recorded a total of 5.61" of precipitation in the 30days prior to the October sample run.  Recent daytime-high air temperatures were in the 80's and 90's but a cool front four days prior to the sample run reduced daytime temperatures to the 50's and 60's, with lows in the 30's and 40's.  The cooler temperatures caused most of the reservoirs to complete Fall seasonal de-stratification and "turn over."

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

For the October 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 were completely mixed.  Shortly after Lake Fork "turns over" or mixes, the water color will be brown and contain tiny suspended particles. Both of these characteristics were observed at Lake Fork.  Dissolved oxygen was low at LF4 and LF2, likely a factor of recent lake turnover from the cool front.  LF3 and the three sites at Lake Tawakoni were well oxygenated.  Percent saturation of oxygen was over 100% at two of the Lake Tawakoni sites (LT23C and LT23D) and three river sites (SR19, SR11, and SR10).  Dissolved oxygen was 3.52mg/L at Harris Creek at FM16.  Orthophosphate also slightly exceeded screening criteria.  This Texas Clean Rivers Program site near the City of Winona receives effluent from two wastewater treatment facilities, one of which has been out of compliance for total suspended solids.  The treatment plant superintendent believes a pretreatment plant is needed at a local bakery to reduce slugs of high BOD wastewater from that facility.  SRA is communicating with the treatment plant and the TNRCC to resolve the problem.  The routine sampling site SR14 also exceeded screening criteria for orthophosphate.

Lower Sabine Basin Including Toledo Bend to Morgan Bluff

October 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. Site TB6N had oxygen levels that were below stream standards. Higher conductivity readings, fecal coliform counts and chloride levels were observed at Station TB6N. TB6N is located downstream from a municipal wastewater treatment plant. Higher conductivity readings and higher nitrate/nitrite, sulfate and chloride levels were observed at Station BA4. Station BA4 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 at most sites. Stations AB7 and CB4 had oxygen readings that were below stream standards. Salinity was detected at six tidal stations: AB2, CB1, SRT1, SRT2, BB1 and ICW1. The greatest salinity reading of 20 ppt was observed at the deepest depth at Station SRT1. Sampling of tidal stations occurred during a strong incoming tide resulting in a well-mixed water profile.




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
409-746-2192 (



Printed Tuesday, December 05, 2000