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Ozark Waters 
Volume VII, Issue 33
August 19, 2013
In This Issue
Residential Rain Water Collection - Be wise!
Quote of the Week
Tug of war continues over Table Rock future
The story of a paragraph and City Utilities' quest to expand a coal ash landfill
Lee Creek Cleanup set for Sept. 7

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Table Rock Lake Water Quality


James River Basin Partnership


Kings River Watershed


Illinois River Watershed Partnership


Elk River Watershed


Friends of the North Fork and White River


Save the Illinois River




Watershed Conservation Resource Center


Northwest Arkansas Land Trust


Grand Lake Watershed Alliance Foundation 




Residential Rain Water Collection - Be wise!


David Casaletto, Executive Director, Ozarks Water Watch



A couple of weeks ago I attended the Multi-Basin Regional Water Council meeting in Rogers, AR. The speaker was Jeremy Kyle with Ewing, a company that sells irrigation and other water related products. Much of his talk centered on rain water collection and the alternatives to the conventional rain barrel. Jeremy's presentation spurred me on to do a little research on the subject.



Conventional wood rain barrel system



Each year there are hundreds of rain barrels sold in the White River watershed. And I am sure many of you have said, I need to do that. I need to get a rain barrel and do my part to save water and reduce stormwater runoff. And you can. But before you do, I encourage you to also do some research. In this newsletter, I am going to highlight some, but not all, of the issues of which you need to be aware. I encourage everyone to research rain water collection before you make your purchase. I have provided some links at the bottom of this article.


Dual 343 Gallon Rain Barrels


I think the first question you need to answer is, "Why am I investing in rain water collection?" If your answer is to save money, you better stick with tap water. Almost everywhere in our area, tap water is relatively low cost. More than likely your answer is to be a good steward of the environment.


Overflowing rain barrel.
Without an overflow pipe, water can flow into foundation.


So what are you going to do with the water and how much water will you need? The conventional rain barrel is a 55 gallon drum. The rule of thumb calculation for the amount of water generated in a 1" rain is to take the square footage of your roof times .623. So if you have 2,000 sq. ft. of roof area and it rains 1" there will be 1,246 gallons of water available to collect. If you have one rain barrel, you will collect less than 5% of the available water. And you only have 55 gallons in storage to use which will not water many plants for very long.


240 gallon rain harvesting tank


One of the things Jeremy talked about is the availability of large collection tanks from his company or others. They come in all sizes and shapes. I think a good size to consider for the serious residential rain harvester would be 350 to 500 gallons. Some systems include a pump, filter and drip irrigation instead of just relying on gravity.


Multiple barrels for 275 gallons of storage


The next consideration is the quality of the water you are going to collect. Your roof is not the cleanest collection system. In addition to the larger items such as leaves, twigs and insect bodies that can be filtered out, your roof also catches dust, pollen, bird droppings, pesticides, etc. A lot of this pollution can be avoided with the addition of a "first-flush diverter" to your collection system. It is recommended that the first 10% of rain water be diverted away from your tank. A simple diverter can be purchased in the $35 range.


First-Flush Diverter Kit available online


The composition of your roof can also cause pollution. For example, asphalt shingles may leach various complex hydrocarbon compounds and it is recommended not to water plants meant for human consumption with this type of roof. There are other roof types to avoid so, again, be sure to perform additional research.


System with filter, diverter, pump, overflow and more!
For info, see link below: "Pt. 3: All the Parts"


There are also considerations for the water now sitting in your tank. It has to be protected from mosquito larvae, algae and freezing. To keep mosquitoes out, cover your barrel with a fine mesh or cloth or use the water within 10 days before larvae can hatch. If your tank allows sunlight to penetrate, algae will grow and it will need to be painted. Finally, you can drain tanks in the winter to prevent freezing.


Algae growing in clear/white rain barrel.


I encourage rain water harvesting. Not only does it help reduce water usage and prevent stormwater runoff (in proportion to tank size), it is a great educational tool for young children and a great conversation starter with those not yet environmentally enlightened. But as is true in every situation in life, be sure you know what you are getting in to and what will be required of you to maintain the system. 




Rain Water Harvesting for Your Home - 3 part series:

Pt. 1: The Basics

Pt. 2: Water Storage 

Pt. 3: All the Parts


University of Arkansas Extension: Building Rain Barrels 


Texas Manual on Rain Water Harvesting




Quote of the Week


 "I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do."


