Research / Water Science Laboratory / Belton Low Flow


The City of Belton is considering the development of Nolan Creek for recreational purposes; specifically, installing engineered channel modifications to support kayaking.  Nolan Creek discharge through Belton depends primarily upon upstream natural base flow, permitted wastewater outfalls, and permitted diversions.  Increasing population and water demand is driving interest and movement toward water conservation through wastewater recycling (i.e., wastewater outfall diversion and re-use).

This could potentially affect Nolan Creek flow and Belton’s proposed engineered channel modifications.  Historic flow records, wastewater discharge data, permitted diversion data, and known proposed changes were evaluated for this report.  United States Geological Survey gauging between 1974 and 1982 reported the lowest average daily discharge for Nolan Creek at Belton as 13 million gallons per day (MGD), greater than the engineered channel design minimum flow requirement of 10 MGD.  An average monthly flow budget, based on Nolan Creek estimated base flow, permitted wastewater discharges, and permitted diversions data, indicates that, under current conditions, flow should not fall below minimum channel design requirements if currently planned upstream diversions are implemented.  Engineered channel modifications offer services beyond the designed intent.