Obed/Emory Watershed Information

Nature Conservancy - $10 million plan would spruce up plateau

Public Hearing on Cumberland Coal Company Expansion


September 7, 2001
2.  Proposed TMDL for Crab Orchard Creek, Emory River Watershed:

Announcement is hereby given of the availability of Tennessee’s proposed Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for pH in the Crab Orchard Creek sub watershed, part of the Emory River watershed, located in eastern Tennessee. Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act requires states to develop TMDLs for waters on their impaired waters list. TMDLs must determine the allowable pollutant load that the water can assimilate, allocate that load among the various point and non point sources, include a margin of safety, and address seasonality.

(This TMDL may be accessed at:

Crab Orchard Creek is listed on Tennessee’s final 1998 303(d) list as not supporting designated use classifications due, in part, to low pH associated with abandoned mines. The TMDL utilizes net alkalinity (as CaCO3) as a surrogate for pH, a load duration curve developed from USGS
continuous record station flow data, Tennessee’s general water quality criteria, in-stream water quality monitoring data, and an appropriate Margin of Safety (MOS) to establish loadings of net alkalinity (as
CaCO3) which will result in the attainment of water quality standards for pH.

Persons wishing to comment on the TMDL are invited to submit their comments in writing no later than September 20, 2001 to:

Division of Water Pollution Control
Watershed Management Section
6th Floor, L & C Annex
401 Church Street
Nashville, TN 37243-1534


2 Apr 2001

Water Quality in the Obed Watershed, Field Sampling Project, April 6-7:

TCWP, as one of the main sponsor organizations for Tennessee Paddle, is leading conservation efforts for the Obed-Emory River watershed. Tennessee Paddle Conservation projects include: 1) Projects that directly benefit the National Park Service and the Obed Wild and Scenic River (money for stream gauges and other monitoring equipment, special user surveys, or scientific studies), 2) service projects at heavy user areas of the Obed Wild and Scenic River (litter pick-up and trail work), and 3) environmental education projects that benefit or educate people in communities in the Obed-Emory watershed.


The first conservation project for this year's Tennessee Paddle festival focuses on water quality assessment in the Obed and Emory River watersheds. Tennessee Paddle volunteers will work with Morgan County high school students and teachers from Wartburg, Coalfield, and Oakdale and scientists from the UT Water Resources Center to collect and analyze water samples from about 25 locations in the Obed-Emory watershed.


Tennessee Paddle volunteers and students will collect water samples on Friday, April 6 and Saturday, April 7. The students may begin analyzing the water samples on Friday and continue analyses at the festival on Saturday April 7. Students will post results on displays and a map of the watershed that will later appear on the Tennessee Paddle website (www.tennesseepaddle.com). Students will have informative displays and handouts about watershed protection and water quality, and people who can discuss specific water quality issues with festival patrons. We hope to turn this into a long-term monitoring project that will provide useful water quality data about the ecological health of the watershed.


Volunteers Needed

Volunteers to assist with water sampling are needed!  We will need volunteers with autos that don't mind doing some driving and maybe getting a little bit wet for the water sampling. Samplers must be able to find specific locations within the Obed and Emory watersheds, use a portable water quality meter to collect and record field data, fill a couple of sample containers, and record some basic field observations about the sites where they sampled. Samplers will be taught how to use the instruments before they go out. Volunteers may have to hike short distances (~0.25 mile one way) to reach some locations.


Boaters will be able collect additional water samples from inaccessible locations within the Obed gorge, Clear Creek, Daddys Creek, and the Emory River gorge.


I look forward to hearing from people who are interested in helping with this project. Please drop me an email, call, or sign up at the Tennessee Paddle website (www.tennesseepaddle.com) on the "Help Needed" page. Thanks.


Jimmy Groton

Tennessee Paddle Conservation Team

[email protected]

865/481-8732 (work)

865/483-5799 (home)



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