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 Water Quality Projects

The Chattanooga Water Quality Program is always looking for innovative ways to enhance our environment & community, as well as improve water quality for our City. Below are current & past projects meant to meet those objectives. 


Agawela Stream Restoration

  • Completed 2017


What is a stream restoration?

Stream restoration is meant to restore a degraded ecosystem by naturally stabilizing the stream channel & establishing a ripariam buffer using native vegetation. A stable stream with a healthy buffer can help prevent stream bank erosion & filter pollution found in stormwater.

  • Reduces erosion
  • Reduces sediment loading (sediment is a pollutant)
  • Restores habitat
  • Helps reduce flooding
  • Stabilizes stream banks

Where is the Agawela Stream Restoration?

This project addressed approximately 1,500 linear feet of an incised stream channel within an urbanized watershed of the City- South Chickamauga Creek- near the intersection of Wilcox Blvd and Shallowford Rd.

Why was this stream chosen?

The unnamed tributary to South Chickamauga Creek was deeply entrenched from the years of flashy, urban stormwater runoff. This contributed heavily to the sediment load in South Chickamauga Creek, a 303-d listed stream with a siltation TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) or maximum daily allowance of a pollutant to meet the stream's water quality standards. South Chickamauga Creek is also the only known location of the threatened Chickamauga Crayfish.

What was done?

Completing the restoration entailed reconnecting the channel with the floodplain, installing multiple grade controls, planting native vegetation, and establishing a meandering pattern within a tightly confined corridor. 


Before restoration

Agawela stream channel 1 19 12 16


Agawela stream channel 1 19 12 6


After restoration

Agawela final walk through 5


Agawela final walk through 8




East Lake Park

  • Completed 2020


What is East Lake Park?

East Lake Park is a 18.5 acre park in district 7 with a 1.75 acre pond. It is the City's first park and it has a rich cultural heritage (see picture's in the Public Library's catalog). The lake is spring fed and much of the park is covered in trees. It bustles with community members, geese, ducks, and fish in the pond.

Where is East Lake Park?

Located at the intersection of E 34th St, 13th Ave, & E 36th St, East Lake Park is located in the East Lake community of our Dobbs Branch and Chattanooga Creek Watersheds.

What was done?

With community input as a key and driving factor for guidance, this project improved conditions for the pond and surrounding water quality features. The pond was dredged and cleaned. The natural spring that feeds the pond was "daylighted", restoring it to an open waterway, and a native meadow was planted. A new playground area was created, as well as a new board walk. Improvements for East Lake Park were explored under the lead of the Water Qualtiy Program in the Public Works Department's Water Quality Engineering Division. 

Trees are an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to water quality; they transpire or uptake rain water, provide habitat and shade. The trees in East Lake Park have been labeled so that the public can identify which species they are. Check out our map of the trees here


IMG 0003


Sunbeam Green Infrastructure Improvements

In order to alleviate the risk for potential flooding in the area, the Water Quality Program was tasked to provide a cost affect solution since the traditional grey infrastructure (underground pipe network) was limited given the severity of the slope.

This alternative design approach on this project was green infrastructure. By utilizing a green infrastructure approach, these features will mimic the natural water cycle, prior to development, allowing for ground water recharge.



Green Infrastructure Story Map


Serve people with integrity and improve the infrastructure and environment through excellence.

Justin Holland, Administrator
1250 Market Street
Chattanooga TN 37402 (map)
(423) 643-6311  


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Photo by Phillip Stevens and Matt Lea