Evaluating Water Quality and Flood Risk

Kennedale, Texas

Featured image for the project, Evaluating Water Quality and Flood Risk

Image courtesy of Francios De Kook with Halff and Associates, Dallas, Texas


The Challenge

Kennedale is a city of close to 8,000 residents in the southern Fort Worth-Dallas metropolitan region of Texas. Village Creek is a stream that runs through the community, flowing into Lake Arlington – a water supply source for nearly 500,000 residents in the region. Currently, the stream does not meet state and federal standards for water quality due to E. coli. Additional heavy metal contamination is suspected to derive from a variety of sources, including nearby septic tanks and six large auto salvage yards that reside in a floodplain within Kennedale that leads to Lake Arlington.


At this time, there are efforts underway to better assess the problem and how dramatically this pollution may be affecting the lake, an important water resource for the wider community. Kennedale has engaged the engineering department at the University of Texas at Arlington to conduct a sediment and water quality study to determine baseline conditions.   The city is also participating with Fort Worth, Arlington and the Trinity River Authority (TRA) to study the existing conditions of the Lake Arlington watershed under an EPA 319 funded study through the guidance of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Lastly, the city is working with the US Army Corps of Engineers on a Section 205 Flood Control study of the affected areas – with a final report due in May of this year.

Alex Sun will serve as an advising partner to the city as they develop implementation and remediation plans for Village Creek.

Within one to two months following the release of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood control report, the project team will work together to develop recommendations on prioritizing next steps. Ensuing measures may include anything from testing soil quality to identify the extent of environmental degradation, further flood modeling given potential changes to infill development, to assessing the difficulty of identifying the source of contaminants in the area.


TEX Partner, ICMA, highlights science impact in three ICMA communities

In their May 2017 of PM Magazine, TEX partner, the International City and County Management Association (ICMA), highlighted stories from three ICMA communities collaborating with TEX scientists. Bob Hart, formerly of Kennedale, TX (now with Corinth, TX), Laura Allen (Berlin, MD), and Becky Merrow (Colebrook, NH) describe how their scientific partners are helping their towns address critical community priorities. Click here to read the full article.

All updates for this project

Project Team

Community Leader

Rachel Roberts received her master’s degree in city and regional planning from University of Texas at Arlington in 2008. She has worked for the City of Kennedale since 2009 and is now the community Development Director, overseeing all planning work and the permits and code enforcement staff. She is the staff liaison for the Planning & Zoning Commission and the Board of Adjustment. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and has received Congress of New Urbanism accreditation.

Bob Hart served as City Manager for the City of Kennedale from 2007-2017. He has served as City Manager in five other Texas cities and is an adjunct faculty member in the Master of Public Administration program at the University of Texas at Arlington. Bob also served as President of the Innovation Groups, leading the organization to its transformation to the Alliance for Innovation (AFI), a nonprofit association dedicated to local government capacity building, organizational culture development, technology maximization, and networking. Today, Bob is the City Manager for Corrinth, Texas, but he continues to support and engage with the project team when possible. 


Scientific Partner

Alexander Sun is a Research Scientists for the Bureau of Economic Geology and The University of Texas at Austin. In his current position he develops theoretical and analytical tools for predicting CO2 leakage into groundwater aquifers; conducting performance assessment of a proposed low-level radioactive waste repository in Texas. His research interests include sustainable water resources management, decision support systems, and contaminant source identification.