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Special Construction Standards for the Hiwassee River

Because of conditions particular to the river, the following construction standards and guidelines for private water use facilities are in effect between mile 20 and mile 42.5 of the Hiwassee River in Polk, McMinn, and Bradley counties, Tennessee.

These guidelines are taken from an environmental assessment done by TVA. See link at bottom of page to the entire assessment.

Construction Guidelines

  • A maximum allowable footprint of 400 square feet is recommended for all private water use facilities in this reach of the Hiwassee River. Any dock, boat slip, or other water use facility associated with a particular lot should be contained within a 400-square-foot rectangle or square area at the riverward end of the access walkway that extends from shore to dock. The space occupied by the access walkway is not included in the 400-square-foot allowance.
  • Private water use facilities in areas continuously exposed to strong river currents and drifting logs and other debris should be immediately adjacent to the riverbank. In no case should the combined length of the private water use facility and access walkway extend more than 25 feet from the shoreline, or one-tenth the distance from the bank at normal summer pool to the opposite shore, whichever is greatest.
  • Both fixed and floating water use facilities may be permitted (fixed piers, floating dock, and fixed or floating single boat slip). All fixed facilities should have deck elevations at least 24 inches above normal summer pool level.
  • For riprap, a well-graded Class I or Class II (50- to 125-pound nominal size) rock with a mixture of smaller rock is preferred. Filter fabric should be placed between the rock and protected slope when possible.
  • Loss of vegetation should be minimized and trees on the riverbank should not be removed.

Special Conditions

  • Water use facilities may not have a roof or side walls.
  • Water use facilities may not have any enclosed storage spaces.
  • All anchoring cables or spud poles must be anchored in a way that would not accelerate bank erosion. Anchoring to trees is prohibited.
  • Retaining walls are prohibited. Gabions, riprap revetment, or a combination of riprap and live plantings (biostabilization) is preferred.

For more information concerning these special construction guidelines, contact the Chickamauga-Hiwassee Watershed Team at 423-876-6706.


For more information, see the documents below:

Final Environmental Assessment
Finding of No Significant Impact

To obtain a printed copy of the document and attachments, contact Kenneth P. Parr at [email protected] or 423-751-4254.