Water Quality

Lake and river water quality

TRWD is continually working to enhance the quality of our rivers and lakes, both of which are sources of drinking water and popular water recreation destinations.


Guidance, Monitoring, Modeling & Stormwater

About Protection/Regulatory

The TRWD has had an active water quality program starting in 1990 where each reservoir has been sampled at multiple sites for various parameters. Sample has been continuous on the four reservoirs owned by TRWD, Bridgeport, Eagle Mountain, Cedar Creek and Richland-Chambers. Sampling has been less continuous for Lakes Worth, Arlington and Benbrook. The program is designed to provide information to assess the reservoirs for meeting their intended uses such as water supply, fish and wildlife habitat and contact recreation. The water quality program is broken down into 4 areas.


Urban Area Water Quality Sampling Stations

Click below to see testing locations and results
map-iconSampling Stations Mapchevron

Frequently Asked Questions

Get more information about water quality
TRWD does not treat water for drinking. The district delivers raw water to its customers’ water treatment plants and storage lakes in Tarrant County where the cities then treat the water and supply more than 2 million residents. 
Since the late 1980s, TRWD has been collecting water quality data from each reservoir, the major tributaries to each reservoir and some wastewater plants near the reservoir. Samples are typically taken quarterly, and the data is used to monitor the health of the water on a short-term and long-term scale. The reservoirs were built for water supply, and for that purpose the water quality is in great shape. This chart shows the parameters that are monitored. Read the most recent water quality executive summary.
There is inherent danger when swimming in a natural lake because of naturally occurring bacteria. TRWD routinely samples the reservoirs and Trinity River for E. coli bacteria. This data is used to assess the waters based on the standards set by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and approved by the US EPA. Our reservoirs have shown great compliance under the standard for contact recreation, but we know at times of flooding when the water is turbid from runoff, the potential for elevated bacteria is a concern. The Trinity River is much more susceptible to a change in water quality from a small rain than reservoirs. Users should exercise caution on the river after a local rain. Get more information on the Trinity River’s water quality.
Geosmin, an organic compound commonly found in Texas lakes during the winter months, causes the taste and odor changes. Geosmin is not harmful to your health but does have a distinct earthy flavor and aroma. Customer cities are aware of the change and treat for geosmin; however, there are times when they cannot fully remove it. The district also performs regular water quality monitoring and posts these reports monthly.
Yes, all of the TRWD reservoirs have wastewater plants that either discharge directly to the lake or in close proximity. All these plants go through a process of treating the wastewater regulated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality such that no solids are discharged and the water has received some method of disinfection. The total volume of wastewater entering the reservoirs is very small when compared to amount of water coming from rainfall in the watershed of above each reservoir.
There are no fish consumption advisories for any of the TRWD reservoirs. Lake Worth, which is managed by the City of Fort Worth, has an advisory posted for channel and blue catfish and smallmouth buffalo that extends up to the segment of the Trinity River between Lake Worth and Eagle Mountain Lake (ADV-45). The Clear Fork of the Trinity River below Lake Benbrook and West Fork of the Trinity below Lake Worth continuing downstream south of Dallas do have advisories posted warning of no consumption of any species of fish (ADV-43). Please visit the Texas Department of State Health Services for maps and the latest posting of fish consumption advisories. 


River System & E. coli Monitoring

About Recreational Water Quality

Waterbodies in Texas are a natural resource to be enjoyed with many recreational opportunities. For your safety while enjoying the waterbodies, there are a few items to keep in mind.