Water Quality Forum

Environmental Stewardship Program

Working with the Water Quality Forum partners, Knox County has developed a program to provide Knox County citizens with solutions for off-Right-of-Way requests addressing erosion and nuissance flooding. The ESP provides engineered sustainable and bioengineered approaches to the age old public works requests for pipe and rip-rap. In addition to providing "real life" solutions, ESP is an excellent education tool for citizens, landscape professionals, contractors, and public works/utility employees.

For more information about soil bioengineering and bioswale filtration benefits, try one of the links below:

Swale Filtration


Interview with Robin Sotir about Soil Bioengineering

Native Plants

Application Form

For more information, please contact
Martin Pleasant tel. 865-215-5859
fax. 865-215-5810

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Del Ray Restoration Project

The drainageway located at 1131 Del Ray Rd. was severely eroding. This was a typcial back yard drainageway with water running from a road into a subdivision. The ESP team selected reshaping and defining a channel with reinforcement to carry the water and provide more natural aesthetic. The channel was stabilized by the use of a permanent mat. The Del Ray project was completed July 4, ...more

Murphy Hills

The Murphy Hills ESP project is centered on property located at Foley Drive in Murphy Hills subdivision in north Knox County. This project involved restoration of a spring-fed stream which had previously been paved and straightened as part of the land development ...more

Frontier Trail

The Frontier Trail ESP project was completed in a day and a half of work. We began by grading an eroded channel. One bank of the channel was lined with privet bush which we removed.  We used a permanent mat to protect the channel from scour. ...more

Sarah Moore Greene Wetland

The Water Quality Forum with the help of a generous contribution from TVA and a lot of work from KUB have constructed a stormwater fed wetland. The wetland is located in the schools nature area.


Stormwater flowed from the road between two residences on Homestead. The channel was lined with concrete. It was crumbling in places and at the end of the concrete the yard was eroding. We removed the concrete and regraded the channel. We then placed a permanent mat that allows vegetation to grow through it. Now the residents have a nice grass lined ...more

Silverbridge Ct.

The residents were experiencing severe erosion in a channel that ran through there back yards. There is approximately 170 acres that drain to the channel. We decided to install a grass swale. The channel was graded, seeded, and lined with a permanent ...more

Exford Ct.

A large drainage area discharged under Loop road into a severely eroding channel. The channel was not well defined and water would flow into back yard next to house at 501 Exford Ct. There was trash and scubby undergrowth next to vegetated zone next to road. The area was graded and landscaped including the eroded channel. The channel was seeded and covered with a permanent mat. Another successful ...more

Creekview Lane

A portion of Ten Mile Creek that flowed through a new condominium development was severely eroding. The ESP forum decided to stabilize the streambank using cedar tree revetments and live willow stakes. The property owner had recieved some riparian type trees from TVA and planted them on the upper surface next to the slope. The project was installed with the help of NRCS, Americorps, Knox County, and DJ's ...more

Rhea Rd

A south Knoxville farm had a serious channel erosion problem. They also were in need of agricultural BMP's. The ESP partners in conjunction with Knox county Soil Conservation helped the Rauhuff's improve their farm tremendously. After much trash which was used to try to keep the channel from eroding was removed the land was graded. Grass seed was planted and a permanent mat has been installed on part of the channel. Please stay tuned for more BMP updates as well as check out the Stock Creek initiative to find out more about the Watershed improvement ...more

Bent Tree

A large drainage area discharged stormwater through several backyards of this neighborhood. The channel was not defined very well. The stormwater would spread out and take several paths under heavy rains. The remedy was to better define the drainage channel by grading the land and installing a grass swale. We used a product called C-350 turf reinforcement mat. The goal was to stabilize and define the drainage channel and to make the yards more aestetically pleasing. I believe we accomplished our ...more


The property owner Myrtle Booker was very concerned about her streambank eroding. Her brick shed was at risk of being undermined by the erosion of the streambank. She was told by some that she should have rock put on the bank to stabilize it. She had maintained her stream like it was part of her yard. All the vegetation had been removed at it was mowed to the edge of bank which kept getting closer to her shed. After much discussion and persuasion Myrtle agreed to go with a more natural solution. We implemented a soil bioengineering approach. We used ...more

Waterview Trail

The Carter family was very concerned about the giant crater that had formed in their yard. They were afraid their small children would dissapear into the overgrown ditch line. We discussed turning the scoured out channel into a grass swale which would better match the contours of their yard. The scour was so significant that 19 truck loads of soil had to be brought in to return the channel back to the proper grade. After grade work was completed the contractor Outdoor Designs, installed turf reinforcement mat C-350 in combination with grass seed. This project was a great ...more

Fantasy Way

I had been contacted by Ed Hiener concerning a serious erosion problem in his back yard that was threatening his condo unit. The cause was a large drainage channel that was forced to make a series of sharp turns which caused the banks to erode. After his homeowners group became owners of an adjoining parcel we were able to redesign and realign the drainage channel. The changes improved the back yard area for several homes. Outdoor Designs did the grading and installation of the new channel. We did encounter a couple of boulders in the path of the new channel ...more


Susan Storm had contacted Knox County about an eroding channel in her back yard. She had planned on using rip rap to try to stabilize her channel. I informed her about our ESP program and told her we would pay 60% to make it a better functioning and environmental sound system. She couldn't resist. She contacted Outdoor Designs and they gave her and esitmate based on our design requirements and we approved it. Now she has a much improved back yard that is a lot easier to maintain that helps improve our ...more

Carlton Circle

Deb Handy owns an house in an older subdivision in West Knox County. The drainage ditch in the back yard was overgrown with invasive species and had filled in with sediments in some spots and was severly eroding in others. She contacted Knox County and we recommended she apply for ESP. She did and the project achieve all that she wanted. Outdoor Designs did another excellent job. Ms. Handy also paid for her downstream niehbors to have the project extended across their property to make the overall system function ...more


Kevin Wren and his family moved into a newer subdivision thinking that everything was in order. The small drainage channel in their back yard over a short period of time grew to a large eroded crater. They called Knox County looking for answers. We prescribed ESP. After a couple of years of thinking it over and the channel getting progressively worse they decided to participate in the program. Now they have a stabile drainage system that will be easy to maintain over the coming ...more