Harpeth River Restoration Project and Lowhead Dam Removal

Lowhead dam removal and river restoration project on the Harpeth River in Franklin


In August 2010, HRWA secured $350,000 from collaborative funding programs of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership, and the National Fish Habitat Partnership for projects that improve fish habitat and remove blockages to fish passage.  The removal of the city's lowhead dam will make the Harpeth RIver one of the few rivers in TN that is entirely free flowing!The funds are on behalf of the city of Franklin to remove the structure as part of modernizing its water withdrawal from the Harpeth for drinking water as required in its permit from the state.  (Permit below).   TDEC (TN Department of Environment and Conservation) as a partner is conducting the actual removal of the structure.  Other project partners include the TN Wildlife Resources Agency, the US Geologial Survey, and likely local businesses as the project moves to completion in 2012.

The removal of the city’s lowhead dam is part of a national effort over the past 50 years that has seen the removal of over 600 dams around the country according to a compilation by American Rivers.  In TN, 25 dams (8 to 160 feet tall) have been removed around the state in the last 40 years.  The removal of this 6 foot structure on the Harpeth will be only the second on a main river in TN whereas all others have been a small streams.   The other main river dam removal was on the Duck River.