Linda B. Harris, Area Leader on Water Quality Issues

Linda B. Harris has been working with water quality and quantity issues in the Chattanooga Region for 25 years.    With a background as an educator and  her great enthusiasm for and experience with the outdoors and gardening, Harris has participated in several projects to protect wildlife and aquatic life in the Tennessee Valley.    Employed with TVA for 16 years, Harris currently works in Land and Shore Management with Environment and Technology for the largest public power generator in the U.S..

The following is from an article posted by TVA about the 23-acre wetland which was constructed at the old G.E. Roper Plant site along the edge of the Tennessee River in downtown Chattanooga:

The task became known as the 21st Century Waterfront Plan, and participants came from throughout the public and private sectors. The Audubon Society, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and TVA are among the many organizations that collaborated. TVA facilitated the permitting process and helped with the design and execution.

Following is a picture of the Waterfront and more on what the Wetland provides:

The wetland collects, improves, and releases water from two sources of urban pollution: stormwater runoff and water from contaminated soils and sewers. Runoff from heavy rains is channeled into the wetland for treatment via pipes that pass through a concrete headwall separating the wetland from Market Street Branch Creek. There is also a valve in the sewer system that diverts water from a waste-containment cell to the wetland. The cell was designed for the environmental restoration effort and primarily contains frit, a by-product of enamel produced by the old G.E. Roper Plant. As water moves from the cell through the wetland, native plants provide filtration.

When water exits the wetland, it flows into the Tennessee River, passing through a 13-acre flooded forest along the way.

In 1999, Harris led the Chickamauga and Nickajack Resevoir Watershed team for TVA’s efforts to complete a “bank stabilization demonstration project” at the North Chickamauga Greenway, according to an article sourced at

The design called for the creation of a 196-foot toe along the creek’s edge. Great care was taken by the city’s equipment operators to minimize the amount of disturbance in the creek itself. Prior to excavation and site clearing, a silt boom was placed in the water, adjacent to the shoreline. A silt fence was installed to provide backup to contain any sediment that could discharge into the creek.
Existing vegetation from the area was cleared. Trees along the shoreline that had been uprooted from the water’s erosive force were removed. Large stones (six to 12 inches) were used to fill the voids left from the uprooted trees and to create the toe of the slope. Stone was chosen to form a foundation to resist the backwaters and was the most logical choice over soil to form a stronger foundation to resist the backwaters. It was a more logical choice over soils, which would have had to have been compacted beneath the water level at some point in the final grade preparation.

In 2001, Harris received an Environmental Excellence of the Year Award for TVA employees for her work on the Clean Marina Initiative Implementation Team which, successfully developed a partnership of federal, state, and local agencies in support of the Clean Marina Initiative. As a result of its efforts, all 23 marinas on Norris Reservoir made a voluntary commitment to ensure that marine waste is properly handled in their harbors. Last year the marinas achieved a 95 percent rate of voluntary compliance with marine-waste regulations.

Here is the list of 81 currently Certified Clean Marina’s.

Harris also serves as leader of the Chattanooga Green Team for Water Quality and Quantity, which participated in the Green Festival in Coolidge Park on April, 10th 2010.

Click here to learn more about the “Pervious Parking Lot and Rain Garden” at Renaissance Park which opened April 9th, 2010.

Reporting: Monessa Guilfoil

Following are excerpts from an interview with Linda B. Harris where she gives tips to individual home-owners about ways to help protect water quality and quantity in Chattanooga:


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One Response to “Linda B. Harris, Area Leader on Water Quality Issues”

  1. Linda B. Harris of TVA on Improving Water Quality « Recently On … | The Swamp School Says:

    […] here: Linda B. Harris of TVA on Improving Water Quality « Recently On … Retweet this post var a2a_config = a2a_config || {}; a2a_config.linkname="Linda B. Harris of TVA […]

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