Monthly Archives: May 2012

June 22nd Golf Tournament Benefits Water For People

The Water For People Benefit Golf Tournament, hosted by the Northwest District of the Arkansas Water Works & Water Environment Association (AWW&WEA) and Beaver Water District, will be held June 22th at Stonebridge Meadows Golf Club in Fayetteville, AR. The entry fee is $60 per player. The two-person scramble is limited to 36 teams, and the deadline to enter is June 15. Register here. For more information, contact Damon Hoops at hoopsrus4@aol.com or Jesse Burch at jessallen@sbcglobal.net. Hole sponsorships are $250. All proceeds go to Water For People (WFP), which works with communities in underdeveloped areas to improve drinking water and sanitation. WFP was founded in 1991 by the American Water Works Association. To learn more, visit www.waterforpeople.org

The Northwest District of AWW&WEA formed in 1950. Its mission is to encourage the education and licensing of its members in the field of water and wastewater systems, and to provide a venue by which the members can share information, obtain training, and improve the overall standing of the profession. Beaver Water District supplies drinking water more than 300,000 people and industries in Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville and surrounding areas, or one in 10 Arkansans. These cities then resell the water to surrounding towns and communities. The District’s mission is to serve our customers’ needs by providing high quality drinking water that meets or exceeds all regulatory requirements and is economically priced consistent with our quality standards. 

 

War Eagle Appreciation Day is June 2nd!

War Eagle Appreciation Day will be held Saturday, June 2, 2012, at Keith Ham Pavilion(formerly known as Crossbow), Withrow Springs State Park, 5 miles north of Huntsville, Ark., off of Hwy. 23. Organizers invite the public to join them in a community float on War Eagle, as well as education, music, and lunch. Learn about water quality in War Eagle and its relationship to Beaver Lake. A limited number of canoes and kayaks are available. Call (479) 559-2593. A flyer may be downloaded here. Admission is free. The 5-mile float will begin at the Hwy. 412 bridge (across from Ma and Pa’s Bent & Dent) and end at Withrow Springs State Park. Shuttle service for canoeists will be available from 8:30-10:30 a.m. Organizers suggest members of the public bring their own lawn chairs to enjoy activities at the Ham Pavilion from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. These will include music by Jed Clampit from 1 to 4 p.m., educational fun and games, and a cookout sponsored by Arvest Bank of Huntsville. The music is supported by the William Rufus Stephens, Jr Memorial Fund for War Eagle through Audubon Arkansas. For additional information, contact Withrow Springs State Park at 479-559-2593 or the Huntsville Chamber of Commerce at 479-738-6000. Event partners and sponsors include the Huntsville Chamber of Commerce, Arvest Bank, Beaver Watershed Alliance, Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, Arkansas State Parks (Withrow Springs State Park & Hobbs State Park), Arkansas Master Naturalists, Lewis & Clark, Ozark Mountain Trading Co., War Eagle Mill, Arkansas Canoe Club, Madison County Search and Rescue, Madison County Solid Waste and Recycling, Madison County Record, Kiwanis Club, Madison Coffee House & Wine Hill Bakery, Wal-Mart, Ma and Pa’s Bent & Dent, U.S. Geological Survey, Audubon Arkansas, Elizabeth Richardson Center, Girl Scouts-Diamonds of Arkansas, Oklahoma & Texas, and Beaver Water District.

War Eagle is a sub-watershed of Beaver Lake Watershed. A watershed is an area of land that drains water, sediment, and dissolved materials to a common receiving body or outlet, which in this case is Beaver Lake, the primary source of drinking water for most of Northwest Arkansas. The purpose of the event is to draw attention to the rich history of War Eagle and the many benefits that War Eagle Creek brings to Madison County and Northwest Arkansas.

West Fork Watershed Cleanup Needs Volunteers Saturday May 19th!

Volunteers are needed for the 7th annual West Fork Watershed Cleanup, which will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 19, at Riverside Park, located off state Hwy. 170 in quaint downtown West Fork. Volunteers will check in from 8-9:30 a.m. at the park, then fan out to stations along the river and clean up targeted areas. Volunteers are then invited to enjoy a burrito buffet beginning at 11 a.m. To pre-register, call 479-422-1014 or 479-225-1611, or simply show up that day and register on-site.  Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Cleanup participants will be supplied with trash bags, maps to cleanup locations, gloves, and reusable water bottles filled with chilled tap water. All volunteers will be required to sign up and complete liability forms. Sites on the cleanup list include Riverside Park, Baptist Ford, Dye Creek Road, Woolsey Bridge, Brentwood Mountain Road, and the Winslow Ballpark.

