Monthly Archives: May 2013

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Join us for Floating, Food, Fun, Music on War Eagle June 1st!

It’s spring in the Ozarks and that means it’s time to get outdoors and play! War Eagle Appreciation Day will be held Saturday, June 1, 2013, at Crossbow Pavilion at Withrow Springs State Park, 5 miles north of Huntsville, Ark., off of Hwy. 23. Organizers invite the public to join them for a community float on War Eagle, and/or music, lunch, and special awards for 2013 War Eagle Stewards and for the Beaver Watershed Alliance Spring Watershed Photography Contest. A limited number of canoes and kayaks are available, shuttle service will be provided (bring your own canoe or kayak if you want to) but you must pre-register with the park. Call (479) 559-2593. Download a flyer from the Beaver Water District’s website at Admission is free. Organizers suggest members of the public bring their own lawn chairs to enjoy activities at Crossbow Pavilion from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. These will include music by Leon Lauber and the War Eagle Band from 1 to 4 p.m., educational fun and games, awards and door prizes, and a cookout sponsored by Arvest Bank of Huntsville. The music is supported by the William Rufus Stephens, Jr Memorial Fund. 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, War Eagle Mill, Arkansas Canoe Club, Madison County Search and Rescue, Huntsville Fire Department, Madison County Solid Waste and Recycling, Madison County Record, KTHS Radio, Kiwanis Club, Madison Coffee House, Wal-Mart, Ma and Pa’s Bent & Dent, Audubon Arkansas, Elizabeth Richardson Center, Girl Scouts-Diamonds of Arkansas, Oklahoma & Texas, Ozarks Water Watch, and Beaver Water District.


War Eagle Appreciation Day is an official event affiliated with 2013 Water Watch Week, coordinated by Ozarks Water Watch. For information, visit 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.


Board Meeting – May 16, 2013

Beaver Water District’s Board of Directors will meet at noon on Thursday, May 16, 2013, at 301 N. Primrose Road, Lowell, AR.

Tentative Agenda

1. Meeting Call to Order 2. Approval of minutes of previous regular meeting 3. Presentation – Stream Study Report 4. Presentation – Leadership Development Program Update 5. Presentation – Water Quality Report and Laboratory In-House Tests 6. Presentation – Generators and Load Shedding Program 7. Other Business • Legislative Wrap-Up – Arkansas 89th General Assembly • Generators – Emissions Control Devices Update • Awards – ENVY Award By ADEQ for District; and Manager of the Year by AWW&WEA for Stacy Cheevers • Leadership Development Program Guests – Brad Hufhines, Environmental Program Technician; and Kevin Oxford, Maintenance Mechanic II

Register for Free LakeSmart Program on May 23rd

A free LakeSmart Program will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 23rd, at the Prairie Creek Community Center, 14432 E. Highway 12, Rogers (about 3 miles east of the city). So what is LakeSmart? LakeSmart is a free program to guide you through a self-assessment to protect your property from excessive erosion, to learn options about retaining rainwater, and to assess potential impacts on water quality in the Beaver Lake Watershed, our source for drinking water! LakeSmart is coordinated by Ozarks Water Watch and sponsored by Beaver Water District, the UA Cooperative Extension Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Association for Beaver Lake Environment. To reserve your space today, call Angela Danovi at 479-295-7717 or email Find LakeSmart on the web and view an information video here:

Ozarks Water Watch (the Foundation) is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization whose mission is to promote water quality in the upper White River watershed through bi-state collaboration on research, education, public policy and action projects. The focus of the Foundation is on the four major impoundments on the upper White River: Beaver, Table Rock, Taneycomo and Bull Shoals Lakes and the rivers and streams which drain into these impoundments. For more information, visit

8th Annual West Fork Watershed Cleanup is May 25th

Help us pick up trash on the river and keep our drinking water clean. It’s easy! Just join the fun at the 8th Annual West Fork Watershed Cleanup from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 25, at West Fork Riverside Park, located off state Hwy. 170 in quaint downtown West Fork, Ark. Volunteers will check in from 8-9:30 a.m. and fan out to stations along the river and clean up targeted areas. Lunch and door prizes begin at 11 a.m. Pre-registration is encouraged but not required. All volunteers will complete registration forms. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Call 479-225-1611 to pre-register. Participants will be supplied with trash bags, maps to cleanup locations, gloves, and reusable water bottles filled with chilled tap water. This is a great activity for families, church groups, scout groups, civic clubs, students, and people of all ages. Download the flyer for information and a map of cleanup sites, as well as the registration form, by linking here:

The purpose is to keep the West Fork and its watershed clean, since this tributary flows to Beaver Lake, drinking water for more than 400,000 people! Cleanup sites include Riverside Park, Baptist Ford, Dye Creek Road, Woolsey Bridge, Brentwood Mountain Road, Winslow Ballpark, Greenland School, Town Branch and Walker Park.

