Out of an abundance of caution and in accordance with recommendations from the Governor’s office, the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH), and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), all Beaver Water District facilities are closed to the public until further notice. First and foremost, the District will continue to provide safe, clean drinking water to its customers. For up-to-date information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) visit the CDC and the ADH websites.
Dan Schrader of the Holiday Island Suburban Improvement District (SID) did the honors when he accepted first place for best tasting drinking water on March 11th at the Center for Nonprofits in Rogers during the monthly meeting of the Northwest District of the Arkansas Waterworks and Water Environment Association (AWW&WEA). Holiday Island will now compete for the statewide award during the 2020 Annual Conference & Exposition of AWW&WEA, which will be held April 27-29 in Hot Springs.
Second place resulted in a 3-way tie between the City of Bentonville, Bella Vista Property Owners Association (POA) and Beaver Water District. Other competitors included Rogers Water Utilities, Springdale Water Utilities, and Washington Water Authority.
Mitchell Reddington, Nathan Miles, and Ben Kennedy with Rausch Coleman served as judges. They evaluated and scored water samples on clarity, color, odor, and taste.
Past winners include Springdale Water Utilities (2019), Rogers Water Utilities (2018), City of Bentonville (2017), Rogers Water Utilities (2016), Prairie Grove (2015), Beaver Water District (2014), and Rogers Water Utilities (2013).
The Northwest District of the AWW&WEA was 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 water professions. Monthly meetings are held in various cities throughout the 10-county district in Northwest Arkansas. The following individuals are NW District 2020 officers: Mayo Miller, Jacobs Engineering, Chair; Zak Johnston, Washington Water Authority, Secretary/Treasurer; and Austin Ramsfield, Jacobs Engineering, Vice Chair. Visit nwd-awwwea.org for more information.
Amber Ebbrecht of Fayetteville has joined the staff of Beaver Water District (BWD) as Assistant Education Coordinator. Ebbrecht will assist the BWD Education Coordinator and the Director of Public Affairs with all education and public outreach activities, events, and tasks. This includes leading Water Education Center hands-on education and tours, providing classroom presentations, engaging in public outreach, and supporting strategies to continue the growth and use of BWD Water Education curriculum in schools, at the BWD Water Education Center, and with partner organizations. Ebbrecht has a B.F.A. from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and holds a standard license in pre-K-12 from the Arkansas Department of Education. Her professional experience includes Director of Education and Outreach at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, Volunteer Coordinator at Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area, and eight years as an educator in Fayetteville Public Schools. In 2017, Ebbrecht received a Fayetteville Public Schools Above & Beyond Award.
On Dec. 17 in Fayetteville, Ark., members of the Northwest District of the Arkansas Water Works & Water Environment Association (AWW&WEA) met for their monthly training meeting. The following individuals will serve as officers for 2020: Mayo Miller, Jacobs Engineering, Chair; Zak Johnston, Washington Water Authority, Secretary/Treasurer; and Austin Ramsfield, Jacobs Engineering, Vice Chair. Nathan Hooper, Benton/Washington Regional Public Water Authority received a plaque recognizing his years of service as outgoing Chair. Stacy Cheevers of Beaver Water District, Northwestern District Director for AWW&WEA, presented outstanding achievement awards for 2019:
(Front row, left to right) Christine Schneider, Lab Professional Water, Benton/Washington Regional Public Water Authority; Tony Brown, Pretreatment Professional, Siloam Springs; Rodney Reynolds, Manager of the Year Water, Madison County Water Facilities Board; Mike Maynard, Small System Award Wastewater, Jacobs-Berryville; Tiffany Mallard, Lab Professional Wastewater, Springdale Water Utilities; Aaron Watkins, Water Operator more than 5000, City of Fayetteville; (back row, left to right) Duane Boyd and Darrin Byrum, dual award for Small System Award Water, Washington Water Authority; Tim Klossner, Backflow Prevention Professional, City of Bentonville; Mark Rogers, Manager of the Year Wastewater, City of Fayetteville; and Jeff Hickle, Wastewater Operator more than 5000, Jacobs-Fayetteville. Not present for the photo: Stacy Thompson, Water Operator less than 5000, Garfield Rural Water System.
FAYETTEVILLE, Nov. 1, 2019 — The Northwest Arkansas office of the American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization, will dedicate 21 new “H2O and GO” water bottle filling stations in seven schools over the course of two days, Nov. 5 and Nov. 8.
The local office of the American Heart Association – in conjunction with RB, Healthy Active Arkansas, the Beaver Water District and Tyson Foods – are working collaboratively to install more water bottle filling stations and give reusable water bottles to Northwest Arkansas schools.
The purpose of the H2O and GO stations is to provide schoolchildren with more access to free, clean drinking water, no matter where they live, what school they attend or what grade they are in. Water is a basic human need that kids cannot live without. In Northwest Arkansas, that water is sourced from Beaver Lake and made clean to drink by Beaver Water District. Cities then supply water to the schools.
Having access to a hydration station means schoolchildren can fill water bottles to take to class, rather than the routine three-second drink they get from a fountain with long lines, especially after P.E. Reducing sugary-beverage consumption by promoting proper hydration is one way the local AHA office and its allies are working to battle the region’s rising number of children who are at an unhealthy weight.
