Water Quality Committee Work

Over the years the Water Quality Committee has led many efforts to improve and monitor the water quality of the Tellico Reservoir Watershed. Most noteworthy of these efforts was the effort to improve the effluent from the Madisonville Water treatment plant. This effort took many years, coordination with other government and private agencies, and several court cases.

WATeR has also worked with other agencies to improve agricultural practices to lessen pollution runoff into the lake. These efforts are on-going. Agricultural runoff pollution is significant in this watershed because much of the watershed is located in rural, agricultural, areas.

Perhaps the most critical and unaddressed problem facing the watershed today is residential pollution runoff from the communities that have been built around Tellico Lake. Residents must be educated in how to avoid runoff and must be encouraged to change their lawn fertilizer methods and to grow boundaries that will lessen the runoff.


It can be done.

Information on Water Quality Projects

New video about no-till farming and how it protect the lake.

Notill farm 2022-07-06 120806.jpg

Government Agencies

We Work With

Who they are and what they do.


Asian Carp Migration in Tennessee River System

WATeR is tracking the migration of Asian Carp in the Lower Tennessee River System and the plans and progress to prevent them from reaching East Tennessee

Read more.

WATeR Resolution to TVPOA

TWRA webpage on Asian Carp


Riparian Buffer Zone

To reduce nutrient & pollutant loading of Tellico Reservoir, WATeR encourages lakefront homeowners to establish a “riparian buffer zone” along their waterfront.  

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Lawn Management Practices


Water Clarity

The September secchi disk visibility in three Tellico Reservoir embayments during 2018 averaged 21 inches less than that measured during WQIC projects in 2016.


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Fork Creek

Because of pollution issues related to siltation, bacterial counts, and phosphate levels, Fork Creek is classified as an impaired stream on the State of Tennessee’s 303(d) list.  Over the past several years, WATeR personnel have been working with stakeholders to identify opportunities for water quality improvement.  This included performing water quality sampling to assist TDEC to identify types and sources of pollution.

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Baker Creek Project

Since 2010 WATeR has worked with the Blount County Soil Conservation District to improve water quality and reduce pollution in the Baker Creek Watershed.


Final Report by Blount County Soil Conservation District Phase 1 (2015)

Final Report by Blount County Soil Conservation District Phase 2 (2019)

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Bat Creek Project

WATeR did a two year study of sources of pollution in the Bat Creek Watershed. WATeR also sued Madisonville to fix their waste water treatment plant The new plant opened in 2017. And WATeR is currently working to get a grant to help farmers achieve Best Management Practices.

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Read full report


Cattle Watering

WATeR is working with TVA and local cattlemen to implement better, less polluting, methods for watering cattle.

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PCB in the Lake

WATeR has been checking TDEC's PCB data for years. And it is not as bad as it used to be.

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Shoreline Erosion

Shoreline erosion is usually caused by wind and boat wakes. Erosion can cause land loss, tree falls and increased turbidity.

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Water Quality in Embayments

WATeR has done a study to determine if it is safe to swim in Tellico Reservoir. Bottom line, avoid shallow embayments after heavy rains.

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