Dissolved Oxygen in the Houston Ship Channel - Past, Present and Future




Jensen, Paul, Ka-Leung Lee, Yu-Chun Su, Truett Garrett, Charles Marshall, Linda Broach, and Teresa Battenfield

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Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission


The Houston Ship Channel (HSC) is a major feature of the Galveston Bay system. By most measures it has been a major success as a public works investment, stimulating and supporting a high level of economic activity in the region. At the same time, the upper portion of the HSC has a long history of environmental concern. In particular, dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations have been low in the inland portions, above Morgan's Point and particularly above the San Jacinto River, over much of the channel's existence. Improvements in the level of wastewater treatment in the last two decades have allowed increased DO levels, but low concentrations remain in some parts, particularly during warm weather.; This paper reviews the history of DO levels in the channel, starting with limited observations during the 1930s and ending with recent (summer 2000) data. Overall, there has been a significant improvement in DO levels over time. The paper concludes with a summary of future actions that are planned for the channel.


pgs. 52-60


dissolved oxygen Houston ship channel