Monthly Archives: December 2012

Water Quality Monitoring Results Released

Several hundred people showed up on Aug. 18th for the 7th Annual Secchi Day on Beaver Lake, the source of drinking water for more than 400,000 Arkansans. In all, 33 teams of concerned citizen scientists participated, and 35 potential sampling sites were sampled, most in duplicate. Secchi depth is a measure of water transparency that involves lowering a black and white disk into the water and recording the measurement when the disk is no longer visible.

Extreme drought conditions in 2012, opposed to the heavy spring rains and flood discharge of 2011, yielded greater Secchi depths from the Horseshoe Bend area of Beaver Lake to Beaver Dam, according to Dr. Robert Morgan, Manager of Environmental Quality for Beaver Water District. The greatest Secchi depth was at Beaver  Dam yielding 5.65 meters (approximately 18.5 feet), and the lowest Secchi depth was at the War Eagle arm yielding 0.35 meters (just over 1 foot). This year’s results were similar to 2007, which was one of the region’s other dry years. In addition to Secchi depth readings, water samples are analyzed by Beaver Water District’s lab technicians. The technicians measure chlorophyll a, total phosphorous, and nitrate in each of the water samples. Chlorophyll a is a pigment in algae that is used to measure the density of the algal population in water. Phosphorous and nitrate are both nutrients that promote algal growth. See a full report on results at

Secchi Day on Beaver Lake is made possible by 11 partners including Audubon Arkansas, Beaver Water District, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Beaver Lake, the U.S. Geological Survey, the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, Hobbs State Park, Arkansas Master Naturalists, the Association for Beaver Lake Environment, Beaver Watershed Alliance, Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, and Ozarks Water Watch. Secchi Day is one of the premiere water public awareness and education events in Arkansas. Next year’s event will be held on Aug. 17, 2013.

Water District Scholarship Awarded to UA Student

Joseph Gerke, a senior studying civil engineering at the University of Arkansas, has been awarded the Joe M. Steele and Hardy W. Croxton Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship, funded through voluntary contributions by Beaver Water District Board members and other interested individuals and organizations, is named for the late Joe M. Steele and the late Hardy W. Croxton, leaders and past Board members. The Memorial Scholarship Fund provides support to qualified students within the UA’s College of Engineering.

Beaver Water District supplies drinking water from its abundant storage in Beaver Lake to Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, and Bentonville. These cities then resell the water to nearby 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.  For more information, visit