The annual cleanup is coordinated by the West Fork Watershed Alliance. Sponsors and partners include Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, 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, Ozarks Water Watch, Arkansas Earth Day, the Bank of Fayetteville, and Northwest Arkansas Land Trust.

May 2013 – What’s in a Name

Weather and work have conspired to keep me off of the water this spring. I can’t do much about the weather, but I vow to rectify the situation regarding work over the next few weeks. But neither weather nor work have kept me from thinking about Beaver Lake and the White River. Back in January, I agreed to make a presentation about Beaver Lake and our water supply at the Pettigrew Days annual pot luck supper and community meeting down toward the headwaters of the White River. I didn’t think much about it at the time. I’d drive to Pettigrew, eat some good country cooking, give the standard presentation and head home. Then I learned that this event had been going on for over 30 years and that the first speaker was one Orval Faubus! Man, now the pressure was on.

While doing some research to update the presentation, I started wondering just why “White River” is “White.” It should have been an easy question. I grabbed my journal and headed down to the U of A library to find the answer. Four hours later I had lots of interesting material, but not a clue as to the origin of the name. So I turned to the source, Susan Young at the Shiloh Museum in Springdale. Susan directed me to the journals of Henry Schoolcraft. From there, a few quick clicks on the computer and I was sitting at the website of the Lower White River Museum where the material was there for the taking.  The story goes way back.

The first European to encounter the White River was the Spaniard Hernando de Soto. De Soto arrived in south Florida in the 1530s supposedly looking for the legendary fountain of youth. After a few years wandering around in the swamps, de Soto turned his thoughts to more practical matters and headed west to find oro, which in Spanish means gold. In 1541, his travels brought him to the banks of the White River just downstream of present day Batesville, Arkansas. The Native Americans living in the region referred to themselves as Casqui. De Soto therefore referred to the river as “Rio de Casqui” or river of the Casqui. While de Soto had taken a fortune in gold from the Inca a decade earlier, he didn’t find the gold he was searching for on this trip. About a year later, he died of a fever someplace in southeast Arkansas or northeast Louisiana.

The Casqui themselves did not refer to the river as “Casqui.” According to the Lower White River Museum, the Native Americans referred to the river as “Niska” or white water.  Today, the term “white water” conjures up a vision of raging rapids challenging rafters and kayakers. The White River is a great place to kayak or raft, but not for the white water. Niska had another meaning. The water of the White River has always been crystal clear, especially as it flowed across the Springfield plateau of Northern Arkansas and Southern Missouri. The water also flows over limestone that has a grayish white color.  So the name Niska actually referred to the color of the river.

Marquette and Joliet explored the Mississippi River for France in 1673. When they arrived in Arkansas, an alliance was formed with the Quapaw marking the start of a hundred years of French dominance. The French trappers and settlers spread out into the region. As they settled, they adopted the Native American name for de Soto’s Rio de Casqui, calling it “Riverie au Blanche” or White River.

In 1803, Napoleon Bonaparte sold French Louisiana to the United States. The White River watershed was a part of the purchase.  Henry Schoolcraft then explored the region in 1818. Schoolcraft made perhaps the first recorded canoe float of the White by a U.S. citizen. However, English-speaking settlers were already in the region. Schoolcraft canoed down the “Great North Fork of the White” out of Missouri. The Great North Fork is now referred to as simply the North Fork River. The Cherokee who lived in the region referred to the river as “Unica,” which also means white water. The white settlers had also adopted the name White River. The name has stuck ever since.  So the name White River goes back at least hundreds if not thousands of years.

white-river The name White River came from an American Indian term, “Niska,” which meant white water. The reference was to crystal clear water flowing over white rocks.

