RCWA requests TDEC include mitigation for Whitworth permit approval

At a Public Hearing held by TDEC Division of Water Resources on Feb 19, RCWA provided a Handout outlining issues and conditions recommended for approval of Whitworth Subdivison’s request for a TDEC Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit—to dredge a portion of their 3.5-acre in-line pond for removal of 3000 cubic yards of accumulated sediment.

It took considerable amount of time to review the subdivision’s 3-phase Planned Unit Development (PUD) files, spanning 20+ years of construction, additions, and alterations. The Handout speaks to the problems found, justifying a call for conditions to be implemented for permit approval.

The in-line pond construction occurred during the PUD Phase III [1990s] timeline. Many adjustments and additions had to be made, including reconstruction. Perhaps missteps and issues would have been averted if regulatory agencies were consulted?  The pond is illicit, without legal standing, and documents called for something much different (a detention pond) than what exists today (a retention pond).

Approx. 3.5 acres, Whitworth pond

Approx. 3.5 acres, Whitworth pond

A detention pond holds storm water runoff for a short period of time and filtrates-out pollution, and reduces surface storage. A retention pond holds runoff for a much longer period of time, provides no mitigation of runoff pollution, and leaves less flood storage available. (The pond’s impervious liner prevents filtration.)  Read more.

Built in path of stream channel, the pond collects two upland freshwater tributaries headed west to Bosley Springs Branch that immediately mix with an exorbitant amount of stormwater runoff that includes I-440. Placement of the pond, and its stormwater toxic-mix has impacted water quality, altered fish habitat, and increased flood risk.

Our conditions for mitigation ask that: freshwaters be conveyed back to the Bosley Springs Branch, a bio-retention area be created, and any dredging be conducted during the dry season. The results would be cleaner water, freshwater reconnecting to a natural channel, and more flood storage made available.

We proposed a joint public/private plan to Whitworth representatives as a long-term solution to the issues created by the original pond construction and subsequent attempts to maintain its status. Our plan aims at preserving Bosley Springs Branch and Richland Creek as a freshwater habitat for fish and aquatic life.

The Division will make a decision for the permit after the public comment period ends, and announced it is extending the comment period until March 2. Send comments to:


Attn: Brian Canada
William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower
312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, 11th Floor
Nashville, Tennessee 37243-1102
Email: Brian.Canada@TN.GOV
FAX: 615-532-0686

Richland Creek Watershed Alliance. All rights reserved. Richland Creek Watershed Alliance is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation.