Nutrients Resource Library
NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE
National Water Quality Initiative
NWQI is designed to help individual agricultural producers take actions to reduce the loss of sediment, nutrients and pathogens into waterways where water quality is a critical concern. The goal of NWQI is to implement conservation practices in sufficient quantity in a concentrated area so that agriculture no longer contributes to the impairment of water bodies within priority watersheds.
To achieve these goals, NRCS will work with landowners to implement conservation practices such as nutrient management, cover crops, conservation cropping systems, filter strips, terraces and buffers. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funds this assistance, and in some cases, is leveraged by funds from local and state partners.
Within the Cumberland River Basin, all NWQI priority watersheds are at the HUC12 level and within the Collins River watershed. Priority watersheds are the Little Hickory Creek (051301070101), West Fork Hickory Creek watershed (051301070102), and Hickory Creek watershed (051301070103).
Procedure to Estimate the Response of Aquatic Systems to Changes in Phosphorus and Nitrogen Inputs
Provides a simple tool to estimate waterbody sensitivity to nutrients. Useable by field conservationists, partners, and landowners with little prior educational background
U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
National Land Cover Datasets
The primary objective of the NLCD is to provide the Nation with nationally complete, current, consistent, and public domain information on the Nation's land cover. Land cover information is critical for local, state, and federal managers and officials to assist them with issues such as assessing ecosystem status and health, modeling nutrient and pesticide runoff, understanding spatial patterns of biodiversity, land use planning, deriving landscape pattern metrics, and developing land management policies.
Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool
The Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool provides downloadable data layers and key information on the the extent and magnitude of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in our Nation’s waters; water quality problems or potential problems related to this pollution; and potential sources of these pollutants.
Nutrient Indicators Dataset
As part of EPA’s ongoing efforts to work collaboratively with states and other partners to accelerate nutrient load reductions and state adoption of numeric nutrient criteria, and as outlined in a March 2011 Nutrient Framework memorandum, EPA has developed the Nutrient Indicators Dataset. This Dataset consists of a set of indicators and associated state-level data to serve as a regional compendium of information pertaining to potential or documented nitrogen and phosphorus pollution, impacts of that pollution, and states’ efforts to minimize loadings and adopt numeric criteria for nutrients into state water quality standards. Information on the data source(s) used, the data collection process, and any caveats or assumptions made which should be considered when using the data, are included on each indicator’s individual web page.
Nutrient Pollution Outreach and Education Materials
The goal of this site is to assist state and local agencies, watershed groups, nongovernmental organizations and others in developing effective outreach materials related to nutrient pollution.
ROE National Land Cover Dataset (NLCD)
This raster dataset comes from the National Land Cover Database (NLCD), 2011 version. It represents land cover across the contiguous 48 states, circa 2011. Each 30-meter-square pixel has been classified using a standard land cover classification scheme, and some of these categories have been aggregated further according to procedures outlined in EPA's Report on the Environment (www.epa.gov/roe). Data were originally processed and compiled by the Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics Consortium (MRLC), a U.S. federal inter-agency group, based on Landsat satellite imagery.
Spreadsheet Tool for Estimating Pollutant Load (STEPL)
STEPL employs simple algorithms to calculate nutrient and sediment loads from different land uses and the load reductions that would result from the implementation of various best management practices (BMPs).
U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service established the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program to restore historic habitat types, which benefit native fishes and wildlife. Interested landowners in Tennessee andKentucky can receive technical advice and funding to do livestock exclusion fencing/alternate water supply construction, streambank stabilization; restoration of native Vegetation; wetland restoration/enhancement; riparian reforestation; and restoration of in-stream Aquatic Habitats. Projects must benefit Federal Trust Resources (threatened or endangered species, wetlands, migratory birds). Click the appropriate link for TN or KY above for program details for each state.
U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
Assessment of Pesticides, Nutrients, and Suspended Sediment of the Little River Basin, Kentucky
The purpose of this work is 1) develop and apply a multiple-source tracking approach to identify different sources(s) of pathogens, sediment and nitrogen that are exported to streams across land use and variable hydrologic conditions, and 2) provide insight into pathways to improve water quality for various parameters.This effort will also help guide effective restoration efforts primarily in the South Fork Little River subbasin.
Multiple-source tracking: Investigating sources of pathogens, nutrients, and sediment in the Upper Little River Basin, Kentucky, water years 2013–14
In this study, different approaches were used to identify potential sources of fecal-indicator bacteria (FIB), nitrate, and suspended sediment; to inform the TMDL process; and to aid in the implementation of effective watershed-management activities.
