Public Education and Outreach
Mid-Tennessee Stormwater Group
The Middle Tennessee Stormwater Group meets monthly to discuss current and upcoming stormwater issues covering local, state, and federal levels. These meetings are open to the public and are a great way to connect and network with area stormwater managers.
For information, call (615) 851-3462 or email for current agendas and minutes.
Our Creek Critters program invovles an interactive lesson and demonstration to teach kids about water resources and aquatic ecosystems. As part of this, kids are given the opportunity to see real aquatic organisms collected from a local creek!
The City of Goodlettsville and its streams are within the Cheatham Lake/Lower Cumberland Sycamore watershed.
According to the EPA's 303(d) list, the following streams within the City of Goodlettsville are classified as impaired due to either e.Coli contamination (bacteria), siltation (fine layers of dirt on the bottom of the stream which inhibit growth and oxygen levels), and/or habitat alterations (destroying or removing habitat vegetation). The City has in place several Best Management Practices (BMPs) in order to help improve the water's quality with the ultimate goal of removing these water bodies from the EPA's 303(d) list.
Urban land use areas attributes to many sources of water pollution such as stormwater runoff, illicit discharges of sanitary wastes, runoff from the improper disposal of trash, septic systems which leak and are not properly maintained, and animals. Also, impervious areas (i.e., driveways, pavement, rooftops, or areas where the water is absorbed or collected into) allow stormwater runoff to be conveyed to the streams much faster without the water having a chance to filter into the ground. Urban land use within the watershed's impaired stream areas ranges from 1.7% to 68.7%.
Opportunities for improving water quality are protecting existing or restoring vegetation along stream banks, properly caring for lawns, picking up after pets, proper containment during construction activities, etc.
Lumsley Fork enters Goodlettsville from the west near Hitt Lane and Brick Church Pike before it drains into Mansker's Creek. Lumsley Fork suffers from e.Coli contamination and is impaired for 4.7 miles. Lumsley Fork is served by runoff from tributaries, roadways, pavement, commercial and residential land - a mixed urban/agricultural classification.
Madison Creek enters Goodlettsville on the northeast side and runs adjacent to Madison Creek Road before draining into Mansker's Creek at Moss-Wright Park. Madison Creek's water quality suffers from land development issues. Madison Creek is impaired for 14.4 miles. Madison Creek is served by runoff from tributaries, roadways, pavement, commercial and residential land - a mixed urban/agricultural classification.
Mansker Creek flows into Goodlettsville on the northwest side entering the City at Springfield Highway and Williamson Road. The impaired streams within Goodlettsville (except Dry Creek) drain into Mansker's Creek then Mansker's Creek flows directly into the Cumberland River. Mansker's Creek suffers from e.Coli contamination and land development issues. Mansker's Creek is impaired for 15.5 miles. Mansker's Creek is served by runoff from tributaries, roadways, pavement, commercial and residential land - a mixed urban/agricultural classification.
Slater's Creek flows from Millersville into Goodlettsville on the north side. Slater's Creek enters the City near Long Drive and Highway 31W. According to the EPA, Slater's creek suffers from e.Coli contamination, bank modifications, and sand/gravel/rock discharges from a local rock quarry. Slater's Creek is impaired for 11.3 miles. Slater's Creek is served by runoff from tributaries, roadways, pavement, commercial and residential land - a mixed urban/agricultural classification.
Dry Creek flows from Davidson County into Goodlettsville’s southern corner from the west and runs along some of the City’s southern limits and continues to flow into Davidson County before entering the Cumberland River. Dry Creek is served by runoff from tributaries, roadways, pavement, commercial and residential land - a mixed urban/agricultural classification and drains into the Cumberland River and is impaired by e. Coli and habitat alterations and is impaired for 5.9 miles.
Stream Corridor Assessments
As part of on-going monitoring requirements, the City of Goodlettsville has contracted with Western Kentucky University to conduct stream assessments.
These assessments involve identifying and documenting outfalls (items which channel runoff directly to the stream) and assessments of the stream's corridor.
When documenting outfalls, we look for possible sources of pollutants which can contaminate our waterways. We collect data such as the size, shape and condition of the outfall, if there's continual flow coming from it, and if there are odors, color, or vegetation.
