Nutrient Pollution

Harpeth Conservancy is active in efforts to combat nutrient pollution and restore the Harpeth River, and rivers statewide.

Costs of Nutrient Pollution

Nutrient pollution in the U.S. is estimated to cost in excess $4 billion annually, both in the cost of reducing that pollution as well as the impacts nutrient pollution has.

Excessive algal growth along shoreline
Harmful algal bloom. Resembles spilled green paint.

Nutrient pollution can over-fertilize rivers and streams. Nutrients support the growth of algae, which is an important food source for fish and other marine animals.  Just like putting too much fertilizer (which is composed of nitrogen and phosphorus) on your lawn can burn or kill it, too much nitrogen and phosphorus can cause the growth of algae. Too much algae growth (called an algae bloom) can choke off a water body.  This can result in low dissolved oxygen levels, which can kill fish and endanger other life in and around a stream. In some cases, nitrogen and phosphorus discharges can cause a “harmful algae bloom” or “HAB.”  CLICK HERE to learn about HABs.

Harpeth Conservancy's Work

Sewer Treatment Plants: Sewer plants can present a number of challenges to water quality, including overflows, low dissolved oxygen levels, nutrient pollution and harmful algal blooms.  CLICK HERE to learn about our efforts to reduce nutrient pollution at the City of Franklin’s sewage treatment plant.

West Harpeth River

Restore the Harpeth River: Harpeth Conservancy is working with state and federal agencies to develop a Nutrient Reduction Plan to inform watershed managers of ways that the Harpeth River can be improved to reduce nutrient pollution.  CLICK HERE to learn more about these efforts.

Latest Posts

Harpeth Conservancy joins community to Protect the Piney River

Harpeth Conservancy, along with legal and engineering experts working for Friends of the Piney, reviewed PSC’s materials submitted to the Commission the week prior. Our overarching assessment—based on decades of working with local, state, and federal agencies’ permitting requirements to protect public health and waterways—was that PSC provided insufficient details to county decisionmakers about how the development will address severe flooding and flood safety, sewage treatment, and drinking water.

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Duck River Permits

The Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation (TDEC) is asking for public comments on a series of proposed and expanded water withdrawals (by drinking water utilities) from one of the most biodiverse rivers in the world—the Duck River—which flows through Middle Tennessee.

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Holiday Gift for Lick Creek

In a significant win for clean water advocates, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) made a crucial decision over the holidays to deny

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