Stream Assessment

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) 305(b) report documents the general quality of surface waters in Tennessee. It contains information about streams, lakes, and wetlands, and identifies streams that are currently posted due to fish contamination and/or elevated bacteria levels.

Streams and lakes in Tennessee are ranked based on five use support categories, for seven designated uses. The designated uses are:

  • Fish and aquatic life
  • Recreation
  • Irrigation
  • Livestock watering and wildlife
  • Drinking water supply
  • Navigation
  • Industrial water supply

The five use support categories are:

  • Category One—waters fully support designated uses.
  • Category Two— waters fully support some uses but data are not available to allow all uses to be assessed.
  • Category Three— waters have not been assessed due to insufficient or outdated data.
  • Category Four— waters are impaired but development of a pollution control strategy study (TMDL) is not necessary.
  • Category Five— waters have been monitored and found to not meet one or more uses. TMDLs are needed.

The current 305(b) report may be found online at:

Other Resources

  • TDEC's Division of Water Supply has a groundwater quality report.
  • TDEC's Division of Water Pollution Control has a proposed list of impaired Tennessee waters, the 303(d) list.
  • TDEC's Division of Groundwater Protection
  • The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Water has numerous water resources of all kinds.
  • University of Memphis ArcMap Viewer
    • This Arcmap viewer is hosted by the Ground Water Institute and organization within the Herff College of Engineering at the University of Memphis.
    • You can use this viewer to both identify streams in your watershed and see if they have been assessed for water quality. To learn how to access stream information from the viewer, clicking here will take you to a Word document that explains the process step by step. Select File, Print to print out the document.
    • To Access the Ground Water Institute's ArcMap Viewer, Click Here.