The Arkansas Water Resources Center publishes this e-newsletter each month to highlight research, faculty, news and important events.
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November 2016

AWRC Can Test Your Water

The Arkansas Water Resources Center (AWRC) runs a fee-based Water Quality Laboratory (WQL) to analyze water samples for anyone interested in learning more about a water source that’s important for them, whether it’s for research or for public interest.
Whatever your water quality need, you can submit a water sample to the AWRC WQL for analysis. You can choose to test for individual parameters such as nitrogen and phosphorus, or you can select from several different analytical packages that the Lab offers. Each package includes parameters important for a specific use, which are:
  • Irrigation – if you need to water crops, whether for a large farm or a small farm
  • Domestic – if you’re concerned with the water quality of your well for household uses
  • Livestock – if you want to be sure your livestock are drinking safe water
  • Poultry – if you want to be sure you’re providing safe water for your birds
  • Aquaculture – if you want to be sure the water quality of your pond is safe and will promote growth
  • Environmental – if you’re interested in the nutrients and sediments, which are common environmental water quality concerns
  • Complete – if you really just want to test everything under the sun
Visit the
AWRC WQL website to view the water sample submission form to see a full list of parameters and packages that the Lab can analyze for you. 


AWRC Develops Fact Sheets on How to Collect Your Water Sample and Interpret Your Results

The Arkansas Water Resources Center (AWRC) is developing a series of fact sheets on how to collect your water sample and how you can interpret laboratory results from the AWRC Water Quality Lab.
Anyone, from researchers to the general public, can collect and submit a water sample for analysis. When clients get their laboratory results, they often need help understanding what these results mean in terms of the quality of the water they had tested.
However, it can be complicated because the quality of your water depends on what you intend to use the water for: do you plan to use it for irrigation or for watering your livestock? Or are you curious about the water quality of the stream that runs through your property?
The Lab offers analytical packages that include parameters important for a specific use such as irrigation or livestock watering. The AWRC is developing a variety of fact sheets, including one for each analytical package.
The first fact sheet describes the Lab’s reporting limits, method detection limits, and concentrations that are reported as zero. 


UA Researcher Tracks the Source of Pathogen Pollution in the Illinois River Watershed

The Problem: Several streams and rivers in the Illinois River Watershed are listed as impaired because of high number of bacteria, specifically E. coli, which are used to indicate the possible presence of pathogens – pathogens are microscopic organisms that can make people sick.
Rather than testing for all possible pathogens, indicator organisms like E. coli are used to indicate the potential for contamination in water. But, numbers of the indicator bacteria alone don’t provide enough information to identify where the pathogens are coming from.
So What?: When a stream is listed as impaired, a lot of money and resources can be put in to improving the water quality. Bacteria can enter waterways from a variety of sources including wildlife, agricultural activities and urban areas. Water resource managers need to know where the bacteria are coming from so that the best plan of action can be made to improve water quality and lower the risk that people might get sick.
The Research Question: Kristen Gibson, assistant professor of Food Science at the University of Arkansas, wanted to know: can viruses that infect E. coli – called coliphages – be used to determine the sources of bacteria in waterways?


Progress is Being Made on Nutrient Trading in Arkansas

Last year, in the spring of 2015, nutrient trading legislation was approved and made into law in Arkansas, known as Act 335. Now, progress is being made to draft the regulation that will outline the rules for the nutrient trading program.
Background of Act 335
The Arkansas Water and Wastewater Managers Association (AWWMA) drafted the original nutrient trading bill in the summer of 2014. Heath Ward, Executive Director of Springdale Water Utilities and Legislative Chair of AWWMA at the time, was tasked with taking the draft bill forward.
They made a special effort to get input from a diverse group of stakeholders, knowing broad support would be needed to get the bill approved by the legislature. Ward said, “This has to be a cooperative process in order to develop the best legislation and get everyone on board.” The AWWMA worked closely with the Arkansas Farm Bureau, the Poultry Federation, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission (ANRC), various watershed groups, farmers, landowners and many more.
The bill was designed around three basic principles that AWWMA thought would be paramount for its success. First, participation in any nutrient trading program would be completely voluntary; second, the program would cost the State little to nothing; and third, it would provide the foundation that could be used to develop projects for a variety of circumstances and situations across the State.

Benton County Stormwater Educator Honored with 2016 Tatom Award
By U of A System Division of Agriculture

Her love of Arkansas and ability to work toward long term goals has helped earn Trish Ouei the 2016 Ginger Tatom Award from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality. 

Ouei (pronounced “WAY”), a Benton County extension service urban stormwater educator for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, was presented the honor on Friday at the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality/Arkansas Natural Resources Commission Watershed Conference Awards in Eureka Springs. 

The award was named for Ginger Tatom, an Arkansas Department of Health employee who was instrumental in forming and planning the former Arkansas Watershed Advisory Group, who died of cancer in 2003. This award, a memorial to her legacy, was created to honor a professional who exemplifies extraordinary dedication to work in conserving and protecting Arkansas’s water. 

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Calendar of Events

November 29
EPA Small Systems Webinar Series - Capacity Development and Asset Management

December 3
BWA Forest Management Workshop
Elkins, AR

December 14
EPA Water Research Webinar Series - Systems View of Nutrient Management-Economics

December 15
UCOWR/NIWR Call for manuscripts deadline

January 20
UCOWR/NIWR Annual Conference call for abstracts deadline

January 25
Arkansas Soil and Water Conference
Jonesboro, AR

April 5-6
OCLWA Annual Conference Save the Date
Stillwater, OK

June 13-15
UCOWR/NIWR Annual Conference
Fort Collins, CO
Job Openings

Rimkus Consulting Group
Civil/Structural Engineers
Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Jonesboro, Texarkana, AR

Harbor Consulting Firm
Director of Engineering
Little Rock, AR

Illinois River Watershed Partnership
Education and Outreach Coordinator
Cave Springs, AR


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Arkansas Water Resources Center · 203 Engineering Hall, University of Arkansas · Fayetteville, AR 72701 · USA

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