Summer 2014
In This Issue
Feature Story
Watershed Spotlight
Best Management Practices
Upcoming Events
September 17 - 18
Know the Language
Impaired Waterbody - "A waterbody (i.e., stream reaches, lakes, waterbody segments) with chronic or recurring monitored violations of the applicable numeric and/or narrative water quality criteria." 
Source: EPA, 303(d) glossary at:
Section 303(d) CWA -

"Section of the Clean Water Act that requires states periodically to identify waters that do not or are not expected to meet applicable water quality standards. These waters are identified on the Sec. 303(d) Impaired Waters List. A TMDL must be developed for each waterbody on the Sec. 303(d) list. If a listed waterbody has multiple impairments, a TMDL must be developed for each impairment." 


Source: EPA, 303(d) glossary at:

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NPS delisting a possibility for Arkansas

Seven of Arkansas' 10 priority watersheds could see stream segments removed from the state's list of impaired waterbodies because of measured improvements in water quality.
Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality's 2014 draft of impaired waterbodies does not include a number of priority watershed segments that were previously listed. 
Although the number of impaired segments fluctuate from year to year, the 2014 report to the Environmental Protection Agency is the first time that a segment impaired by nonpoint source pollution has been recommended for removal. 
"Delisting," or the removal of a stream segment from the state's list of impaired waterbodies, is a major goal of Arkansas' nonpoint source pollution management plan. Waterways go on the list when sampling shows that they can not support an intended use, such as aquatic life or being a source for public drinking water.
Tony Ramick, director of the state's nonpoint source pollution program at the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, said that a segment impaired by nonpoint source pollution had not been delisted in the 24 years of the program's existence.
Ramick first saw the draft on April 1. April Fool's Day. "What a cruel joke this could be," Ramick said in a recount of how he had the recently released list vetted for accuracy just in case.


Removed segments include portions of the Bayou DeView in the Cache watershed where lead had been a problem and a segment of the Illinois River that had been listed because of turbidity issues. 
According to the 2014 draft list, 72 stream segments were removed because they had a Total Maximum Daily Load established or because data indicated the segments supported their intended use. 
Of those 72 segments, 19 are in priority watersheds. Nonpoint source pollution was blamed for at least 11 of those segments being impaired, according to ADEQ's website. 
Ramick attributes the delistings to a combination of water quality improvement efforts by nonprofit groups and state agencies in those priority areas. 
Although the 2014 draft reveals potential success stories in certain categories, some of the newly delisted segments are still on the state's radar because of other water quality standards not being met.
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Watershed Spotlight
 Lake Conway-Point Remove 


Although the Lake Conway-Point Remove Watershed remains heavily forested, several communities in the watershed have seen rapid growth in recent years, a 31.6 percent increase in population for Faulkner County alone. 


Communities in Pope, Van Buren, Yell, Conway, Perry, Faulkner and Pulaski counties make up the watershed. Major waterways include the Arkansas River, Palarm Creek, East and West forks of Point Remove Creek, Overcup Creek, Gum Log Creek and Galla Creek. 


Monitoring has shown impairments from municipal discharge in Whig Creek and Stone Dam Creek, whereas silt and turbidity issues have affected sections of White Oak Creek. The watershed was designated as a priority in the state's 2006-2011 Nonpoint Source Pollution Management Plan.


Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality monitors water quality throughout the state to determine which water bodies are not meeting their designated uses. Water ways that do not meet standards are put on ADEQ's 303(d) list.


This watershed is the focus of an Arkansas Natural Resources Commission grant that has enabled local governments and the University of Arkansas to partner on developing a low-impact development plan and related demonstration sites. Also, university professors and ADEQ have been working with local residents to establish the Lake Conway-Point Remove Watershed Alliance, a group working on an official Nine Element Plan to address nonpoint source pollution in the watershed. To join the alliance, or for more information, email Raven Lawson at

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Best Management Practices 
Water Conservation with Rain Barrels


Arkansas summer months often lead to an increased need for irrigating landscapes. Do you have an area on your property that requires a heavy use of water in the hottest months or a need to control the amount of rain runoff moving across your landscape? A rain barrel may offer a solution for water use and runoff control. 




Rain barrels
Rain barrels capture rainwater for later use. Rain barrels may be placed at roof downspouts or in open space to capture stormwater for later use in lawn and garden watering. 


These vessels store rainwater in significantly larger volumes. Collected rainwater may also be used in non-potable water applications such as toilet flushing. Rain barrels can be implemented without the use of pumping devices by relying on gravity flow instead. "Rain barrels are low-cost water conservation devices that reduce runoff volume and, for very small storm events, delay and reduce the peak runoff flow rates. They provide a source of chemically untreated "soft water" for gardens and compost, free of most sediment and dissolved salts" (EPA, 2014). 


Selection - Many home supply stores offer different styles, colors and price points for rain barrels.  The featured rain barrel is designed to collect rain without interfering with the gutter downspout.  This barrel is also equipped with a lid to keep out debris and mosquitos from depositing larvae. Building a rain barrel is an inexpensive method that requires only a few simple steps to construct and install, as shown in the factsheet here.


Installation - Barrels attached to gutter downspouts vary in installation methods.  The barrel featured here comes with instructions for attaching the water line and requires a small hole to be drilled into the downspout.  Other barrels may require cutting a downspout to a shorter length to allow for water flow from the end of the gutter into the top of the barrel.  


Maintenance - To keep your rain barrel functioning well, you will need to clean it periodically to remove algae and grit which may require the use of a scrub brush. During winter, you will need to close off the water line and empty the basin to prevent freezing and cracking of the vessel.

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  * Photo credit: Courtesy of Aubrey Shepherd 

Consideration of adding endangered species to the matrix formula that is used to calculate the state's priority watersheds for nonpoint source pollution (NPS) management is underway by state water quality stakeholders.

Stakeholders who attend the 2014 NPS Stakeholder Meeting in Little Rock will hear a proposal on making the presence of endangered species one of the dozen factors that is used to create the priority list. 

Whether the 10 priority watersheds would change because of the additional factor remains to be seen. Stakeholders will be provided this information at the Sept. 18 meeting in Little Rock. 

As always, the stakeholder meeting will be followed by presentations from grant recipients who highlight their work, successes and challenges. 

Stay tuned for more information on the two-day conference. 
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Upcoming Events 
July 10 - Area Conservation Education Day - Fred Berry Conservation Education Center, Yellville, AR from 10:00am to 2:00pm.
July 12 - Lake Appreciation Month Cleanup - Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area, Rogers from 9:00am to 12:00pm.
July 15 - Native Grass Field Day - Dale Bumper's Small Farm Research Center, Booneville, AR from 4:00pm - 6:30pm.


July 29 - 30 - 2014 Arkansas Environmental Education Association Expo: Natural Education Partnerships 



August 1 - Rice Expo, Grand Prairie Center located on the Phillips Community College, University of Arkansas registration opens at 8:00am.
August 19 - Pesticide Applicator Training, Powell Feed Store, Flippin, AR from 6:00pm to 8:00pm.
September 17 - 18 - Annual Nonpoint Source Pollution Stakeholder and Review Meeting, Cooperative Extension Service, Little Rock, AR.   
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This newsletter is produced as part of a grant from the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, paid for by Section 319(h) Clean Water Act funds.
Top photograph is used with permission from Aubrey Shepherd
of Fayetteville.
Issue 2, 2014