Carroll-Boone Water District agrees to help fund study of Beaver Lake watershed

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

CARROLL COUNTY -- The Carroll-Boone Water District (CBWD) has agreed to help pay for a two-year watershed study of Beaver Lake, to begin next year.

Carroll-Boone's contribution to the $515,000 study will be $10,000.

CBWD Office Manager Jim Allison told the board he and Plant Manager John Summers have been meeting with other water districts that use Beaver Lake as a drinking water source for several years.

"One of the primary topics has been the protection of the watershed," he said.

Beaver Water District, which serves Rogers, Bentonville, Springdale and Fayetteville, is the largest district using the lake. It had planned to undertake its own water quality study, but the Northwest Arkansas Council (formerly Arkansas Soil and Water Conservation) announced in November 2006 it would embark on a study. Beaver elected to join them and is contributing $250,000 to the cost.

Other water districts and stakeholders will also participate.

The study, conducted by Tetra Tech, Inc., of North Carolina, will establish benchmarks for current and future water quality.

Areas looked at will be population growth and housing, land use, soils, point and nonpoint pollutant sources, agricultural and urban impacts and erosion and sedimentation.

Examination of the region's growth, with 50-year projections, will be included.

"As you know, we're at this end of the watershed, and the water quality is very good," Allison told the board. "We'd like to keep it that way."

Allison said by phone later the biggest concern for Carroll-Boone is septic systems.

There are also several large developments going in around the lake which are of concern to stakeholders.

In other business, the Board:

* Approved the 2008-09 budget salary schedule. Increases for employees range from 3.9 percent to 4.5 percent, based on seniority and skill.

* Approved the 2008-09 budget, which increases by $30,000 over last year, mostly in employment costs. The district is still discussing rising health insurance costs and how to handle them.

* Approved a contract with the Corps of Engineers to provide a waterline to the Beaver damsite park.

* Heard Plant Manager John Summers report the district reached four records this year: record water sales, record electricity usage, record diesel use and record water pumped in one day (11,030,000 gallons).

* Heard McGoodwin, Williams and Yates' preliminary update of the five-year master plan.

The next meeting is scheduled for Jan. 31, 2008.

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