Can you define water quality? It’s not as simple as you might think.
The Brazos River Authority works with state and federal authorities to monitor the quality of Brazos River basin surface water while providing clean, potable drinking water as well as wastewater services to the people of the Brazos basin.
But water quality can have different meanings based on context. In general, though, water quality refers to the chemical, physical, biological, and radiological characteristics of water. It is a measure of the condition of water compared to the needs of one or more of the living organisms and/or to any human need or purpose.
And there are several purposes of water. Treatment plants that produce drinking water for people face a type of water quality standard that is higher than when water is used for other purposes. For drinking water, the quality is about the purity of the water produced for consumption.
When thinking about quality in regard to a wastewater plant, water quality refers to the chemical and biological elements of the wastewater produced by the plant.
Water quality, in reference to ambient or surface water bodies, is the condition of the water as is exists in rivers, streams, and reservoirs.
So, when someone says water quality, that can mean a lot of different things depending on the context.
The BRA Environmental Services team performs long-term water quality monitoring of Brazos River basin rivers, streams, and reservoirs. These sites are monitored for parameters used by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to assess the extent that waters of the Brazos meet established standards and or criteria.
For more than 20 years, the BRA has participated in the Texas Clean River Program by collecting water quality data from sites in reservoirs, creeks and streams across the river basin. The Brazos basin CRP data is available to the public by clicking here.
In addition, the BRA works with federal, state, and local officials as well as interested stakeholders to maintain and improve watershed areas with specific impairments with the common goal of improving water for the community. View those here.