News and events from Knox County Stormwater Management.
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Strong Streams Newsletter
Winter 2021

Enhancing East Knox County Elementary

The TN Department of Agriculture awarded Knox County Stormwater a grant for improving water quality in the Roseberry Creek watershed. These funds are a pass-through grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency.  Using these funds, Knox County will cost-share with property owners in the Roseberry Creek watershed to fix or replace failing septic systems. Grant funds will also go towards the outdoor classroom at the East Knox County Elementary School. The funds are being used to bring the natural learning area back to life and install a rain garden at the back entrance of the school.

We are excited for students and the community to get involved in these projects and enjoy these outdoor spaces. The natural learning area features a nature trail, creek-side access, informational signs, and plenty of teaching and picnic space. The rain garden will be planted with native plants that attract pollinators, including various butterflies. Rain gardens are shallow depressions that temporarily hold water after a rain storm and then slowly let the water sink down through the soil. These gardens have shrubs and perennials that can withstand both wet and dry conditions. These projects will be complete by late spring 2021. We look forward to seeing these projects grow, connect with the community, and help the environment.  If you want to get involved, please contact us at or call us 865-215-5800.

Rainy Day Brush Off is Back!

The Rainy Day Brush Off is coming out of retirement after 10 years! This event invites local artists to create unique rain barrels that will be displayed at various locations around Knox County during the month of April to raise awareness about water quality in East Tennessee. The barrels will include a QR code that will take the visitor to educational information on the importance of water, artist information, how to purchase a rain barrel, and the sponsor info. To learn more about the event visit the Water Quality Forum's website. If your business is interested in hosting a rain barrel or becoming a sponsor contact Haley Michael-Lee at

What's in your water?

Spring is just around the corner and with spring comes landscaping, gardening and fertilizing. When applying fertilizer to your lawn or garden plants, it is important that you follow the instructions and apply the correct amount. Too much fertilizer can cause excess nutrients to wash into the waterways, especially if you apply fertilizer before it rains. In our streams, fertilizer can cause aquatic plants, like algae, to take over and form an algal bloom. As algal blooms die, the decay process uses up the oxygen in the water, which can be deadly to aquatic life. So when you plant your flowers and work on your lawn this spring, remember to correctly apply your fertilizer! 

The Water Quality Forum recently received a TVA Reservoir and Community Cleanup Grant! This $3200 grant will fund new supplies and replace old equipment for the Adopt-A-Stream program. Knox County Adopt-A-Stream can support more volunteers, host more Knox County organized cleanups, and make our streams strong! Some of the new supplies include waders, grabbers, gloves, and safety supplies. Our AmeriCorps Member Sean, helped write the TVA grant proposal along with Stormwater staff and the WQF. We hope this grant  leads to cleaner streams and a healthier community. If you would like to participate in Adopt-A-Stream there are plenty of happy little streams in Knox County waiting to be adopted.  

We are looking forward to hosting cleanups in the spring so stay up-to-date on volunteer opportunities with our Facebook page and Instagram @strongstreams.  Thanks to TVA for their support!

This year we are excited to announce that we will be participating in Tennessee Tree Day! It is Tennessee’s largest single-day planting event. This special event is part of the Tennessee Environmental Council’s goal to plant one million native trees by 2025. Knox County Stormwater AmeriCorps will be handing out pre-ordered trees at Tyson Park, 2351 Kingston Pike, on March 20th from 9 am-2 pm. Click here to place your tree order and we will do the rest. The last day to order trees is March 7th. We are also committed to making this a safe and socially distant event in regards of COVID-19. If you have any questions email us at  

Welcome to the AmeriCorner!


Here you can find all the latest information about our AmeriCorps members and what projects they are working on this year.

Every year, Knox County Stormwater collects samples from streams around the county to monitor for the indicator bacteria, E. coli. Bacteria and other diseasing-causing organisms can compromise human health and make streams unsafe for use. Water samples are collected once a week over the span of a month and delivered to the Hallsdale Powell Utility District laboratory for analysis.  

Along with this project, we also complete visual stream assessments where we survey streams around Knox County for severe erosion, riparian buffer impacts, trash, and debris. We use this information to identify potential restoration and cleanup sites. Knox County Stormwater has a goal to walk over 90 miles of streams this year! Karalee is our AmeriCorps member in charge of these projects and her duties include planning routes for visual stream assessments, collecting samples, and managing the field teams. Karalee uses creative problem solving skills when completing visual stream assessments as a lot of tricky situations can arise when out in the field. Her favorite part of sampling was spending time with her fellow AmeriCorps members and finding unique debris out in the field! Additional projects that Karalee is working on is the after school education program, the EPW pollution prevention inspections and organizing Tennessee Tree Day.  

Visit our website at to learn more about our programs and where to get your questions answered. Visit our Facebook page to keep up to date on all the latest happenings on the streams of Knox County.
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Knox County Stormwater Management 
205 W. Baxter Ave. 
Knoxville, TN 37917
Phone: (865) 215-5540
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Knox County Stormwater Management · 205 W. Baxter Ave. · Knoxville, TN 37917 · USA

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