Harpeth River's only dam will be demolished - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Harpeth River's only dam will be demolished

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FRANKLIN, TN (WSMV) -

The Harpeth River is an important recreation area in Williamson County, and a major source of water for the city of Franklin.  This fall the river's only dam, the Lowhead Dam, is scheduled to be demolished, making the Harpeth one of only a few rivers in Tennessee that will be completely free flowing.

It's an important project that will cost about a million dollars. It's part of the Harpeth River restoration project. It's important  in a number of ways, it will keep the river healthy including the abundant species of fish that live in the river.

It's a project that Dorie Bolze the executive director of the Harpeth River Watershed Association, has been working years to make happen. During the summer months when the Harpeth's flow is drastically cut, and the water levels are low, because of less rainfall, the fish in the river get stressed. 

"During the summer when the dam's been here, the oxygen level is very low, stressful to the fish, and it also violates state standards," said Bolze.

The city of Franklin is picking up part of the one million dollar bill for the project, the lions share is coming from federal grants obtained through the Watershed Association. Franklin's assistant director of engineering Dan Allen, told Channel 4 News, it's not only the fish that will benefit from the project.

"Right now there is just a few spots where people can really get in and access the river. Re-doing  the slopes, adding new vegetation, new trees, and make it an easy access to fisherman and anyone else who wants to enjoy the river, said Allen.

The Harpeth river is also an important source of water for Franklin. The project has also taken that into account as well.

"The entire project is designed to maintain the city's ability to withdraw water," said Bolze.

A public meeting will be held Jan. 23 at 6 p.m. at Franklin City Hall to inform the public about this important rivershed project.

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