U.S. Water News Online
ROGERS, Ark. -- Complaints from Oklahoma and ensuing
efforts by Northwest Arkansas' growing cities to limit phosphorus
discharge from their sewer systems have led to a cleaner Illinois
River, a study shows.
The Arkansas Water Resource Center tested the water of the
Illinois, which starts near Fayetteville and flows into northeast
Oklahoma authorities have complained the urbanization of Northwest
Arkansas and the high number of poultry plants in the area were
polluting the river. Oklahoma designated the Illinois as a scenic
river, requiring that it contain less than 0.037 ppm phosphorus.
Marc Nelson of the Arkansas Water Resource Center says phosphorus
levels from cities' sewer sludge dipped to 0.16 parts per million in
2003, well below the several parts per million registered in many
cities in 2002.
Springdale improved its discharge the most, falling from a
base-flow rate of 7.5 parts per million to 1.5 parts per million.
The cities of Fayetteville, Rogers, Springdale and Prairie Grove
agreed to curtail phosphorus in what they could control -- sewer
discharge -- to 1 part per million. Oklahoma accepted that deal late
Oklahoma was not able to reach an agreement with poultry farmers
to control runoff of phosphorus rich poultry litter. Arkansas has
taken steps to limit that source of pollution, however, with new
rules governing how farmers handle poultry litter.
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