 ~ Helen Keller





Tug of war continues over Table Rock future


August 10, 2013
Springfield Newsleader


Despite a moratorium on dock building on Table Rock Lake this year, Jim Sasser's company has stayed busy. He had several potential customers who had been putting off getting a dock built, but when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced the moratorium late last year, he said all six customers scheduled docks to be built by his company, Collier's Boat Dock Company. Those six got permits in just before the Corps' deadline, giving Sasser business for the year.


Businesses have keen interest in rules at the lake, as the Army Corps of Engineers tries to create a new Table Rock master plan. The challenge? Finding the right balance between preserving the environment and the business of fun of recreation, while keeping safety foremost in any plan. Sasser said he's not yet seen the drafted plans for the lake, but he'll be reviewing them closely. "I'm very interested in reading the plan," he said, and noted he'll also be attending one of the scheduled open houses this week, at which people are free to ask the Corps questions about the plan.


Developers have interest in building more homes and businesses around the lake, while many homeowners seek to maintain water quality and safety - saying they don't want Table Rock to become "another Lake of the Ozarks."


To read more, Click: HERE.  


The story of a paragraph and City Utilities' quest to expand a coal ash landfill


Springfield Newsleader
August 11, 2013


On April 23, City Utilities officialstook Springfield Rep. Lincoln Hough to dinner. They had reason to celebrate. That day, the House gave initial approval to House Bill 881, which contained a paragraph-long amendment Hough had added. It is a paragraph that could potentially save CU millions of dollars. The story of that paragraph starts with the state repeatedly blocking CU's attempts to expand its coal ash landfill, citing potential environmental problems. CU vigorously defended itself and its environmental record.


But when the state held its ground, CU decided to take another route: change the law. Internal CU documents provide new details of how the utility provider used lobbyists to get this done. The paragraph, versions of which were also placed in other pieces of legislation this year, exempts CU from preliminary site checks of locations it wants to use as coal ash landfills. Multiple sites proposed by the utility had been rejected in September 2012, based on preliminary site investigations conducted by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.


Sites must be approved during a preliminary investigation before they can move to a detailed site investigation and ultimately be permitted. The state argues that process benefits the applicant by allowing the state to identify unsuitable locations as early as possible. This allows the applicant to avoid unnecessary expense or delays.


To read more, Click HERE.




Lee Creek Cleanup set for Sept. 7


University of Arkansas Extension
August 2013


Fast Facts:

  • Lee Creek Cleanup is part of Keep Arkansas Beautiful fall line-up
  • More than 10 tons of trash removed from Lee Creek in past five years

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Scores of volunteers will be patrolling the shores of Lee Creek on Saturday, Sept. 7 for the creek's annual Keep Arkansas Beautiful cleanup. Check-in opens at 9 a.m. at the day use horse parking in Devil's Den State Park, at the west end of the park just off Arkansas 220. The cleanup runs until noon, when lunch begins. Volunteers will receive gloves and trash bags. There will be three trash drop off locations; one at Devil's Den, one just south of Fall Creek and the third at Natural Dam. There will also be a free lunch and a prize giveaway when the cleanup is complete. The cleanup covers the creek from Devil's Den to the Arkansas 59 bridge.


Lee Creek is designated an Extraordinary Resource Water and is familiar to hikers, horseback and ATV riders and paddlers who enjoy its sights, sounds and challenging flows. "This cleanup is a great service for the communities that rely on Lee Creek as a source of drinking water, as well as those who enjoy swimming, fishing, paddling and hiking on, around, or in the creek," said Michelle Buchanan, Crawford County extension agent for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.


The cleanup itself has removed more than 10 tons of trash and junk from the waterway over a five-year period and last year another 2,700 pounds of trash was collected. The cleanup is sponsored by Ozark Natural Foods, ArkansasEarthDay.org, Keep Arkansas Beautiful, Arkansas Stream Team, Pack Rat Outdoor Center, Lewis and Clark Outfitters, Uncle Sam's Safari Outfitters, Ozark Highlands Trail Association, Eye Care, Merrill, Harp's, Tyson Foods, White Rock Mountain Resort, Bank of Fayetteville and Fayettechill.


For more information, Click: HERE.


Contact Info
OZARKS WATER WATCH                          MISSOURI OFFICE                                 ARKANSAS OFFICE

David Casaletto, President                         PO Box 636, 2 Kissee Ave., Ste. C         1200 W. Walnut, Ste. 3405
(417) 739-5001                                             Kimberling City, MO  65686                    Rogers, AR  72756

[email protected]