Our Water: Concho River bank stabilization project between Oakes and Rio Concho


City and UCRA working together with grant money on three year project

SAN ANGELO, Texas – Most San Angleloans are familiar with the pristine picturesque park space and river walk along the Concho River leading up to Johnson Dam. But just down river of the dam, on the other side of the Oakes Street bridge, it’s a different story. The river banks are slowly eroding into the Concho River, taking trees and sediment with them. This in turn decreases oxygen in the water leading to more fish die off events. But, the city and the Upper Colorado River Authority are set to handle it.

“What we’ll do initially, we’ll have to write a quality assurance project plan,” explained UCRA Director of Operations Scott McWilliams. “Then I’ll be sampling the river for several 24 hour [periods]. Continuous sampling on the river for several weeks, that’ll give us a baseline. Then we’ll do the actual work and what we’ll be doing there is, we’ll be taking out the bank. [Then] grading it to give it an optimal slope, and then placing rip-wrap along the bank.”

While the monitoring us taking place, those fishing should avoid interfereing with the sensors in the river. The project begins in September, and is primarily funded by a Clean Water Act grant. The grant money is afforded by section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act. Section 319 deals with “non-point source pollution.” The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is the state agency approved by the EPA to administer various 319(h) programs and pass the money through to grantees.

“The total cost of the project is $228,883, that is what we have budgeted,” said McWilliams. “60% of that will come from the grant, and the city will match it with 40% from their side.”

The UCRA aims to have the project completed in about two years. Utilizing the grant money, according to McWilliams, will save the city of San Angelo approximately $75,000 from what the cost would have been had they done the project without the grant. This project is a partnership between the city of San Angelo, UCRA, TCEQ and the EPA. The UCRA wrote the grant application in cooperation with the city. The city council voted to allocate money to conduct bank stabilization in the indicated area of the river, and further downstream.

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Water Conservation Status

Standard Conservation

San Angelo is in standard conservation, which restricts outside watering to twice every seven days at no more than 1 inch per week. Watering is prohibited between noon and 6:00 p.m., but runoff of more than 150 feet down any street, gutter, alley or ditch is prohibited.

Report watering violations by clicking on https://www.cosatx.us/departments-services/water-conservation/report-a-water-violation or calling 325-657-4409. Do your part; be water smart!