USGS Scientific Investigations Report 2017–5086
Multiple-Source Tracking: Investigating Sources of Pathogens, Nutrients, and Sediment in the Upper Little River Basin, Kentucky, Water Years 2013–14.
Water Availability Tool for Environmental Resources (WATER) - Kentucky
WATER was developed to provide a method of estimating streamflow, water availability, and other hydrologic information in un-gaged Kentucky basins. WATER incorporates and processes geospatial data to quantitatively describe topography, soil-water storage, climate, streamflow, and other parameters. WATER is also designed so that it can be expanded for other science and regulatory applications including, but not limited to, sediment and nutrient loads, evaluation of surface mining effects (Cumulative Hydrologic Impact Assessments), as well as flows that are necessary for ecological viability.
STATE RESOURCES - KENTUCKY
KY DIVISION OF CONSERVATION
State Cost Share Program
The Kentucky Soil Erosion and Water Quality Cost Share Program and the Kentucky Soil Stewardship Program are financial and technical assistance programs created to help agricultural operations protect the soil and water resources of Kentucky and to implement their agriculture water quality plans. Water related practices eligible for cost share are agriculture and animal waste control facilities; streambank stabilization; animal waste utilization; vegetative filter strips; integrated crop management; pesticide containment; sinkhole protection; pasture and hay land forage quality; heavy use area protection; rotational grazing system establishment; water well protection; forest land and cropland erosion control systems; closure of agriculture waste impoundment; on-farm fallen animal composting; soil health management; precision nutrient management; strip intercropping system; livestock stream crossing and riparian area protection.
KY DIVISION OF WATER
Kentucky Nutrient Reduction Strategy
The Kentucky Division of Water is developing a draft Nutrient Reduction Strategy to outline ongoing and future efforts to reduce the amount nutrients entering Kentucky waters and, ultimately, the Gulf of Mexico. Kentucky’s strategy is being designed as a comprehensive, overarching framework to guide reduction of nutrient loading and develop a reasonable and appropriate watershed-specific plan to manage nutrients. The strategy will build on programs already in place in Kentucky and will consolidate activities being conducted by other state and federal agencies.This webpage includes additional documents and information about the strategy.
KY GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
Kentucky Nutrient Model
The Kentucky Nutrient Model (KYNM) was developed in 2014 to provide the Kentucky Division of Water (KDOW) with a simplified tool for use in developing nutrient based TMDLs and in evaluating different nutrient management strategies. This webpage offers more information and links visitors to the Kentucky Nutrient Model Report and a Kentucky Nutrient Model Calibration Tutorial.
Groundwater Quality Maps by Pollutant
Maps showing existence of groundwater pollutants across KY for manganese, iron, cadmium, mercury, selenium, pH, nitrate-nitrogen, and a number of other contaminants. This webpage also includes summaries of groundwater quality for the portions of the Cumberland River Basin that are found within Kentucky.
STATE RESOURCES - TENNESSEE
TN DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Agricultural Resources Conservation Fund
The ARCF provides cost-share assistance to Tennessee landowners to install Best Management Practices (BMPs) that reduce agricultural water pollution. A wide range of BMPs are available for cost-share, from those that curtail soil erosion to ones that help to remove pollutants from water runoff from agricultural operations. Landowners may be eligible to receive up to 75% of the cost of a BMP installation. Part of the fund is also available for educational projects which raise awareness of soil erosion/water quality problems and promote BMP use.
Nonpoint Source Program, EPA Section 319
To address nonpoint source pollution, Congress established the Nonpoint Source Program, funded by the US-EPA through Section 319 of the Clean Water Act. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture administers the Nonpoint Source Program in Tennessee on behalf of US-EPA. This program, created in 1987, provides funds to states, territories and Indian tribes for installing Best Management Practices to stop NPS pollution; providing training, education, and demonstrations; and monitoring water quality. This webpage has links to department of agriculture Watershed Coordinators, Nonpoint Source FAQs, NPS Success Stories, NPS Annual Report; and the 319 Management Program Document.
TN DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND CONSERVATION
Landscaping, Gardening, and Pest Control Storm Water BMP Brochure
This pamphlet provides landscapers, gardeners, and pest controllers with information for preventing pollution from entering streams and rivers from polluted storm water. It contains general information and tips, as well as home and garden pesticide alternatives, pesticide disposal, and more.
