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#KnoxvilleJobWellDone: Stormwater Crosses the Streams for Quality 
Charissa Oglesby is a stormwater detective.

Prepping to take samples Tributary of Baker Creek

Her clues include insects, stinky odors, oxygen levels and bacterial content. 

Her beat is the waterways of Knoxville.

At 8 a.m. on a Thursday, Oglesby hustles across Mary James Park toward a site near a Baker Creek tributary that she and her team have been monitoring for about six months. 

How it started: Neighbors’ reports of a sulfurous smell led the City’s Stormwater team to investigate the location.

They found a naturally occurring spring in a neighbor's yard just a stone's throw from a tributary of Baker Creek. 
neighbors near Mary James Park
spring box
Tests revealed high bacteria levels in the spring water, so they enclosed it in a spring box -- a concrete enclosure that protects it from contamination -- and piped it under the street, away from the storm drain that channels other run off into the creek and into the nearby sanitary sewer, which takes the waste from area sewer pipes to be processed in KUB's water treatment plants. 

The Stormwater team works with KUB to identifying possible leaks in nearby sewer laterals, which connect to every home. If they find cracks or failures, they repair them. And Stormwater tests the water again to measure any improvements. If there are none or not enough, the process begins again, but a bit farther away from the contaminate site. 

Diverting stormwater into sanitary sewer
How it's going: Oglesby and her team are on the 4th quarter of testing Baker Creek with new equipment and an updated process advised by the EPA. 

Stormwater engineers Robert Reed and Trey Nennstiel test the upstream waters for temperature, movement, sediment, etc. 

testing tech explains that this one project is part of a larger, holistic approach that takes into account the the area's entire watershed to "identify places where we can make impact overall."

Oglesby takes a water sample.

Baker Creek tributary
Stormwater engineers
Posted by ptravis On 22 May, 2021 at 8:36 AM