Home >> Texas Clean Rivers Program >> State of the Basin >> Special Studies on Priority Watersheds >> 2001 Special Studies >> Little Cypress Bayou Special Study

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Little Cypress Bayou (Subwatershed 1.10) is located in the coastal area of the Sabine River Basin within Segment 0501. The Subwatershed drains an area of approximately 18 square miles. The Little Cypress Bayou flows through the Blue Elbow Swamp, which includes the Tony Houseman State Park and Wildlife Management Area and enters the Sabine River near Interstate 10 in Orange, Texas. The flow in the Subwatershed is tidally influenced.

The Sabine River Authority (SRA) 1996 Assessment of Water Quality identified the Little Cypress Bayou Subwatershed as an area of concern due to poor water quality. Water quality concerns or possible concerns in this Subwatershed include dissolved oxygen, fecal coliform, and ambient toxicity. The water quality problems in Subwatershed 1.10 appear to be due to the impacts from the human population in the drainage area and the combined influence from point and nonpoint sources on a tidal waterbody with limited assimilative capacity. Tidal waterbodies typically have limited assimilative capacity, because of low flows and high dissolved solids. 

The Little Cypress Bayou Subwatershed is located north of the City of Orange in Orange County. The subwatershed is dominated by housing subdivisions with little industry. Little Cypress Mauriceville High School is also located adjacent to the bayou. There are four Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTP) that discharge into the bayou.

Two of the three sample sites used in the study were established before 1999, with the southern most site having data back to 1995. Volunteers also monitor all three sites as a part of the Texas Watch program. Students from Little Cypress Mauriceville High School also monitor the site closest to the school as a part of their Environmental Science class.

An intensive study was initiated in October 1999 on the Little Cypress Subwatershed to identify the sources of water quality impairments. This study was concluded in August 2001. Monitoring included frequent sampling to document point and nonpoint sources of fecal coliform, ammonia, and oxygen depleting materials. Sampling was also conducted to substantiate non-compliance with Texas Surface Water Quality Standards (TSWQS).

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Prepared in Cooperation with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Under the Authorization of the Texas Clean Rivers Act.

To address comments to the Sabine River Authority of Texas, please contact us.
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