TN DIVISION OF WATER RESOURCES
Comparison of Nutrient Levels, Periphyton Densities and Diurnal Dissolved Oxygen Patterns in Impaired and Reference Quality Streams in Tennessee
This document compares algal densities and nutrient levels to diurnal DO patterns in reference and impaired steams in 16 subecoregions.
Development of Regionally-Based Interpretations of Tennessee's Narrative Nutrient Criterion
This report contains guidance for interpretation of existing narrative nutrient criteria based on regional reference data. The report summarizes reference nutrient data and describes how nitrate+nitrite and total phosphorus goals were developed.
Quality Systems Standard Operating Procedures for Stream Sampling, Surveys, and Monitoring
These document describes procedures for collecting chemical and bacteriological samples of surface waters; for undertakingMacroinvertebrate and Periphyton Stream Surveys; for monitoring wadeable streams (including design and stream characterization,macroinvertebrate and habitat, water chemistry, pathogens, and periphyton); streams below impoundments, and Inner Nashville Basin streams with an emphasis on nutrient and macroinvertebrate relationships.
Regional Characterization of Streams in Tennessee with Emphasis on Diurnal Dissolved Oxygen, Nutrients, Habitat, Geomorphology and Macroinvertebrates
This report describes a 2004 statewide study, which is a continuation of a 2002 study of regional differences in diurnal dissolved oxygen patterns in wadeable streams. Other goals of this study were to characterize streams based on geomorphology, periphyton, and nutrients and describe streams that cross ecoregions in west Tennessee.
Tennessee Draft Nutrient Reduction Framework
This document describes the development of the Tennessee Nutrient Reduction Framework, the rationale and the methodology used to accomplish long-term nutrient reduction in Tennessee waters.
Tennessee's Plan for Nutrient Criteria Development
Describes the approach the Division of Water Resources will use to identify and adopt additional water quality standards for nutrient related parameters.
TN WILDLIFE RESOURCES AGENCY
Backyard Conservation Booklet
A guide to bringing conservation to you backyard. Topics include water conservation, nutrient management, backyard wetlands, and more.
Rainwater: Your Liquid Asset A Home Stormwater Exercise
Information for helping homeowners what happens to stormwater on their property and how to mitigate stormwater pollution.
Reducing Soluble Phosphorus Content to Control Algal Growth in Farm Ponds
Water quality in many ponds is poor due to poor management. Sediments and excessive nutrients, especially phosphorus, cause algal growth, low dissolved oxygen levels, fish kills and odors. Herbicide technologies for controlling algae do not treat the problem but rather the symptoms, therefore control with herbicide is often temporary. Addition of alum, a common technology for drinking water treatment, treats the problem.
Smart Yards Program
Tennessee Smart Yards is a University of Tennessee-led program that guides and assists Tennessee residents and neighborhood associations on practices they can apply in their yards and common spaces to create healthier living spaces and communities. Courses aim to help homeowners achieve a landscape that reflects their values, desires and needs, while ensuring the protection of our state's waterways. Water related principles of a smart yard include using water efficiently, using fertilizers appropriately, reducing storm water runoff and its pollutants, and potecting water's edge, amongst others. Check out the Smart Yards yardstick for a check list of mitigation activities associate with smart yard principles.
Teacher Resources - Backyard STEM for Tennessee 4-H
A webpage with a variety of environmental stewardship related teaching resources organized by soils, water and watersheds, wildlife and ecology, and more. Water and watershed related resources include teacher modules on Nutrient Pollution and Eutrophication, Stormwater Mapping, Sediments and Water Quality, Benthic Macroinvertibrates, Rain Gardens, Soil Water Holding Capacity, and Watershed Mapping.
UTK MUNICIPAL TECHNICAL ADVISORY SERVICE
Stormwater BMP Toolkit - Municipal Housekeeping
This side provides a list of stormwater related good housekeeping resources. Resources include: Advanced Storage Technology - Salt Storage Product Information; Clean Water (National PTA); Cleaning Up Stormwater Runoff; Do's and Don'ts Around the Home; Inlet Etiquette; Lawn & Garden Fertilizers; Lawn & Garden Pesticides; Lawn Watering; Lawn Weed Control; Maintaining Your BMP- Guidebook for Private Owners; Maintaining Your Stormwater Management Structure; Managing Leaves and Yard Trimmings; Managing Your Household Waste; Environmental Guideline Document How to be Green and Stay in the Black; Pet Waste and Water Quality; Polluted Urban Runoff; Rethinking Yard Care Handout; Shoreline Plants and Landscaping; and Storm Sewers: Rivers Beneath Our Feet.
