What's in Your Water?

In January, the TDEC released the first draft of the 2008 303(d) report, The 303(d), which is required by the Federal Clean Water Act, is a listing of streams, rivers, reservoirs, and lakes that do not meet water quality standards or cannot support the public’s use of them, due to contamination from either waste water systems or pasture runoff.

Below is a list of Hawkins County streams making the list, as well as contaminates and alleged sources.

(Let’s hope the Rogersville Water Department is paying close attention.)

Holston River, NORTH FORK, Mercury
HOLSTON RIVER, Mercury, Sources Outside the State
Atmospheric Deposition Assistance from EPA is requested for TMDLs which include atmospheric deposition
(Fish tissue advisories: Mile 0.0 – 6.2 Do not eat the fish. Advisory goes to TN/VA line. From the mouth of Poor Valley Creek Embayment (Mile 89.0) upstream to the confluence of the North and South Forks of the Holston near Kingsport (Mile 142.3). Precautionary advisory for all fish.)

JOHN SEVIER DETENTION RESERVOIR, Mercury, Sources Outside the State Assistance from EPA is requested for TMDLs which include atmospheric deposition
CHEROKEE RESERVOIR (UPPER), Mercury Atmospheric Deposition, Assistance from EPA is needed for TMDLs which include atmospheric deposition

CROCKETT CREEK, Loss of biological integrity due to siltation and Escherichia coli, Discharges from MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems) area
ALEXANDER CREEK, Biological integrity loss due to undetermined cause and Escherichia coli, Discharges from MS4 area (cited as First Utility District water supply)

UNNAMED TRIB TO RED HOUSE BR. EMBAYMENT, Loss of biological integrity due to siltation, Sand/Gravel/Rock Quarry

ARNOTT CREEK at army ammunitions plant, Thermal Modifications Habitat loss due to stream flow alterations, Major Industrial Point Source, Stream is Category 5 overall (one or more uses impaired), but flow alteration is 4c (impact not caused by a pollutant)

STONE MOUNTAIN BRANCH, Loss of biological integrity due to siltation, Undetermined Source
FLAT GAP CREEK, Hancock/Hawkins Biological integrity loss, undetermined cause

SMITH CREEK, Habitat loss due to alteration in stream-side
or littoral vegetative cover and Escherichia coli, Discharges from MS4 area Pasture Grazing and Land Development

SURGOINSVILLE CREEK, Escherichia coli Pasture Grazing and Septic Tanks

WALKER BRANCH, Loss of biological integrity due to siltation Habitat loss due to alteration in stream-side or littoral vegetative cover, Pasture Grazing
STOCK CREEK, Habitat loss due to alteration in stream-side or littoral vegetative cover, Pasture Grazing
CLOUD CREEK, Habitat loss due to alteration in stream-side
or littoral vegetative cover, Loss of biological integrity due to siltation
THREE FORKS BRANCH Hawkins Alteration in stream-side or littoral vegetative cover, Pasture Grazing
WHITEHORN CREEK Hamblen/Hawkins, Loss of biological integrity due to siltation, Pasture Grazing
COLDSPRING BRANCH, Loss of biological integrity due to siltation , Physical Substrate Habitat Alterations, Pasture Grazing

STANLEY CREEK, Escherichia coli, Pasture Grazing Stream
SINKING CREEK, Escherichia coli, Pasture Grazing
CANEY CREEK, Escherichia coli, Pasture Grazing
FORGEY CREEK Escherichia coli, Pasture Grazing
HORD CREEK, Escherichia coli, Pasture Grazing (cited as as First Utility District water supply)
STONEY POINT CREEK, Escherichia coli, Pasture Grazing

BRADLEY CREEK, Escherichia coli, Unrestricted Cattle Access.
RENFROE CREEK, Escherichia coli, Unrestricted Cattle Access
HUNT CREEK, Escherichia coli, Unrestricted Cattle Access

MUD CREEK Hamblen/Hawkins Escherichia coli Pasture Grazing Category 4a. Impaired, but EPA approved a TMDL for the known pollutants.

All streams listed, unless otherwise noted, are considered to be “Category 5,” meaning one or more uses have been impaired and a TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) is needed for the listed pollutants. TMDL studies quantify the amount of a pollutant in a stream, identifies the sources and recommends regulatory or other actions that may need to be taken in order for the stream to no longer be polluted.

Aside from the mercury contaminants we’ve been dealing with for years, the water quality is nothing unexpected. In fact, the report has changed very little from the final 303(d) 2006 report. The only stream included in 2006 report but not listed on the draft is Mill Creek, which listed septic tanks as source of e. coli contamination.

In short, Hawkins Countians may continue their long tradition of sending the kids out to wade in manure-tainted water. Eh. It didn’t kill me. And if you implement Mamma’s “Don’t drink the creekwater” rule and hit the showers following all crawdad-catching excursions or visits to the swimming hole: I don’t imagine it will kill you either.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s