Various Stream Quanitification Tools (SQTs) are used by state and local water resources departments to assess the quality of streams. Comparison of before and after assessments are used to determine the amount of credits or debits applied to a one-time construction disturbance or restoration activity. Most, if not all, of the SQTs used in the US do not effectively account for the functional lift resulting from urban stream restoration.The Tennessee SQT is currently under review and one consideration is for it to be more applicable for urban stream restoration.
Beaver Creek, located in Powell, Tennessee, is an urban stream. Knox County is proposing a stream restoration project on a stretch located near Powell High School. This opprortunity to assess the stream before and after the restoration activity allows for the testing of modifications made to the Tennessee SQT to effectively account for the effects of urbanization.
The pre-restoration SQT assessment has been completed for this stretch of Beaver Creek. In coordination with the Knox County Stormwater Department, restoration design plans are being created. Construction is expected to take place in the summer or fall of 2021. In the meantime, research will be completed to determine which effects of urbanization and how to quantify them should be included in the modified TN SQT. These may include area and type of impervious cover adjacent to the stream, expected urban pollutant load, and use of urban stormwater green infrastucture. After the restoration is complete, a comparison of the modified SQT and unmodified SQT assessments of Beaver Creek will be made to determine which more accurately represents the status of the stream.