KRWP's Water Quality Testing Program
Local resident's concerns over the state of water quality in the Kings River and its tributaries, expressed at public meetings in 2001 and 2002, lead to the beginnings of a voluntary water testing program in December, 2003. This program, the largest voluntary effort of its kind in Arkansas at that time, is an important part of KRWP's scientific and educational mission.
The goal of this program is to collect data based on solid scientific methods which will establish baseline measures of water quality in the watershed. This ongoing study will serve as a reference point to monitor future changes in local streams.
Member dues and donations provide funding for this program. Tyson Foods, a major employer and integral part of the agricultural industry in the watershed, generously donated $1,850 in November, 2006 to support KRWP's water quality monitoring program. They generously renewed their support in 2008.
A grant from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's Stream Team program provided funding for our original water monitoring test kit. This program has continued with hundreds of samples collected and both chemical and physical measurements of several streams in the watershed. Many volunteers have been trained over the years to follow strict protocols described in the Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP), adopted in 2005 in conjunction with the Arkansas Water Resources Center (AWRC) at the University of Arkansas, the Upper White River Basin Foundation, and the EPA. View QAPP.
Quality measures were further strengthened with the addition of a YSI multi-probe field meter. This device tests 5 different parameters for water quality. KRWP's program works toward our test results comparing as closely as possible to matching samples that we send to the AWRC's Lab.
In the early days of the program we decided to collect samples from a wide area of the watershed to provide us with a baseline from which to make decisions on what areas and issues to focus on. You can see in this map from the fall of 2006 that we had tested at some 12 locations from the upper reaches to lower end where these waters flow across the Missouri state line into Table Rock Lake. Tributaries such as Piney Creek, Dry Fork Creek, Osage Creek, and Keel's Creek were sampled. Data from this period lead us to select five primary test sites.
The city of Berryville's wastewater treatment plant, being the one large point-source discharge into the Kings River watershed, was one area of citizens' concern initially. The Tyson Foods processing plant is the largest contributor of treated wastewater into Berryville's municipal plant. Based on this, we chose site #1 to be in upper Osage Creek, above Berryville's impact and site #2 to be below Berryville. The Osage Creek confluence with the Kings River is just south of the Hwy 62 bridge over the Kings. Site #3 lies above the Osage confluence, which gives us a snapshot of the river's water quality from the upper section down to this portion of the watershed, prior to the Osage's contribution.
Site #4, near the Hwy 74 bridge in the Upper Kings above the city of Kingston, was selected to provide data from the upper stretches of the river. Site #5 at Stoney Point Game and Fish Access below the USGS gauging station at the Grandview Bridge was chosen to provide data from the lower stretch and would include waters from the north side of Berryville via Clabber Creek.
Tests on water samples collected from any of our test sites may vary, but have included each of these tests at one time or another.
Water quality testing by volunteer
Physical and Chemical Tests
P.O. Box 961 | Berryville, AR 72616 | Phone: 870-480-8897 | Email: KRWP@kingsriverwatershed.org
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Last Update September 2022