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Grant program available for Roseberry Creek watershed residents

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (Oct. 10, 2017) – Earlier this year, Knox County Stormwater Management received a grant from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture to help residents of the Roseberry Creek watershed repair failing septic systems and make improvements to farm lands. The grant will pay 75% of the costs associated with these improvements. Residents who live in the Roseberry Creek watershed are eligible to take advantage of this grant.

Roseberry Creek is on the Tennessee 303(d) list of impaired streams for high levels of bacteria, specifically E. coli. According to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, the Roseberry Creek E. coli impairment is due to failing septic systems and runoff from agricultural properties.

The first failed septic system was repaired under this grant in September, and several more are in the process.

Here are some tips to help determine whether a septic system is in need of repair:

  • Sewage backs up into the house via drains
  • A smell of sewage outside the house near the septic tank or around the drain field
  • A "spongy" feeling in the lawn above the drain field or near the septic tank 
  • Standing water is noticeable in the lawn above the tank or drain field when it has not rained for a couple of days
  • A patch of bright green or lush vegetation over the drain field
  • Buildup of aquatic weeds or algae in streams or ponds adjacent to the property
  • Gurgling sounds in pipes or drains

Those experiencing the symptoms above, or those interested in learning more about the grant, are encouraged to call Knox County Stormwater Management at 865-215-5540 for info on the septic repair program.

Cost share funding is also available for farm improvements such as fencing and water systems for livestock. For details on the agriculture improvement program, call the Knox County Soil Conservation District at 865-523-3338 ext. 3.

More information on Knox County’s watershed initiatives, including a link to identifying what watershed a particular address is in, is available at

For more details on the Roseberry Creek watershed, including a map, visit:

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