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Time of travel of solutes in Buffalo Bayou and selected tributaries, Houston, Texas, August 1999

January 1, 2000

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, conducted a time-of-travel study in the Buffalo Bayou watershed during low flow in August 1999. The study was done as part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Monitoring for Public Access and Community Tracking (EMPACT) program. The EMPACT program was designed for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to work with communities to “make timely, accurate, and understandable environmental information available to millions of people in the largest metropolitan areas across the country.” (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2000).

Buffalo Bayou, located in Houston, Texas, was chosen as a pilot project because it is a frequently used recreational water source, it has many water-treatment facilities located along its stream segments, and it has a history of water-quality problems (Houston-Galveston Area Council, 2000). One component of the pilot project is to develop a water-quality simulation model that can be used to assess the effects of noncompliance events on Buffalo Bayou. Because accurate estimates of time of travel during low flow are required to develop the model, the time of travel of solutes in Buffalo Bayou and selected tributaries was determined using dye tracing methods.

The study was conducted during low flow in a 38.7-mile reach of Buffalo Bayou, a 9.6-mile reach of Whiteoak Bayou, a 5.9-mile reach of Mason Creek, and a 6.6-mile reach of Bear Creek. Efforts to determine the time of travel in a 7.5-mile reach of Horsepen Creek were unsuccessful. This report explains the approach used to conduct the study and presents the results of the study

Publication Year 2000
Title Time of travel of solutes in Buffalo Bayou and selected tributaries, Houston, Texas, August 1999
DOI 10.3133/wri004236
Authors Jeffery W. East, Jasper D. Schaer
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series Number 2000-4236
Index ID wri004236
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Texas Water Science Center