When assessing the stream's corridor, they determine the condition of the stream bank, stream bed, and canopy cover. They also document the condition of the water. This involves obtaining flow rates, color, odor, algae, pH, temperature, and more.
Periodically, testing for e. Coli and sediment is conducted by the State and WKU.
What Is A Rain Garden?
A rain garden is a garden of native plants that soak up rain water as it flows across the lawn (and generally receives water channeled to it from a downspout). Rain gardens are landscaped areas planted to replace areas of a yard. Homeowner's do not need a large yard to plant a rain garden. A rain garden can be installed in smaller spaces too.
Below is a generalized guideline on how to install a rain garden.
Why Are Rain Gardens Beneficial?
Compared to a conventional lawn, rain gardens absorb about 30 percent more water. Preventing water runoff from entering the streets, helps keep fertilizers, animal waste, and other debris from entering the storm drains.
The materials entering the storm drains are channeled directly to the streams within our communities. Rain gardens can also help reduce the chances of local flooding, reduce erosion, filter contaminants from rain water, and improve the life of the area where the storm drains enter the streams.
Rain gardens are beneficial to wildlife, improve the look and feel of a homeowner's property and help improve the local water quality (the fish and aquatic life downstream will thank you!).
Suggestions on How To Create A Rain Garden
Size, Design, and Location
Determine the rain garden's size, design and location. The average rain garden can accommodate water runoff from a roof to be about 1/6 of the size of the roof. This can accommodate the downspout runoff in a garden that is six inches deep. If space allows, you could plan the size of the rain garden to be about 1/2 of the area of impervious surface located on the property (or half of the area of the driveway, home/roof, sidewalk, or patio).
Do not install a rain garden in an area that is always wet, above a septic system, near a water supply or a well. Make sure the rain garden is more than 10 feet away from a building structure.
A rain garden can be anywhere from three to 12 inches in depth, depending on the slope of the yard. A flat area or one with a gentle slope can be three to five inches deep, whereas, eight to 10 inches works for an eight to 12 percent slope. Dig out the area to the desired depth as it is important to get the bottom of the rain garden as level as possible so runoff water will spread evenly throughout the garden.
The benefits of native plants include a better absorption of water, deeper root systems, tolerance to varying weather conditions, etc.
Make sure the plants meet sun/shade requirements and are spaced apart accordingly.
Water new plantings well following installation. Continue with 1/2 inch of water, twice weekly, unless enough rainfall occurs. Once plants have established root systems, adequate rainfall should provide sufficient moisture.
Gather friends and family to help install the rain garden!
Hand-picking weeds will help the plant growth in the first year or two.
Herbicides are not recommended for rain gardens. Be careful if applying herbicides to adjacent lawns.
Add around two inches of mulch to help establish the garden and to keep weeds down. Heavier mulches such as pine, straw, or wood are preferred.
In the spring, cut plants as needed to improve growth.
If standing water occurs longer than two days, that may hurt plants and may be a sign the rain garden is not functioning properly. A small hole may need to be dug to allow drainage. If this does not help, re-digging an re-leveling a portion of the garden may help.
Water harvesting is another component of going green and making a difference with the environment, local water quality and energy efficiency.
By harvesting water, it is using natural rain water for landscaping purposes and not taking the demand from the local water supply. Read an article on what water harvesting is (PDF)all about.
Rain Garden Brochure
View a wonderful example of a rain garden brochure (PDF).
- What is the stormwater drainage system and why is there a fee?
- Why has a stormwater utility fee been implemented?
- Where does our money go for stormwater projects?
- How often is the stormwater user fee/charge updated?
- If I disagree with the amount I am being charged, what do I do?
- I am renting an apartment or house. Do I have to pay this charge?
- What are things that should never enter a storm drain? Examples include but are not limited to:
- What things can enter a storm drain?
- Why is stormwater a problem?
- What is the City's responsibility for stormwater?
- Why is this a stormwater fee and not a property tax increase?
- I have a detention pond on my property. Will the utility be responsible for the maintenance of the pond?
- Are stormwater and sewer systems the same thing?
- What is watershed?
- Why is it important to protect a watershed?