Streamside Buffers

Maintaining a naturally vegetated buffer alongside the stream is an important safeguard to water quality.

Water Quality Protection Area

In 2007, Murfreesboro established a Water Quality Protection Area (WQPA) policy and ordinance. This policy requires that any new land development alongside a stream should establish a 35 or 50 foot buffer, depending on the size of the stream. Residences built in or after 2007 and are located next to a stream, the yard is most likely platted with a WQPA. This is a protected area, a no-touch zone with few exceptions. Residents are not allowed to remove vegetation, do earth work or construction, or apply herbicides.

Stream Buffer

Residents living on a stream, whether or not the yard involves a platted WQPA, are encouraged to establish a stream buffer. The Tennessee Division of Forestry has a page of resources and an excellent how-to manual, the Tennessee Urban Riparian Buffer Handbook.

Riparian Buffer

Learn More

To find out more about the WQPA, read the city ordinance or contact Robert Haley at (615) 848-3200.

State Requirements

The State of Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation requires a 30 or 60 foot buffer during construction activities - at least 30 feet on any stream and 60 feet on impaired streams and on exceptional Tennessee waters.

The State has directed Murfreesboro to revise its definition of Water Quality Protection Area. The change - which will apply only to new development - will require a 60' wide buffer instead of a 50' wide buffer on those stream segments where the watershed area is 640 acres or more.

This map depicts the 640-acre drainage points.