KUB began a monthly River Monitoring Program in March 2001 to determine the impact of the activities at Kuwahee and Fourth Creek wastewater treatment plants on the water quality of Fort Loudoun Lake.

Lake samples are collected downstream of the point where the Holston and French Broad rivers converge, upstream of the Mark B. Whitaker Water plant, and downstream of Fourth Creek. Samples are taken at the center of the river channel at one-foot depths. KUB's four treatment plants treat more than 17 billion gallons of wastewater a year from 63,000 plus wastewater customers.

During the water sample collection process, team members perform field tests to determine

  • Water temperature
  • Dissolved oxygen levels
  • pH

Collected samples are tested at KUB's water quality laboratory routinely for fecal coliform and e.coli bacteria and periodically for total suspended solids, metals, phosphorus, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate content.

Conclusion

  • Both lab and field results indicate that the activities at the KUB water and wastewater plants are having no impact on Fort Loudoun Lake. Essentially, upstream and downstream samples are yielding the same results in their tests.
  • Discharge from KUB's wastewater plants are having no effect on Fort Loudoun Lake's oxygen levels.
  • Dissolved oxygen levels tend to increase as the water temperatures decrease.
  • Water temperature is normally two to four degrees (Fahrenheit) cooler at MBW (highest upstream point) than at the downstream site of Fourth Creek (lowest downstream point).

For more information on Knoxville water quality, you can go to the Knoxville Water Quality Forum.