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The Stock Creek Watershed

Stock Creek Watershed, a part of the Little River Watershed, is located in the southern part of Knox County. With almost two-thirds in rolling pasture or covered in forest, the Stock Creek Watershed retains a largely rural character. The 21 square mile watershed drains into Stock Creek, which flows for 24 miles to the Little River.

The pastoral landscape and relatively sparse population of the area make it increasingly popular among those who seek to live in the beauty of East Tennessee. The watershed is now beginning to urbanize - becoming a patchwork of an increasing number of subdivisions and commercial developments, separated by farms and forested areas.

Land use is taking a toll on Stock Creek. Federal, state and local stream monitoring indicates water quality has declined. The good news is that the level of decline is still slight enough that with wise land use decisions and proper planning, Stock Creek can be restored and protected so that future generations may take pleasure in it as those in the past have.

The Stock Creek Watershed is experiencing degradation due to agricultural practices and failing septic systems. The Stock Creek Task Force (SCTF), a consortium of agencies, universities and utilities that have come together to protect and improve Stock Creek, has been working together since 2001 to assess conditions, prioritize problems, educate residents and implement solutions.

Stock creek has been evaluated by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation as being a risk to human health in its current condition. It is deemed unsafe for fishing, swimming and shows signs of biological impairment. In comparison with other watersheds in urbanizing areas, the current degree of impairment is slight enough that improvements could be made to restore the creek and protect it in the future.

Failed wastewater disposal systems make a significant contribution to the impairment of Stock Creek. The Stock Creek Initiative partners are working together to provide technical support, funding and cost-share programs to implement improvements in these septic or sewer systems identified as pollution sources.

Agricultural operations are a source of impairment for the Stock Creek watershed. The Stock Creek Initiative partners are working to provide technical support, funding and cost-share programs to implement agricultural practices ("BMP"s) that protect the receiving waters of Stock Creek.

The Stock Creek watershed has a rural character that could be imperiled by unplanned growth and land-use decisions. Land use is closely tied to the quality of water within a watershed. The Stock Creek Initiative partners can provide the forum for a watershed planning process that protects both character and water quality.

Management practices of residential, agricultural and commercial properties are a significant contributor to poor water quality. Citizens and businesses need to do their part by considering how management on their properties affects the watershed as a whole. Citizens are encouraged to involved with existing planned activities such as Adopt-A-Watershed, Clean, Protect, and Restore (county-wide creek clean-up), Adopt-A-Stream, The Greenway Advisory committee, Environmental Stewardship Program, etc.

If you would like to come to a Stock Creek Task Force Education/Outreach Committee meeting or on any of the programs listed above, please contact Parci Gibson at 865-215-5861 or

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205 West Baxter Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37917

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

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