To determine whether motorized watercraft are a major factor in MTBE surface water
contamination through recreation, surface water samples were collected in a multipurpose reservoir (Lake Austin) during periods of high and low recreational watercraft
use. A non-parametric, one-tailed, Mann-Whitney U two-sample analysis was used to
determine if there was a significant difference between the summer and winter sampling.
Concentrations of MTBE above the Texas taste and odor criteria of 15 ppb were not
found in Lake Austin. Although a significant difference was found between the summer
and winter concentrations (1.48 ppb) of MTBE (p<0001), MTBE contamination due to
motorized recreational boating did not pose a health threat in Texas.