UT WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH CENTER
Tennessee Water Resources Research Center Annual Technical Report FY 2015-16
A report that covers a variety of TWRRCA work including: 104B Seed Grants; Student Stipends; Nutrient, Climate, and Outreach initiatives.
Capacity Management Program
The concept of capacity management was developed by the Environmental Protection Agency in an effort to reduce sewer system overflows. The Capacity, Management, Operation & Maintenance Program or C.M.O.M., was established to help sewer system’s develop standard management, operations and maintenance activities that aid in preventing, finding and correcting system problems contributing to sewer overflows.
Fats, Oils and Grease Control Program
The purpose of the Fats, Oils and Grease Control Program, or F.O.G. is to prevent sewer system blockages, obstructions and overflows due to the contribution and accumulation of fats, oils and grease from food service establishments, commercial facilities and industrial facilities.
Sewer Rehabilitation Program
The goal of the Department’s Sewer Rehabilitation Program (SRP) is to investigate, identify and correct failing sewer infrastructure in order to increase system capacity and insure the life of its assets. This webpage provides additional information about the program.
Information about the Brentwood Sewer System including maps of the sewer basin and sewer service area and links to information about the grinder pump system, sewer rehabilitation program, and sewer system capacity. Click here to access Brentwood's Sewer System Master Plan.
Water Services Department
The City of Brentwood, TN Water Services Department’s web site. Here you’ll find information pertaining to daily operations, rules and regulations for constructing water and sewer facilities and public education.
Education and Outreach - Stormwater
This webpage offers residential tips to reduce stormwater pollution.
Best Management Practices for Homeowners
Resources for helping homeowners manage stormwater pollution. Resources include: the Homeowners Guide to Cleaner Water; how toCreate a Streamside Buffer; 25 Ways to Prevent Water Waste; How to Make a Rain Garden; How to Make a Rain Barrel; How to Recycle Used Oil; Oil Recycling Locations; Summertime Tips for Water Quality; a Storm Drain Labeling Fact Sheet and Storm Drain Labeling Request Form; and Grass Clipping Disposal and Fertilizer Usage Information.
Grass Clippings and Fertilizer Use Information
Information for homeowners on responsibly disposing of grass clippings and applying fertilizers.
Banner Displays Available for Checkout
Metro Water Services provides standing display banners for use at single-day or multi-day events. Banners include: Metro Water Services History, Clean Water Begins at Home, Garden Chemicals, Yard Waste Disposal, Sediment, Scoop the Poop, Storm Drains,Watersheds,Trash in Streams, and Oil and Vehicle Maintenance.
Proper Lawn and Garden Maintenance
Tips for maintaining your lawn and garden in ways that don't contribute to or that help mitigate stormwater pollution. The site includes a Homeowners Guide to Lawn and Garden Maintenance; a link to Tennessee Smart Yards Tips; and ways to Request a Speaker for Your Garden Club or Neighborhood Meeting. The site also offers two videos about the Proper Use of Lawn Chemicals and Controlling Erosion with a Hillside Garden.
NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION RESOURCES
CUMBERLAND RIVER COMPACT
Green Alley Project
The Cumberland River Compact’s Green Alley project is transforming alleys from asphalt stormwater conveyances that transport pollution to our most vulnerable streams into areas that percolate and clean polluted stormwater, thereby improving water quality throughout the city.
We work with the public to build rain gardens in yards, at schools, churches, parks, and businesses. Rain gardens can capture and percolate tens of thousands of gallons of stormwater a year. This prevents the transport of pollutants into our waterways. The Cumberland River Compact hosts classes, offers site visits, and organizes volunteer groups to build rain gardens. We have built close to 500 rain gardens in middle Tennessee. The Rain Gardens for NashvilleGuide is available from this webpage.
River Friendly Agriculture
Best management practices (BMPs), funding sources, and contacts for landowners to help protect our state’s precious water. This webpage provides links to an explanation of agricultural BMPs, resources for paying for BMPs,certifications for farms, and contacts who can offer technical advice. All of this information is available in pdf form here.
Sugartree Creek Restoration
The Cumberland River Compact and its partners, Metro Water Services and the Nature Conservancy, Tennessee Chapter are working in Sugartree Creek to establish a model for urban stream mediation. The goal of our project is to implement newly designed EPA software that determines optimum locations for water quality projects and apply this to Sugartree Creek.
Agricultural Best Management Practices
A list of 10 recommended best management practices for agricultural producers. Included are riparian buffers, no till, rotational grazing, cover crops, keeping cattle away from stream banks, getting soil and manure tests to determine proper application levels, ensure pesticide applicators are properly calibrated, and more.