As in years past, the event is being coordinated by the West Fork Watershed Alliance. Sponsors and partners also include Arkansas Stream Team, Arkansas Canoe Club, Arvest Bank, Beaver Water District, City of West Fork, Keep Arkansas Beautiful, Pack Rat Outdoor Center, Tyson Foods, University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, Washington County Environmental Affairs, the Watershed Conservation Resource Center, Audubon Arkansas, Beaver Watershed Alliance, Ozark Natural Foods, Sam’s Club, and West Fork Cafe. A flyer about the event may be downloaded from the Beaver Water District’s website at https://www.bwdh2o.org/education-and-outreach/events/west-fork-watershed-clean-up/.

 

Board Meeting-May 17, 2012

Beaver Water District’s Board of Directors will meet at noon on Thursday, May 17, 2012, at 301 N. Primrose Road, Lowell, AR 72745.

Tentative Agenda

 

  1. Meeting Call to Order
  2. Approval of minutes of previous regular meeting
  3. Recommendation – New Position – Environmental Intern
  4. Presentation – Financial Plan Update – FY 2013
  5. Presentation – Load Shedding Program
  6. Presentation – Biosolids Disposal Agreement – City of Fayetteville
  7. Tour – Solids Handling Facility
  8. Other Business
  • June 5 Dedication of Water Education Program to memory of John M. Lewis

Celebrate Drinking Water Week! Visit Our Website!

Beaver Lake. You drink it every day! That’s what Beaver Water District wants to remind everyone in Northwest Arkansas, especially during national Drinking Water Week, which ends this Saturday, May 12.

“Beaver Water District cleans and disinfects water from Beaver Lake and supplies it to Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers and Bentonville. Those cities then deliver water to the taps of more than 300,000 people and industries in Northwest Arkansas and surrounding areas,” said Amy Wilson, Director of Public Affairs for Beaver Water District. “We want to encourage everyone to visit our updated website at bwdh2o.org to learn more about drinking water and how all of us can modify our behavior to help keep our source water — Beaver Lake – clean and healthy now and for future generations.”

Wilson added that a safe, reliable water supply is critical to quality of life in Northwest Arkansas. She said abundant, clean drinking water creates jobs, attracts industry and investment, and provides for the health and welfare of citizens — from disease prevention to fire suppression.

“We put a lot of effort into education,” she said. “We have more than 30 lessons for K-12 posted on our website, along with materials that teachers can check out and use in the classroom. Additionally, we have a low impact development tour and a Water Education Center located in our Administration Center in Lowell. We’re open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.”

Beaver Water District’s mission is to serve our customers’ needs by providing high quality drinking water that meets or exceeds all regulatory requirements and is economically priced consistent with our quality standards.  For more information visit the website at: www.bwdh2o.org.

Cheevers Appointed to State Water Committee

On April 26, Stacy Cheevers of Fayetteville, Plant Manager for Beaver Water District (BWD), was appointed to the Arkansas Drinking Water Advisory and Operator Licensing Committee by the Arkansas Board of Health. Cheevers joined BWD in 1991. He manages staff in the operations, maintenance, and electrical/instrumentation departments. Cheevers is responsible for submitting a yearly budget, coordinating in-house projects, overseeing water treatment procedures, and insuring water quality requirements are met or exceeded at all times. He assisted in the design of the 140 million gallon a day intake and 60 MGD water treatment plant expansion inclusive of a solids treatment facility. He also coordinated an engineering contract for the addition of a new 13.2 KV switching station and replacement of 12,000 feet of 13.2 KV distribution line, as well as the installation of two 1000 HP raw water and one 500 HP high service pumps. Cheevers holds Grade IV Water Operator Treatment and Distribution licenses and a Master Electrician license in the state of Arkansas. BWD, based in Lowell, Ark., supplies drinking water to more than 300,000 people and industries in Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville and surrounding areas. BWD is the second largest drinking water supplier in the state of Arkansas. The source for its water is Beaver Lake. The mission of BWD is to serve our customers’ needs by providing high quality drinking water that meets or exceeds all regulatory requirements and is economically priced consistent with our quality standards.

April 21, 2012 – The Art of Going Slowly

A mini-natural bridge on Beaver Lake near Beav-o-Rama

A mini-natural bridge on Beaver Lake near Beav-o-Rama.

Bonsai Cedar tree clinging to a Beaver Lake bluff.

Bonsai Cedar tree clinging to a Beaver Lake bluff.

Great Blue Heron walking along the base of a Beaver Lake bluff.

Great Blue Heron walking along the base of a Beaver Lake bluff.

