Water quality is an important key to our survival, as well as a key concern of any impact to the natural environment. Threats to water quality range from natural disasters to human impacts, and are considered when any waters are impacted, ranging from the smallest of streams to the largest of bays and estuaries.
In Texas, water quality is regulated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Water Quality Standards. Additionally, other local public entities (such as cities, groundwater districts, etc.) can be involved in the regulatory process. When impacting jurisdictional waters, also known as “waters of the U.S.” (including, but not limited to: lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands, and territorial seas), a Texas Pollution Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) permit is required before any point discharge to such waters (see Permitting).