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October 15, 2020 – Beaver Lake Secchi Day Data Released for 15th Year

Despite the COVID pandemic, Beaver Water District’s Secchi Day on Beaver Lake sampling activities — with many, longtime and dedicated volunteers — continued this year on Aug. 15, 2020, with all the necessary precautions to ensure everyone was safe. Secchi Day is named for the Secchi Disk, a black and white device lowered into the water to measure transparency.

While most years there are nearly 40 sampling teams collecting data and water samples from 35 duplicated sites, due to the pandemic, 21 teams participated, with 20 percent duplication of the 35 sites.

The task of sampling teams is to take Secchi disk readings to determine water transparency. Teams 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 alternating black and white pattern can be distinguished from above the water’s surface.

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 today, on Oct. 15.

“Secchi depth is inversely related to both the concentration of chlorophyll-a, (a bioindicator of algae) as well as other suspended sediments in the water,” Rich said. “As chlorophyll-a and suspended sediments decrease, Secchi transparency increases. This exact trend also occurs naturally as you move from the headwaters of the lake toward Beaver Dam. When it comes to producing drinking water, greater Secchi transparency, and lesser chlorophyll-a and nutrient concentrations, are best. At all 35 sites in 2020, chlorophyll-a concentrations were lesser than, while Secchi depths were greater than, their long-term averages for each site. These results are positive because the leap from excess nutrients to water quality degradation can be short.”

After 15 years of data collection, Dr. James McCarty, BWD’s Manager of Environmental Quality, said we are maintaining the water quality in Beaver Lake.

To read this year’s Secchi Day 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.

About Beaver Water District

The mission of Beaver Water District (BWD) is to sustainably provide our customers with safe, economical drinking water. BWD provides the clean water, sourced from Beaver Lake, to Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, and Bentonville. These cities in Northwest Arkansas then pump, store, distribute and resell the water to their customers. For more information, visit www.bwdh2o.org.

Board Meeting – October 15, 2020

Tentative Agenda

Board of Directors Beaver Water District

Beaver Water District VIA GoToMeeting Conference (To request to join the call, email kmhoon@bwdh2o.org)

October 15, 2020 12:00 Noon

  1. Meeting Call to Order
  2. Roll Call
  3. Approval of minutes of previous regular meeting
  4. Presentation – Secchi Day Report
  5. Presentation – Beaver Watershed Alliance Annual Report
  6. Presentation – BWD Source Water Protection Program Update

Other Business

    • COVID19 Status
    • Water Production Report

ADJOURN TO NEW BWD HYDRATION TRAILER DEMONSTRATION

Board Meeting – September 17, 2020

Tentative Agenda

Board of Directors Beaver Water District

Beaver Water District VIA GoToMeeting Conference (To request to join the call, email kmhoon@bwdh2o.org)

September 17, 2020 12:00 Noon

  1. Meeting Call to Order
  2. Roll Call
  3. Approval of minutes of previous regular meeting
  4. Recommendation – Construction Manager General Contractor for Steele Building Renovation
  5. Recommendation – Agreement for Construction Management Service with Olsson
  6. Recommendation – 2020 Strategic Plan

Other Business

    • COVID19 Status
    • Water Production Report

Board Meeting – August 20, 2020

Tentative Agenda

Board of Directors Beaver Water District

Beaver Water District VIA GoToMeeting Conference (To request to join the call, email kmhoon@bwdh2o.org)

August 20, 2020 12:00 Noon

  1. Meeting Call to Order
  2. Roll Call
  3. Approval of minutes of previous regular meeting
  4. Recommendation – FY 2021 Budget

Other Business

    • COVID19 Status
    • Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies 2020 Virtual Executive Management Conference
    • Water Production Report

August 14, 2020 — Beaver Water District Forms Compliance Department, Mindi Dearing Named Compliance Manager

Mindi Dearing has been named Compliance Manager for Beaver Water District’s newly created Compliance Department. The promotion will occur on Oct. 1. Dearing, former Laboratory Supervisor for the District for well over a decade, will be responsible for the research, analysis, and evaluation of regulatory activities that impact the drinking water industry and ensure the District is in compliance with federal, state, and local entities. In addition to ensuring drinking water quality, Dearing will also assist with developing, communicating, executing, and sustaining the strategic initiatives of the District. The increasingly complex needs of regulatory compliance and sufficient coverage of work responsibilities prompted the formation of the Compliance Department.

