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2023 Lake Cleanup




An important event sponsored by WATeR is the annual Tellico Reservoir shoreline cleanup.  The most recent such event took place on March 18, 2023.  Some 250 volunteers from 21 community and club organizations helped collect nearly 11 tons of trash from a wide variety of locations around the lake.  Several large dumpsters were placed at key locations around the lake and served as collection points. Republic Services provided the dumpsters, as well as properly disposed of the trash


Tellico Lake is located in beautiful East Tennessee in Loudon, Monroe and Blount counties.


It is approximately 33 miles long with 370 miles of shoreline.


Tom Ringenbach
Phone: 865-458-0915

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To improve the natural beauty of Tellico Lake and surrounding areas by coordinating an annual watershed clean up.

Project Description

The Watershed Cleanup date is selected in the spring prior to water rising to summer pool and the committee members begin recruiting clubs, organizations and neighborhoods for their participation.

Tennessee Valley Authority, Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency, Republic Services, Tellico Village Public Works, Loudon County Sheriffs Meth Lab Office and First Responders are also contacted for their support of trash bags, gloves, dumpsters, landfill usage, dump trucks and emergency support.

Committee members attend local club and organizational meetings discussing litter issues and recruiting volunteers. The lake and surrounding area is surveyed for trash pick up areas and based on the number of volunteers in each group, they are pre assigned a specific area to be cleaned. Prior to the clean up day, committee members provide the groups trash bags, gloves, tongs, meth lab warning sheets, and directions to the clean up site. Volunteers in boats are also provided tarps, lake charts and a t-shirt.

Committee members begin the day of the clean up at the Tellico Village Yacht Club directing individual volunteers to sites reserved for them. They continue by checking the progress of the volunteers, providing extra trash bags, taking pictures, etc.. The next day they drive around the lake with trucks and trailers to consolidate the trash. Finally, they report the amount of trash collected and locations of trash that requires pick up by T. V. Public Works or the Tennessee Valley Authority.


The Watershed Cleanup could not be accomplished without grants, donations, and the support of individual volunteers, clubs and organizations. We want to give a special thanks to:

  • Tennessee Valley Authority for providing funding, gloves, trash bags and boats

  • Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency for funding

  • General Federated Women’s Club of Tellico Village for funding

  • Republic Services for providing free access to the Loudon County landfill and providing four (4) free dumpsters at pickup sites

  • Tellico Village Public Works for consolidating and removing trash from pickup sites

  • Tellico Village First Responders for being ready to go in case of emergency

  • Tellico Boaters Assistance Response Team (T-BART) for having crews ready to assist boaters on the lake and also for providing free lake charts to boat captains who used their boats during the cleanup

  • Loudon County Sheriffs Office for Officers and a Meth Lab Mobile Command truck on standby to investigate in case suspicious items were discovered.

  • Monroe County Sheriffs Office for availability of their Meth Lab

  • Loudon County Convenience Center for helping dispose of the tires and plastic recyclables.

Schedule / Progress / Milestones

During the past 15 years, approximately 116 tons of trash has been removed from the lake area by 3,625 volunteers and taken to the landfill.

In 2005, WATeR was awarded a “Certificate of Excellence” from Keep Tennessee Beautiful for their efforts.

March 19, 2016: WATeR volunteers participated in the 15th annual lakeshore clean-up of the Tellico Watershed. We had 330 volunteers repre- senting 26 clubs, organizations and communities, including students from Sequoya High School, Greenback High School and a troop of Monroe County Boy Scouts. The volunteers picked up trash from 57 locations lo- cated in Loudon, Monroe and Blount counties.

The weather threatened rain but once again turned out perfect for the event. The volunteers did another outstanding job.They picked approximately 6 tons of trash plus 11 tires. During the 15 years 5611 volunteers have collected over 116 tons of trash from around Tellico lake. WATeR and volunteers continue to regularly collect trash from barrels at designated sights and continue to keep the trails and islands clean during the year.

Once again,we want to thank the volunteers, clubs, organizations and communities for their support and on-going efforts. We also want to give a special thanks to TVA, Republic Services for providing dumpsters and free access to the landfill, TWRA, TRDA, Loudon County Convenience Center, Tellico Village Public Works, T-Bart, Loudon county and Monroe County Sheriff’s departments and to the high school students and boy scouts.

The Clean Up Committee is Ned Miller,  Bob Kutschera, Tom Ringenbach and Jeff Rauch.  WATeR is an all-volunteer, non-profit, tax-exempt organization whose members are dedicated to protecting and improving the environment in and around the Tellico Watershed. It is supported with memberships, grants and donations.

Background Info

The Watershed Cleanup (originally called Tellico Lake Clean Up) was begun in 2002 with 250 volunteers. That year, 4 tons of trash was collected with the help of TVA supplying trash bags and gloves.

Approximately 360 volunteers collected some 5 tons of trash during the 10th Annual Watershed Cleanup, March 2011. During this 15 year period, 3,983 volunteers, representing 26 clubs, organizations and communities have participated in the cleanups to collect more than 116 tons of trash.

March 19, 2022

20 local organizations and clubs volunteered and removed trash from around the Tellico Reservoir watershed. Over 250 volunteers came out representing Tellico Harbor Marina, Madisonville BSA Troop 10, Sequoyah High School, T-BART, homeowner groups from Kahite, WindRiver, Foothills Pointe, Rarity Bay, Harbor Place, Harbor Place, and Tellico Village, and several Tellico Village Clubs; Soggy Bottoms, Muddy Boots, Dock Captains, Women’s Club, Lions’ Club, Riders Club, Ford Club, and the Fishing Club. Tools and trash bags were supplied by TVA. Waste removal was performed by Republic Services.

2022 Cleanup
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