guest view: Alderman Ron Williams

One of the many reasons a small group of friends spent countless hours making our town happen was to control stormwater. In the early years of the Farragut/Concord area, there was uncontrolled building of both residential and commercial properties. One of the consequences was heavy flooding and erosion that occurred during rain events due to poor stormwater design, construction and management.

Once the Town of Farragut was incorporated, stormwater ordinances were put in place to help control the flooding and protect the aquatic systems. Each homeowner has drainage easements on their property and a personal responsibility for the stormwater that then goes into the main drainage system.

The Town has approximately 20 miles of streams in the Turkey Creek Watershed that, unlike waste water, discharges untreated into Fort Loudoun Lake, which is also where we get our tap water. This stormwater carries common pollutants such as road oils, pesticides and sediments into ditches and detention ponds. These sediments, such as leaves, brush, erosion and trash, can clog even the best designed stormwater system and cause flooding if unattended. When each homeowner bags their leaves and debris it helps take some of the strain from the overall system. The Town’s public works department has the tough job of keeping the drainage systems located on publicly owned land or rights-of-way clear and working properly. The maintenance and repair of stormwater systems located on private property are the responsibility of the homeowner, Homeowners Association or commercial property owner.

The Town has an Illicit Discharge Detection & Elimination Program which maps stormwater flow

and direction, including dry

weather screening and field

monitoring to identify illegal discharges. New development in the Town must follow the Construction and Permanent Stormwater Management programs which include the review of design by our engineering and community development staff, advice from our Stormwater Advisory Committee when requested and the approval of the Farragut Planning Commission plus inspections and violation notices (if necessary) during construction.

For 2017 the Town has budgeted to begin the process of mapping and grading the quality of the stormwater infrastructure with a goal of developing a maintenance and replacement schedule. The Town’s stormwater program is required to address several minimum measures to remain in compliance with our discharge permit which is tied to the Clean Water Act of 1972 as well as the Tennessee Water Control Act of 1972.

The Town provides or participates in several area public education and outreach programs that include the Rain Barrel Workshop, Waterfest, Earthfest and the Dogwood Arts House and Garden Show. The public (groups or individuals) can also volunteer through the Town’s Adopt-A-Stream program, that provides stream clean-up/monitoring, riparian buffer tree planting or several projects in the Town’s Outdoor Classroom. AmeriCorps student service members have provided over 1,700 public service hours annually since 2011 and are responsible for the coordination of the Adopt-A Stream Program, visual stream assessment and work in the Outdoor Classroom.

Our Farragut Stormwater Program has come a long way in 37 years - the beginning of which is due to that small group of friends who persevered in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s when the odds were not in their favor. Be sure to pick up a copy of FULL SPEED AHEAD, the story of the founding of the Town of Farragut, available in the Farragut Museum Gift Shop and read about the Farragut Com-munity Group who started it all.