What is Urban Stream Syndrome?
Urban Stream Syndrome is defined by the EPA as the “consistently observed ecological degradation of streams draining urban land.” Many urban streams in the Cumberland River basin are impacted by urban land use which is why the Cumberland River Compact partners with cities to come up with green solutions to stormwater pollution. Trees, rainwater harvesting, green infrastructure, and DePave are some of the ways we combat Urban Stream Syndrome.
One tree can intercept over 1,500 gallons of stormwater per year.
Cities need trees! Trees filter pollutants from stormwater, clean the air, regulate temperature, prevent erosion, and provide habitat and shade for wildlife. Trees are crucial to protecting waterways and public health.
ROOT NASHVILLE OPERATIONAL PARTNER
The Cumberland River Compact leads Nashville in a city-wide effort, Root Nashville, to replant our urban tree canopy and ensure it grows to help make Nashville a cleaner, healthier, and cooler city. Learn More about the campaign, the partners, and how you can get involved!
WATERING NEWLY PLANTED TREES
While it’s important to plant trees, it’s just as important to maintain them. Through our Tree Care Program, newly planted trees are watered, pruned, and cared for to ensure their long-term survival.
STAY ENGAGED WITH ROOT NASHVILLE
Why Should I
Plant a Rain Garden?
A rain garden can be thought of as a personal water quality system because it filters the runoff from your roof and lawn and recharges the groundwater.
A properly constructed rain garden can capture and filter more than 40,000 gallons of stormwater each year! In highly urbanized areas, rain gardens can help reduce water leaving your property thereby reducing the threat of flash flooding for downhill neighbors.
Rain gardens also:
- Attract beneficial insects that will help eliminate those pesky ones
- Attract pollinators and song birds
- Reduce standing water which will, in turn, reduce mosquito breeding
RAIN GARDENS FOR NASHVILLE
The Cumberland River Compact is thrilled to lead Nashville in an effort to build rain gardens for healthier water. Since 2009, we’ve worked with our network of trusted engineers, landscape architects, and nurseries to assist us in this effort and planted over 500 rain gardens.
A rain barrel is a system that collects and stores rainwater from the rooftop, that would otherwise be lost to runoff and be diverted to our neighborhood streams and storm drains.
Harvesting your own rainwater provides benefits for the environment and you:
- Reduce the amount of polluted runoff that reaches our streams
- Provide plants the water they like
- Save energy and money used when water is processed to drinking quality standards
- Save you money on your water bills
- Provide water during drought periods
Stormwater runoff is the primary source of water pollution in our urban streams.
Asphalt, concrete, and metal are impervious materials that do not allow water to sink into the soil, causing stormwater to flow into our streams at a much faster rate and in increased volumes. These heavy flows carry oils, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and trash into our streams.
Nashville, and the Cumberland River Basin as a whole, is experiencing rapid growth. Where population growth occurs, an increase in manmade impervious surface is sure to follow. As we gain impervious surface, we are actively losing the pervious, water-absorbing surfaces essential for clean water and aquatic habitat.