Spotlight: Watersheds at Work: Livestock Management Improves Dissolved Oxygen in Big Sandy River, Tennessee

Polluted runoff from pasture-grazing cattle caused abnormally high pathogen levels and low dissolved oxygen concentrations in Big Sandy River. These problems led to the state placing a 7.3-mile river segment on its 303(d) list for impairments in both 2002 and 2004. Using Clean Water Act Section 319 funding, farmers installed a number of best management practices (BMPs) on pasturelands adjoining the river’s impaired segments, including foundations to support cattle in heavy-use areas, grade stabilization structures, pasture and hay planting, critical area planting, livestock watering pipelines, and alternative watering structures. The BMPs resulted in water quality improvements in the 7.3-mile segment and its removal from the state’s 2006 303(d) list for dissolved oxygen impairments. For more information about this success story, visit

Click on Title link to view entire article. Thanks to EPA’s Water Headlines for the submission.

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