Keeping Water Quality High
That’s why TVA monitors conditions in Valley waterways and supports a broad range of clean-water initiatives to protect and improve this precious resource. TVA works to create high water quality by collecting and sharing data with communities, industries and organizations; promoting clean marinas and clean boating; improving waters around TVA dams; and monitoring water quality.
River System Monitoring
Knowledge is power, and the more we know about the health of our reservoirs, rivers and streams, the better we can protect them. Our waterways benefit from regular checkups just like we do. If we know their condition and can identify changes over time, we can take better care of them. That’s why we sample 528 stream sites on a five-year rotation and 69 sites on 31 reservoirs on a two-year rotation. Read more about reservoir ratings here.
Managing Water Supply
To keep water quality high, water quantity has to be managed effectively. That means balancing power production, navigational, industrial, agricultural and basic human needs—making sure there is enough water to go around under every circumstance, including drought conditions. Learn more about how TVA promotes wise use, conservation and development of the region's water resources.
Clean Water Initiative
With its Clean Water Initiative, TVA builds partnerships with community residents, businesses and government agencies to promote watershed protection. Through TVA’s Regional Watershed Offices, the Clean Water Initiative encourages improving shoreline conditions, planting vegetation and installing structures intended to improve aquatic life, collecting waste and litter from the water and more.
Clean Marinas and Clean Boating
These programs focus on educating recreational boaters about safe practices for oil and gas control, sewage management and marina siting and operations. Marinas in compliance with the program have the right to fly the Tennessee Valley Clean Marina Initiative flag. Download a copy of the Tennessee Valley Clean Marina Guidebook (PDF, 457KB, requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).
Clean boating events occur throughout the summer at marinas and boat docks. But every boater can benefit from these tips on how to keep the water clean to enhance their own experience on the water.
Hydropower has its obvious advantages, but it also has some risks for aquatic life, too. One is low concentration of oxygen in the water released through the dam during generation of power, which can stress bottom dwellers; another is the risk of a dry riverbed when power generation is shut off. Since the early 90s, TVA has spent more than $60 million to remedy these two areas of trouble, pulsing releases through the dams to prevent dry beds and employing ingenious methods of introducing oxygen to depleted water. Read more about how TVA has maintains water quality in the former problem in a true success story: Boosting Oxygen in the Water.