Beneficial Conservation Practices for Farmers
This guide provides information about agricultural practices that help protect your soil and water while saving you money and preventing future problems from occurring. A list of conservation practices and benefits is provided, as are funding and support programs, and resources and support for cover crops, alternate water sources for livestock, rotational grazing, phosphorous in the environment, tree plantings and riparian zone restoration, and additional general information about water quality on farms and best management practices from TN's extension office.
This webpage provides an overview of HWRA efforts to restore the headwaters of the Harpeth using 319 grant funding. Efforts have focused on reducing nonpoint source stormwater pollution with exclusion fences, stabilizing feeding areas, and stabilizing streambanks.
Home and Garden Tips
These tips cover things you can do around the house and in your garden that will affect the health of rivers and streams. Suggestions cover conservation, household contaminants, nonpoint source pollution, oil and gas, environmentally safe products without chlorine and phosphate products and solvents. Links on this page take visitors to a printable River Smart Around the Home Tips Sheet and River Smart Gardening Tips Sheet, a video about where drinking water comes from, non toxic home cleaning products and tips, and information about where to recycle in Nashville.
Protect Our River Campaign
This webpage contains materials to help keep the community informed about the decisions being made that affect the Harpeth River's water quality. It includes recent press releases and an explanatory factsheets related to the watershed associations legal action's against the City of Franklin including: a Why Sue Franklin? factsheet; a Settlements with Smaller Sewer Plants factsheet; and a Lawsuit Summary factsheet.
River Restoration and Wildlife Protection Program
The River Restoration & Wildlife Protection program coordinates and implements projects that restore streams, address stream bank erosion, and reduce pollution from runoff in urban, suburban, and rural areas. Example restoration projects are provided on this page including riparian zone restoration, tree planting, bank stabilization, rain gardens, and stream clean-ups. Links on this page provide information on cedar revetments for repairing stream banks, a rain garden and rain barrel page, recent projects and more.
Successful Resolution of Clean Water Act Lawsuit
This page provides an overview of the settlement of the federal Clean Water Act citizen suit brought by HRWA against the City of Franklin in 2014. It provides an explanation of why HRWA filed the lawsuit, the terms of the settlement, what the settlement achieved, and what citizens can expect moving forward. This page includes links to related news coverage, the settlement itself, and more.
Threats to Our Watershed
Information about the biggest threats to water quality in the Harpeth River Watershed. This page covers issues regarding development, sedimentation, the importance of water quality buffers, and nonpoint source pollution.
KENTUCKY WATERWAYS ALLIANCE
Information about nutrient pollution and why its a concern. This page links visitors to an EPA video about the issue.
Although most blooms of green algae are not harmful, there are some that have the ability to produce toxins – called harmful algae blooms (HABs) or toxic algae. Remember, you can still boat, fish and recreate in Kentucky’s rivers, lakes, and streams. Just be aware that HABs exist. …and WHEN IN DOUBT, STAY OUT!
THE NATURE CONSERVANCY OF KENTUCKY
Buck Creek Restoration Project
Information about the Conservancy's conservation efforts on the Pumphrey Tract within the Buck Creek Watershed. TNC has worked to conserve wildlife and protect a nearby cave system while fostering a sustainable, agriculture-based economy in the area. Since acquiring the tract in 2005, TNC has placed a WRP easement on 150 acres, sold 35 to Pulaski County, exchanged 40 acres with a local landowner for an easement on 86 acres, and planted approximately 30,000 native trees and shrubs. The area is home to over 30 species of mussels and 77 species of fish.
RICHLAND CREEK WATERSHED ALLIANCE
This webpage covers water quality issues Richland Creek is facing. Topics covered include the importance of riparian buffers, flood plains and floodplain development, development generally, nutrients, dams, and the current health status of Richland Creek waterways.
Improving Sewage Treatment
Best management practices for improving sewage treatment. This page includes links to related resources such as The Road Toward Smarter Nutrient Management in Municipal Water Treatment by The Johnson Foundation, Decentralized Wastewater Systems by Water Environment Research Foundation, Energy Efficiency Opportunities in Municipal Water and Wastewater Treatment Facilities by American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, Energy self sufficiency for wastewater treatment plants by Water Environment Research Foundation, Case Studies on Implementing Low-Cost modification to Improve Nutrient Reduction at Wastewater Treatment Plants by U.S. EPA, and Smart Sewering by Charles River Watershed Association.