Dearing joined the District on Jan. 10, 2005. However, she began her journey in the water industry while attending college in Stillwater, Okla., where she worked in a private laboratory that provided consultation and analysis for water and wastewater treatment plants. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in biological science from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater and went on to work as an Environmental Chemist for the Oklahoma City Water and Wastewater Utilities department until she accepted the Laboratory Supervisor position at Beaver Water District and moved to Arkansas in 2005. Dearing also completed a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) with an emphasis in Strategic Communications from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in May 2019.

Dearing has been an active member of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) for more than 20 years and has served on multiple AWWA committees including Operator Involvement, Young Professionals, and the Emerging Water Quality Issues. She just recently handed over the reins of the Chair of the Top Ops Subcommittee for which she served from 2016-2020. She is also involved in the Southwest American Water Works Association (SWAWWA) and has helped promote and organize the Top Ops competition, a quiz bowl competition for workers in the drinking water industry.

Dearing received the Laboratory Professional award for the Northwest District of the Arkansas Water Works and Water Environment Association in 2007 and 2018. She holds a Class IV Water Treatment Operator and a Class IV Water Distribution Operator license through the Arkansas Department of Health.

August 13, 2020 — Virtual Secchi Day Science Fair begins Saturday; Fun and Prizes for the Entire Family

Beginning this Saturday, Aug. 15, the public is invited to participate in the first-ever Online Virtual Secchi Day Science Fair with videos and photos of Environmental and Water Education activities. Visit Beaver Water District’s website at  http://www.bwdh2o.org to get started. Provide us with feedback and win a prize! A Secchi disk is a black and white device lowered into the water to measure clarity. Sampling activities and the education fair, led by Beaver Water District since 2006, rely on partners and citizen volunteers. The data collected helps BWD monitor the quality of the water in Beaver Lake, the water supply for half a million people. To ensure everyone’s safety, the Secchi Day Science Fair is virtual this year.

July 14, 2020 – Beaver Water District Hydration Station at Ozark Smokehouse

Northwest Arkansas Land Trust, Beaver Water District and Kessler Greenways will host a dedication ceremony to celebrate the installation of new Hydration Station at Ozark Smokehouse WASHINGTON CO., ARK – Local media are invited to join in the Hydration Station Dedication Ceremony hosted by the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust, a non-governmental, nonprofit conservation organization. The ceremony will take place Friday, July 31, 2020, on the downstairs covered porch at the Ozark Smokehouse in Fayetteville from 11:30-12:30 p.m.

Attendees will include Mayor Lioneld Jordan, Beaver Water District Environmental Quality Manager James McCarty and other water district staff, Kessler Greenways Founder Frank Sharp, Northwest Arkansas Land Trust staff and Board President Eileen Jennings.

Beaver Water District partnered with the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust and Kessler Greenways to provide the hydration station. The station was installed by Frank Sharp and Cedar Valley Plumbing. It’s located just outside the Kessler Mountain Nature Center to provide clean drinking water to students, hikers and pets who visit the Outdoor Classroom’s 0.6-mile Interpretive Loop Trail, which is open to the public from sunrise to sundown 7 days a week. The trail is accessed from the picnic area just outside the Ozark Smokehouse.

Beaver Water District supplies clean, safe drinking water, sourced from Beaver Lake, to Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, and Bentonville. These cities in Northwest Arkansas then pump, store, distribute and resell the water to their customers. For more information, visit www.bwdh2o.org.

