Water quality is
the one blemish on the face of Buffalo Bayou. The storm drains throughout
urban Houston drain directly into the bayou carrying litter, oil, fertilizers,
toxic chemicals, and other non-point source pollutants that come directly
from our manicured lawns, little-league fields, and golf courses. Unfortunately,
Buffalo Bayou and White Oak currently have the worst water quality of
any stream or river in Texas. Most pernicious are the sub-normal levels
of E.Coli bacteria. Of course, the Art Guys drank the water and lived
to tell about it!
To attract more and more of the native species which once called the
bayou’s riparian areas and waters home, we need to improve the
water quality. In February 2004, the BBP entered into a long term partnership
with the University of St. Thomas (UST) Urban Ecology Department began
a water quality study of the Buffalo Bayou to measure numerous parameters
at outfalls between Shepherd Drive and the Buffalo Bayou/ White Oak
Bayou Convergence. Results of the study will be available in February
2005 upon the completion of the one-year study.
Unfortunately, the BBP’s jurisdiction is only a 10-square mile
area between Shepherd and the turning basin. Water quality is an issue
we must address on a watershed level. Cities, counties, residents, businesses,
pet owners, gardeners, schools and travelers all effect the bayou’s
waters and the solution must come from everyone.
Buffalo and Whiteoak Bayous: A TMDL Project for Bacteria
New Updates on Water Quality Progress (July, 2006)