A watershed is an area of land from which all streams and rainfall are drained to a common outlet such as the outflow of a reservoir or the confluence of two rivers.
Healthy watersheds help reduce erosion and act as a filter to capture sediment and contaminants before they enter the water. Maintaining healthy watersheds is vital for the protection of aquatic environments and the source waters that supply the NTMWD water system.
Source waters for NTMWD treatment plants come from Lavon Lake, Lake Texoma, Jim Chapman Lake, Lake Tawakoni, Bois d’Arc Lake, East Fork Trinity River and Main Stem Trinity River (which flow through wetlands at the East Fork Reuse Project). Each of these sources is supplied by runoff from their respective watersheds.
The first step in protecting water quality is to prevent contaminants from entering the source. Our watershed protection team works closely with the public, cities and partner agencies to identify and implement measures aimed at protecting and improving source water quality. We manage watersheds carefully to not only protect and improve water quality, but also to protect habitats that support plants, animals and recreation.
Lavon Lake Watershed
Watershed boundaries are delineated based on the landscape, not political boundaries. Thus, it is important to coordinate management efforts across all jurisdictions in a watershed. This concept is known as the watershed approach and is the basis for most watershed planning efforts.
Watershed protection plans (WPPs) are tools for protecting healthy bodies of water and restoring impaired waters. Developing effective WPPs involves identifying and implementing water quality best management practices.
Learn more about the Lavon Lake Watershed Protection Plan.
Bois d'Arc Lake Watershed
To protect and improve the lake’s water quality, NTMWD is coordinating an effort to create a voluntary, non-regulatory Bois d’Arc Lake Watershed Protection Plan (WPP).
Bois d’Arc Lake’s watershed is primarily rural, spanning two counties (Fannin and Grayson) and includes 14 towns/cities including Bonham. The lake captures runoff from 326 square miles. Its main tributaries are Bois d’Arc and Honey Grove Creeks and Lake Bonham.
Learn more about the Bois d’Arc Lake Watershed Protection Plan.
Source Water Protection
The federal Clean Water Act requires states to develop a watershed management program to protect their water resources from nonpoint source (NPS) water pollution, which comes from unregulated sources such as rainfall runoff from land, buildings, roads and other landscape features. Learn more about the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board’s NPS Management Program or the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) NPS Program.
Point sources are regulated by the TCEQ and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and must obtain a permit before discharging into federal and state waters. Examples of point sources include wastewater treatment facilities, stormwater discharge from urban areas, industrial discharges and concentrated animal feeding operations. Permits dictate the amount of water a point source is allowed to discharge and the level of treatment that water must undergo beforehand. Learn more about the EPA National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).
The Safe Drinking Water Act mandates that states evaluate drinking water sources for potential avenues of contamination. The Source Water Protection Program (SWPP) is designed to protect drinking water sources from becoming contaminated in the future. NTMWD participates in the TCEQ’s SWPP. Established by the EPA and TCEQ, the program helps public water utilities identify, assess and manage potential sources of contamination. By participating, NTMWD commits to protecting the quality of our source waters against all potential pollutants. Click here for more information on TCEQ’s and the EPA’s SWPP.