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Harpeth River Watershed (05130204) of the Cumberland River Basin – Group 1 (2002)

Water Quality Management Plan

Harpeth River Watershed Map

The Harpeth River Watershed is located in Middle Tennessee and includes parts of Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Hickman, Rutherford and Williamson Counties. It includes cool springs with moderate gradient originating in the Inner Nashville Basin and warm water streams with shallow gradient flowing over exposed limestone in the Outer Nashville Basin. Even though the Harpeth River Watershed is mostly rural, a few urbanized areas are developing very rapidly.

The Harpeth River Watershed is approximately 863 square miles and drains to the Cumberland River. The mouth of the Harpeth River is at Cumberland River (Cheatham Lake) mile 152.9. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency manages the 20,810-acre Cheatham Wildlife Management Area near Ashland City. There are 49 Documented Rare Plant and Animal Species in the Harpeth River Watershed.

The most recent version of the Nationwide Rivers Inventory lists portions of four streams in the Harpeth River Watershed:

  • Big Turnbull Creek - Clear, small and very scenic forested stream with a forty-foot waterfall and numerous bluffs.
  • Harpeth River - Rich in history and of archeological significance; evidence of aboriginal towns; extraordinary tunnel at the Narrows; impressive carved bluffs, including Paint Rock which is adorned with petroglyphs.
  • Jones Creek - Narrow stream with frequent gravel bars; winds through picturesque valley; high, carved limestone bluffs.
  • South Harpeth River - High bluffs with extensive adjacent forested areas.

Other sites within the Harpeth River Watershed include:

  • Hidden Lake, a mid 19th century quarry, later converted to a resort.
  • Montgomery Bell State Park, a 4500 acre state resort park.
  • Mound Bottom State Archaeological Area, the remains of a 13th century Native American village.
  • Newsom’s Mill State Historic Area, an early 19th century gristmill.
  • Narrows of the Harpeth State Historic Area, the site of an early 19th century water tunnel that powered a mill.
  • Natchez Trace Parkway, a linear National Park interpreting the historic Natchez Trace.

In addition, many local interpretive areas are common, most notably, Bowie Park in Fairview and Warner Park in Nashville.

Table of Contents

Glossary

Chapter 1 - Watershed Approach to Water Quality

Chapter 2 - Description of the Harpeth River Watershed

Chapter 3 - Water Quality Assessment of the Harpeth River Watershed

Chapter 4 (1.13mb) - Point and Nonpoint Source Characterization of the Harpeth River Watershed

Chapter 5 - Water Quality Partnerships in the Harpeth River Watershed

Chapter 6 - Future Plans

Title Page for Harpeth River Watershed

Appendices: Appendix I, Appendix II, Appendix III, Appendix IV, Appendix V

Waters with EPA Approved Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL)

Harpeth River -Total Maximum Daily Load for siltation and habitat alteration in the Harpeth River watershed. Approved 10/31/2002.

Harpeth River - Total Maximum Daily Load for Metals in the Harpeth River Watershed. Approved 07/18/2003.

Harpeth River and Harpeth River Tributaries - Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) developed by EPA for organic enrichment/low dissolved oxygen in the Harpeth River and Harpeth River Tributaries. Approved 09/28/2004.

Harpeth River - Total Maximum Daily Load for E. Coli in the Harpeth River Watershed in Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Hickman, Rutherford and Williamson Counties. Approved 03/24/2006.