Monitoring

Regional Stormwater Monitoring Program

To comply with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) stormwater permit requirements, Phase 1 Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) entities must conduct water quality monitoring during wet weather (rainfall) events. The NCTCOG oversees the Regional Stormwater Monitoring Program to assist MS4 regulated entities in meeting these requirements. Program participants include the North Texas Tollway Authority and the cities of Arlington, Dallas, Fort Worth, Garland, Irving, Mesquite, and Plano.

The Regional Stormwater Monitoring Program has been in operation since 1996. The goal of the initial permit term (1996-2001) was to capture and analyze runoff data from smaller, single land use watersheds. While the analysis of those samples indicated the runoff characteristics of each specific land use, the data was not sufficient to characterize the impacts on receiving streams. The primary goal of subsequent program terms has been to determine long-term trends water quality, assess urban impact on receiving streams, and to document improvements to water quality from the implementation of best management practices.

Fourth Program Term (2018 - 2022)

Through an RFP process, Atkins North America, LLC. (in association with Freese & Nichols and Dougherty, Sprague Environmental Inc.) was awarded a five-year contract to assist the North Texas Tollway Authority and the cities of Arlington, Irving, Garland, Irving, Plano, and Mesquite with equipment monitoring and deployment, field activity preparation and planning, water quality sampling, and report drafting. In addition, to chemical sampling, Atkins will conduct biological monitoring for Garland, Irving, and Plano. Dallas and Fort Worth will use their in-house staff to conduct chemical and biological monitoring, whose data will be incorporated and analyzed into the final report by Atkins. Atkins will also create a plan for assessing the impacts of BMPs on water quality using information from all program participants. The water quality of 24 watersheds will be assessed during this permit term. Most entities will sample one watershed in their jurisdiction for two consecutive years and then assess a second watershed for another two years.

More Information about the Fourth Program Term

Third Program Term (2011 - 2016)

Through an RFP process, Atkins (in association with Freese & Nichols; Dougherty, Sprague Environmental Inc.; and TTI Environmental Laboratories) was awarded a contract to assist the smaller entities of Arlington, Garland, Irving, Plano, Mesquite, TxDOT-Dallas, and NTTA with equipment monitoring and deployment, field trip preparation, chemical sample retrieval, and post-sampling activities. Atkins is also assisting the cities of Garland and Plano with biological monitoring. Dallas and Fort Worth continue to use their own staff to conduct chemical and biological monitoring. The regional monitoring plan calls to chemically monitor 24 watersheds and perform rapid bioassessments within 12 watersheds across the region, with substantial overlap between the two sampling approaches. Most entities are chemically sampling one watershed in their jurisdiction for two consecutive years beginning January 1, 2012 and then moving to a second watershed for another two years.

More Information About the Third Program Term

Second Program Term (2006 - 2010)

Through an RFP process, PBS&J (in association with Freese and Nichols; Arredondo, Zepeda and Brunz; and TTI Environmental Laboratories) were awarded a contract to assist the smaller entities of Arlington, Garland, Irving, Plano, Mesquite, TxDOT-Dallas and NTTA with field collection and analysis of stormwater samples during this second five-year permit term. Dallas and Fort Worth used their own staff to collect samples. The regional monitoring plan called for the quarterly sampling of up to three monitoring stations in each of the nine watersheds per year for three years beginning January 1, 2007. 

 More Information About the Second Permit Term

First Program Term (1996 - 2001)

During the first program term, seven municipalities (Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Irving, Garland, Plano, and Mesquite) and two local districts of TxDOT received joint approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a regional monitoring program which utilized the assistance of a shared consultant team and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to sample and analyze 22 outfalls primarily from small watersheds of a predominantly single land use type.

More Information About the First Program Term

Papers and Presentations

Watershed Management: The Metroplex Connection (September 2011 issue of TexasWET)

Balancing Compliance with Science