Washington County school-age children are 38.8 % overweight and/or obese; Benton Co. school-age children are 35.4 % overweight and/or obese, according to statistics from Arkansas Center for Health Improvement’s “Assessment of Childhood and Adolescent Obesity in Arkansas” report.
“Through the AHA’s advocacy work and collaboration with like-minded organizations, we’ve made incremental changes to the amount of time schoolchildren are allowed at recess,” says Deven Daehn, the AHA’s community impact director for the state of Arkansas. “Unfortunately, obesity rates continue to climb to unacceptable levels.”
“We’re working to educate parents and their children about the dangers of living at an unhealthy weight so both generations can work together to build a world of longer, healthier lives,” Daehn adds.
Springdale schools were chosen for the water bottle filling stations based on zip codes with the greatest need. Dedications for six of the new water bottle filling stations will be held at these days and times in these Springdale schools:
9:30 a.m. JO Kelly Middle School
10:30 a.m. Jones Elementary School
1 p.m. Parson Hills Elementary School
2:30 p.m. TG Smith Elementary School
8:30 a.m. Walker Elementary School
10 a.m. Elmdale Elementary School
1 p.m. Lee Elementary School
There will be interview and photo/video opportunities at each dedication.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies, and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-479-439-6800.
For media inquiries:
Cyd King, communications director
American Heart Association-Northwest Arkansas
(From left) Dustin Mayhew of Springdale, Gabe Frost of Siloam Springs, and Steven Caudle of Lowell, all Beaver Water District (BWD) Plant Operators II, placed first to win the regional Top Ops Challenge competition held Oct. 22 in Branson, Mo., during the 2019 Southwest Section American Water Works Association’s annual convention. Now the team will compete for the 6th consecutive year in the American Water Works Association (AWWA) Top Ops Challenge in Orlando during AWWA’s 2020 Annual Conference & Exposition, which will be held June 14-18. Top Ops is the “College Bowl” or “Jeopardy!” of the water industry. It is designed to promote excellence and professionalism and provide an opportunity for water professionals to showcase their talents in all aspects of water operations.
On Aug. 17 for the 14th year in a row, volunteer citizen scientists collected water quality data on Beaver Lake in Northwest Arkansas during the annual Secchi Day on Beaver Lake event. Beaver Water District (BWD) staff then analyze data and produce a report that helps answer this question: How is the water quality in Beaver Lake?
Matthew Rich, Environmental Specialist with BWD, spoke about results and data from Secchi Day with the BWD’s Board of Directors at their monthly meeting held on Oct. 17.
This year, 37 teams collected data and water samples from 35 duplicated sample sites throughout the lake. Sampling teams take Secchi disk readings to determine water clarity. They also collect water samples that are then tested by BWD lab staff for chlorophyll-a, total phosphorus, and total nitrogen to determine algal density and nutrient concentration. Secchi depth is a measure of water transparency that involves lowering a black and white disk into the water and recording the maximum depth in which the black and white pattern can be distinguished from above the water’s surface.
“Secchi depth is inversely related to the concentration of chlorophyll-a. Therefore, as chlorophyll-a decreases, Secchi depth increases.” Rich said. “When it comes to producing drinking water, greater Secchi depths and lesser chlorophyll-a and nutrient concentrations are best,” he added. “While Secchi Day is only one day out of the year, the data collected provides a better picture of the interannual variability in water quality at the different sites that are sampled every August.”
This year’s data shows that most water quality parameters deviated away from previous 13-year averages. The whole-lake average Secchi depth this year was around 8.2 feet, which is a slight decrease in clarity from the long-term average of 8.9 feet. The whole-lake average chlorophyll-a this year was 9.01 parts per billion (ppb) which was significantly greater than the long-term average of 7.49 ppb. The higher-than-average chlorophyll-a concentration, and lower-than-average Secchi depths, this year were driven in part by unusually high rainfall totals in the watershed in the weeks and months leading up to Secchi Day. These late season rains delivered increased sediments and nutrients into Beaver Lake. However, both Secchi depth and chlorophyll-a averages were well within the normal variations for the 13-year dataset.
“Year after year, Secchi Day continues to provide BWD with excellent data concerning the water quality in Beaver Lake. There has been quite a bit of variability in the last thirteen years, but the silver lining is that at this point, according to Secchi Day data, we do not have any indication that water quality is degrading,” Rich said.
James McCarty, BWD’s Manager of Environmental Quality, added that “Secchi Day is only one example of our ongoing efforts to monitor and maintain the water quality of the lake. We look at this data and much more to help us keep watch on key indicators of water quality problems and assess our restoration and protection efforts within the watershed.”
To read this year’s Secchi report, go to the Secchi Day page on the BWD website at https://www.bwdh2o.org/education-outreach/secchi-day/ and the report will be on the bottom left. Mark your calendar now. The 15th Annual Secchi Day & Science Festival on Beaver Lake will be held Aug. 15, 2020. The event includes many partners such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Beaver Lake, the U.S. Geological Survey, the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, Northwest Arkansas Stormwater, Hobbs State Park, Northwest Arkansas Master Naturalists, Beaver Watershed Alliance, Beaver Lake Fire Department, Ozarks Water Watch, OneCommunity, The Ozark Society, 3W Magazine, KNWA, North American Lake Management Society, and Girl Scouts Diamonds of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Secchi Day is one of the premiere water public awareness and education events in Arkansas.