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Public Education, Outreach, Involvement & Participation

GOALS and OBJECTIVES of: KNOX COUNTY’S Public Education, Outreach, Involvement and Participation programs:


As a NPDES Phase II MS4 community, Knox County has specific permit requirements relating to public education, outreach, involvement and participation. Knox County must:

  • Implement a public education program to distribute educational materials to the community or conduct equivalent outreach activities about the impacts of stormwater discharges on water bodies and the steps that the public can take to reduce pollutants in storm water runoff.
  • Prepare a clear set of requirement with respect to storm water management for any types of activities at identified storm water pollutant “hot spots” and ensure that the establishments have been made aware of those requirements.
  • At a minimum, comply with State and local public notice requirements when implementing a public involvement/participation program.

Knox County has:

  • Been a leading member in the Water Quality Forum (WQF). The Water Quality Forum is a consortium of federal and local government agencies, non-profit groups, businesses and private citizens that work to educate area citizens about water pollution and how citizens can get involved in protecting/restoring waterways. The WQF also completes on the ground projects aimed at improving water quality.
  • Hired a full time education/outreach coordinator to better accomplish the goal of bringing awareness to the public about water pollution.
  • Implemented a Special Pollution Abatement program for Knox County hotspots. Area business managers/owners are asked to participate in a 2 hour workshop where they learn about stormwater pollution and how their business might add to the problem in Knox County. They are asked to complete a Special Pollution Abatement Permit (SPAP) prior to attending the workshop. The SPAP is industry specific and guides the business in a site evaluation of how business activities are conducted on site regarding stormwater pollution prevention. Each business is given educational materials to share with employees after completing the workshop and sending in a SPAP.
  • In 2012, completed and published the Public Information and Education (PIE) Plan as required in the State of Tennessee's Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) General National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Permit. The PIE plan details specific goals, events and activities that will occur during the permit cycle. It also includes targeted education campaigns to address specific pollutants.

To learn more about or to become involved in our programs, please see the Education/Links on the navigation bar of our home page:

Knox County participates in or heads the following education/outreach programs:

Adopt-A-Watershed: works with middle and high school students to bring “hands on” experience to the classroom. Recently, this program has been focused on low impact development and restoration efforts.


The Water Quality Forum in cooperation with the City of Knoxville, Knox County, and the Town of Farragut have partnered to form the Adopt-A-Stream Program, a citizen-based monitoring and litter prevention initiative intended to protect the health and serenity of our local waterways and educate our communities on the environmental concerns that impact them every day. Our goals as an organization are to bolster our citizen's capacity to inspire positive environmental and social change through an elevated awareness of water quality issues, training on stream health monitoring, and an intimate involvement in the solution process through cleanups and other means reducing trash in and around our waterways.

Our shared vision is that all of the streams flowing through Knox County, the City of Knoxville, and the Town of Farragut will be adopted and collectively cared for by citizens, businesses, and organizations in our communities.

Rainy Day Brush-off:

This is an artistic rain barrel competition designed to educate the community about water conservation and polluted stormwater runoff. In conjunction with this program, workshops and rain barrel sale days are coordinated.

Clean, Protect, Restore:

This is a one day community clean-up of local streams and dump sites that will be held on February 28, 2009 at 8-10 different sites around the county.


are daylong on-site field events that include biological assessments, chemical analysis and land-use impact activities

River Rescue:

A one day volunteer clean-up day along the Tennessee River


An education day for elementary students at Ijams. Last year we taught over 900 children about water pollution

Watershed Initiatives:

Knox County is involved in several watershed task forces that would love to have citizen input. The task forces are made up of federal, state, local government representatives, agriculture representatives, watershed groups, university representatives and private citizens. As part of these initiatives, we promote and are implementing low impact development, stormwater retrofits, educational campaigns, monitoring, etc. These watershed initiatives have received federal recognition for the work being done by the members and for the community.
The watershed initiatives are:

  • Beaver Creek Task Force
  • Stock Creek Task Force
  • Bull Run Task Force
  • Facebook
  • twitter
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  • email


205 West Baxter Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37917

Phone: 865-215-5540
Fax: 865-215-5831

Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 4:30 pm
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