Water quality testing begins at Dry Creek

Friday, August 20, 2004

GREEN FOREST ---- Engineers injected red and green dye into Dry Creek Wednesday to detect where treated effluent from the Green Forest wastewater plant eventually ends up.

"We are looking at following Dry Creek down to Long Creek and to (Table Rock) lake," said Dr. David Parker, a civil engineer with McGoodwin, Williams and Yates, an engineering firm asked to do the stream study.

"Historically, the stream the wastewater plant discharges into is a losing stream," he explained, "meaning it goes underground. We're following up on a dye study that was done years ago to establish where the water came up.

"The previous study traced it to a certain point. It didn't show where the water actually ends. This is a follow up. Where does it end up? Where does it actually go?"

Parker said the dye was injected into Dry Creek, just downstream from where the plant discharges its treated water, located near the entrance to the plant.

"The dye is initially visible for several days," said Parker. "We used two kinds of dye for different conditions. Eventually, it will dissipate. We can detect it even as it gets diluted to low levels."

According to Parker, collection devices, that are designed to trap any dye, were placed along Dry Creek and in Long Creek, to a point "just upstream from Table Rock Lake."

"Periodically, about once a week, we'll pick up the collection devices and place new ones out," he explained.

Parker said the study would conclude in mid September and results would be submitted to city officials.

"Green Forest asked us to do this to see where the water ends up in preparation for planning what level of treatment to undertake," said Parker.

Green Forest Wastewater Plant Superintendent David Fredrick said he couldn't comment on the study or the reason for it because there were "too many issues up in the air."

The issue is wide-ranging and controversial to most of northwest Arkansas, since the state last year imposed a broad plan to regulate phosphate and other pollution into watersheds, including the White River and Kings River.

Both watersheds can affect pollution in Table Rock Lake and other watersheds in Oklahoma.

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