Fortenberry Takes Prestigious Kellogg Award, Cheevers Named Manager of Year


Hot Springs, Ark. – Alan Fortenberry, Chief Executive Officer for Beaver Water District (BWD) serving Northwest Arkansas, has been honored with induction into the prestigious Glen T. Kellogg Water & Wastewater Hall of Fame. The presentation was made at the annual Arkansas Water Works & Water Environment Association  (AWW&WEA) awards dinner in Hot Springs on April 30.

Fortenberry has had one of the more varied careers in the water industry of any recipient ever chosen for this award.  With over 40 years of experience in this industry, he has worked on the state agency regulatory side, the private consulting engineering side, and for the past 22 years has been an important member of the water community working on the public utility side of this profession.

In 1972, he graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Engineering.  Out of college he went to work for what is now referred to as the Arkansas Natural Resource Commission (ANRC) which was Arkansas Soil and Water Commission at the time.  Fortenberry worked for ANRC for the next eight years, and achieved his master’s degree in 1977 in Sanitary Engineering while working for the state of Arkansas.  He worked his way up to an engineering supervisor and was highly involved in the development of the State Water Plan, dam safety programs, watershed planning, and the administration of state funding programs. He worked for the ANRC until 1980.

At that time he made the decision to test the consulting waters, and for the next 10 years he worked for the private consulting firm McGoodwin, Williams, and Yates (MWY) in Fayetteville Arkansas.  While at MWY he worked on many design and construction projects that involved wastewater treatment facilities, water treatment facilities, distribution systems, collection systems, as well as master water planning and evaluations for many utilities and cities in Arkansas.

In 1991, Alan began his career at the Beaver Water District as the facilities Plant Engineer.  While in that position he provided oversight for major expansion projects and was involved in the design and construction of multiple project that were related to modifications to existing facilities.  He also supervised the lab department and developed the facilities safety program while in that capacity.  In 2001, Richard Starr, a 1996 recipient of the Kellogg Award,  made the decision to retire and Alan was chosen as his replacement as Chief Executive Officer of Beaver Water District.

Fortenberry was the AWW&WEA chairman in 2002.  He was appointed and then reappointed, through the end of 2013, to the Arkansas Board of Health by Governor Mike Beebe and served as the board president in 2010.  He served on the Northwest Arkansas Council as well as the Northwest Arkansas Planning Commission.  He has served on the board of Ozarks Water Watch, as well as too many committees to list within AWW&WEA, Arkansas Water and Wastewater Managers Association, and the Southwest Section of the American Waterworks Association (AWWA).  He was a SW Section Chair, and has chaired the source water protection advisory workgroup for AWWA, and was on the AWWA Water Utility Council.

He was named manager of the year by the Arkansas Water and Wastewater Managers Association in 2006.  In 2007 he was named distinguished alumni by the University of Arkansas College of Engineering.  In 2007, he was presented the AWWA George Warren Fuller Award, which is a national award, established in 1937, that recognizes AWWA members for distinguished service to the water industry.  In 2010, the SW Section AWWA awarded Fortenberry the Glen T. Kellogg Leadership Award.


Hot Springs, Ark. – Stacy Cheevers, plant manager for Beaver Water District (BWD) serving Northwest Arkansas, was recently named Water Manager of the Year during the annual Arkansas Water Works & Water Environment Association  (AWW&WEA) water awards luncheon in Hot Springs.

Cheevers joined BWD in 1991 and has been involved in the operation and maintenance of the district’s Joe M. Steele and Hardy Croxton treatment plants. He currently serves as the overall plant manager for which he manages a staff of 31 in the areas of operations, maintenance, and electrical/instrumentation departments. Cheevers is responsible for submitting a yearly budget, coordination of  in-house projects, overseeing water treatment procedures, and ensuring water quality requirements are met or exceeded at all times.

Among his achievements with the district, he assisted in the design of the 140 million gallon a day (MGD) intake and 60 MGD water treatment plant expansion including a solids treatment facility. He also coordinated an engineering contract for the addition of a new 13.2 kilovolt switching station and replacement of 12, 000 feet of 13.2 kilovolt distribution line, as well as the installation of two. 1,000-horsepower raw water and one 500-horsepower high service pumps.

Cheevers holds both Grade IV Water Operators Treatment and Distribution licenses and a master electrician license in the state of Arkansas. Among his other personal achievements, Cheevers was named the 2008 Agriculture Leader of the Year, 2005 Water Operator of the Year, 2005 Grower (poultry) of the year and his family was the 2008 Washington County Farm Family of the Year.