Water-Quality Monitoring of the Lake Houston Watershed

Science Center Objects

Real-time water-quality, streamflow and water height information for Lake Houston and the surrounding San Jacinto watershed are now available from a new web application from the U.S. Geological Survey, done in cooperation with the City of Houston.

Lake Houston is an important  drinking-water source in Houston, Texas. It provides water used for municipal, industrial, recreational, and irrigation purposes. The USGS Texas Water Science Center has collected real-time and discrete water-quality data in Lake Houston for over a decade to:

  • Evaluate the effects of watershed influences, such as land-use characteristics and stormwater runoff, on the quality of Lake Houston water;
  • Assess the concentrations and occurence of water-quality constituents that affect the aesthetic quality of drinking water; and
  • Provide water treatment facility operators in Lake Houston with information to make decisions about adjusting treatment methods in response to changing water-quality conditions.

A web application was developed by the USGS to provide a map-based, user-friendly interface to show the water-quality data collected.  Real-time measurements are updated hourly and visualizations are accessible from 40 USGS observation stations, which collect a combination of lake, stream, groundwater well, precipitation and water-quality data. The map viewer includes supporting data layers, such as current and forecasted weather conditions and hazard warnings. Users can view seven real-time water-quality observation stations: four located on streams that flow into, and three within, Lake Houston. The continuous water-quality monitoring stations are located in urbanized and rural parts of the watershed and measure various parameters such as turbidity, pH, dissolved oxygen, and others.




Screen shot of the water-quality monitoring on Lake Houston web application

Screen shot of the water-quality monitoring on Lake Houston web application.   (Public domain.)