It was roughly 4 p.m. Saturday when Sharon and I put our canoe in at the Beav-O-Rama launch.  Beav-O-Rama is in the upper end of Beaver Lake roughly 56 miles from Beaver Dam.  I had made a presentation to the Northwest Arkansas Master Naturalist training that morning, and then Sharon and I worked in the garden for a while after lunch.  So this was just a quick evening trip out to the lake.  It was a nice day, the temperature was in the 70’s and the wind was light.  We put in and headed uplake into the wind thinking that we would have it easy coming back.

As we paddled out into the lake heading for the bluff line on the far side, a bass boat came by heading downlake in the direction of the Dam.  As I turned the bow of the canoe into the wake, I estimated that he was going about 45 miles per hour.  Then I thought, at that rate, he could drive to Beaver Dam and be back by dark.  If I were to try that in my canoe, it would take me at least two weeks.  That is if the weather cooperated — it wouldn’t — and if I could resist exploring the many coves and fingers of the lake between there and the dam — I couldn’t.  So, more realistically, it would take about a month of good travel.

On his trip to the dam and back, my bass boat buddy would use about 30 gallons of gasoline.  My fuel for my month-long trip would include 60 packs of instant oatmeal with raisins, roughly a pound of coffee, 60 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, 30 freeze dried dinners and a couple of boxes of tea. I likely would augment my diet by eating junk food at the marinas and hiking out to a restaurant when possible.

There is something to be said for cruising down the lake at 45 mph with the wind in your hair, especially on a warm spring day.  If you are a bass fisherman, I guess there is something about getting to the honey hole quickly.  On the other hand, as I paddle down the lake slowly, I would see every rock, tree and squirrel, feel every wave and breeze, and hear every bird.  And I could paddle within inches of the shoreline when I wanted to, putting me closer to all the action.  If I were lucky enough to con some buddies into going along, we would sit around campfires at night discussing past adventures which become more heroic as time goes on.  And to paraphrase Mason Williams from “The Exciting Accident,” we would likely “talk about some worldly things and tell some dirty jokes.”  It would be a grand adventure.

Going slowly was what Sharon and I had in mind that afternoon.  We bobbed in the wake of the bass boat for a few moments, and then proceeded across the lake to the north.  When we arrived at the shore on the east end of the bluff, I was surprised to find a mini-natural bridge.  It was maybe 15 feet long and 10 feet high.  A person could easily have walked under it.  I don’t remember seeing this feature on any map or ever hearing about it.  Even though I have motored past this spot several times before, I had no idea that the bridge existed.  Had I gone slowly, I likely would have found it earlier.

Since my last trip to the lake in early April, the Corps of Engineers had been releasing water and the surface elevation was about five feet lower. The Corps was evacuating the flood pool just in case another flood occurred this spring.  The lower flood level put us five feet further from the flowers than on the last trip.  Plus the vegetation had become very lush, making it difficult to pick out individual flowers.  Still, we saw one hillside covered in Columbine.

We proceeded slowly down the bluff line to the west into the wind.  It was a magnificent bluff.  Likely it was more than 100 feet high in places and at least a few hundred yards long.  There were some kayaks ahead of us.  I was surprised to find us gaining on them.  Some are better at going slowly than others.

I have no idea how bluffs form.  A quick Internet search gave some vague answers like, “the bluffs were eroded by the river.”  That is probably generally true but I suspect the answer is really more complicated.  Why were these bluffs eroded right here instead of some place else?  One thing you can count on is that it happened slowly.  Maybe some of my friends at the University of Arkansas can give me a better answer.

We paddled on down the bluff noting the rock fall at the base and lose rocks up above.  One large slab seems to be splitting off of the main bluff.  We both comment that we don’t want to be here when it finally falls.  If you could be safely away, the fall would be an impressive event.

The bluff is full of small ledges and overhangs.  Three weeks ago, each of these ledges hosted a nesting goose.  Now there was only one left.  Here and there, a gnarled old cedar occupied a ledge.

We found ourselves chasing a Great Blue Heron down the bluff line.  Each time we got just about within picture range the heron would fly another 50 yards.  Finally I managed to slip up just close enough to get a photo.

Another bass boat went by while we were paddling along the bluff.  This one was going slower and creating a larger wake.  Wakes in the open water come in a regular pattern, with a large one first then successively smaller waves behind. Up next to the bluff, the wake reflects off the bluff and heads back into open water. Then the reflection waves meet the primary wake. The crossing waves form what a physicist would call interference patterns.  What that means is waves are coming from everywhere.  The best you can do in the canoe is to set a low brace (set your paddle blade flat on the water) and let the canoe rock.

After we paddled the entire bluff, we headed back to the car.  It was about a 30-minute paddle back.  With the water down five feet, much of what was open water just three weeks ago is now a large mud flat.  It had become late, so I loaded the canoe on the truck and we headed in to Penguin Ed’s for supper.  Now was not the time to go slowly.