Northwest Arkansas Land Trust is an accredited land trust dedicated to enhancing quality of life through the permanent protection of land. By holding and managing donated land and providing conservation easement services, the Land Trust protects water quality, local farms, wildlife habitat, and places for outdoor recreation while enhancing quality of life for today and future generations. The service area of the Land Trust includes 13 counties in Northwest Arkansas, with a core focus on Benton and Washington counties. For more information, visit the land trust’s website at www.nwalandtrust.org.

Board Meeting – July 16, 2020

Tentative Agenda

Board of Directors Beaver Water District

Beaver Water District VIA GoToMeeting Conference (To request to join the call, email kmhoon@bwdh2o.org)

July 16, 2020 12:00 Noon

  1. Meeting Call to Order
  2. Roll Call
  3. Approval of minutes of previous regular meeting
  4. Recommendation – FY 2021 Personnel Budget

Other Business

    • COVID19 Status
    • Secchi Day Citizen Scientist Sampling – Saturday, August 15, 2020
    • BWD Financial Report
    • Water Production Report

EXECUTIVE SESSION

June 18, 2020 – Beaver Water District Receives 2020 Exemplary Source Water Protection Award from American Water Works Association

Dr. James McCarty (left), Manager of Environmental Quality for Beaver Water District, and Matthew Rich, Environmental Specialist, sampling Beaver Lake.

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) has recognized Beaver Water District (BWD) with the 2020 Exemplary Source Water Protection Award in the large water system category. Award recipients demonstrate the highest level of vision, goals, action plan, innovation, implementation and evaluation in the categories of small, medium and large water system. BWD, a wholesale drinking water provider, serves a population of 358,000 in Benton and Washington counties in northwest Arkansas. The system’s sole water source is Beaver Lake, a large reservoir on the White River that is vulnerable to high turbidity events and nutrient loads.

BWD partnered with the Northwest Arkansas Council to develop a Beaver Lake Watershed Protection Strategy, which became a key element in BWD’s 2012 Source Water Protection Plan. The District regularly revises and updates the plan as new data becomes available. In 2016, BWD’s Board of Directors voted to dedicate four cents per every 1,000 gallons sold to a Source Water Protection Fund. This funding ensures ongoing implementation of source water protection activities.

Through its Environmental Quality Department, BWD implements and oversees a variety of watershed protection projects, including watershed and reservoir monitoring/modeling, stream restoration and prescribed burns, research, GIS analysis, laboratory analysis, public awareness/education, and policy/regulatory review.

Currently, BWD is the sponsoring organization for a Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) on the West Fork of the White River, an area with critical watershed and streambank erosion issues. This program is scheduled to be completed in 2022.

“Northwest Arkansas is a fast-growing region with some major fortune 500 companies and our economic growth and vitality is directly tied to the availability of clean, safe drinking water,” said James McCarty, BWD’s Source Water Protection Manager.  “We believe that if we don’t protect Beaver Lake for future generations, no one will. We know we can’t do it alone, so we try to lead the protection effort in a collaborative way, as seen in the RCPP we are sponsoring where there are more than six participating organizations involved in an $8.6 million watershed improvement effort.”

About Beaver Water District

Beaver Water District supplies clean, safe drinking water, sourced from Beaver Lake, to Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, and Bentonville. These cities in Northwest Arkansas then pump, store, distribute and resell the water to their customers. For more information, visit www.bwdh2o.org.

Board Meeting – June 18, 2020

Tentative Agenda

Board of Directors Beaver Water District

Beaver Water District VIA GoToMeeting Conference (To request to join the call, email kmhoon@bwdh2o.org)

June 18, 2020 12:00 Noon

  1. Meeting Call to Order
  2. Roll Call
  3. Approval of minutes of previous regular meeting
  4. Recognition – AWWA 2020 Exemplary Source Water Protection Award
  5. Presentation — 2020 Strategic Plan Update
  6. Presentation – FY 2019 Process Improvement Plan Report

Other Business

    • COVID19 Status
    • Water Production Report