Illinois River Watershed, wastewater treatment, community education, pollution prevention
Northwest Arkansas is the seventh fastest developing area in the nation. The conversion of rolling pastureland into paved city streets, parking lots, and buildings within this rapidly urbanizing region is reducing infiltration and intensifying stormwater runoff. In the city of Fayetteville alone, the population increased from 42,099 to 58,163 between 1990 and 1999, moving the city across the population threshold which will require the Phase II Stormwater Permit process. Approximately half of Fayetteville is included in the Illinois River Watershed, which has been identified as the third highest priority watershed in need of restoration in the state of Arkansas. Mud Creek, an urban tributary to the Illinois River, receives half of the treated effluent from the Fayetteville municipal wastewater treatment plant in addition to capturing residential and commercial runoff in Northeast Fayetteville. Pollutants including sediment, nutrients, bacteria and chemicals can be channeled off residential lawns, parking lots, and construction sites, through stormdrains, and into area water resources. For these reasons, the Mud Creek sub-basin of the Illinois River was the focus of an EPA 319(h) grant-funded project focusing on urban NPS prevention education. The Mud Creek Project was the first of it’s kind in Arkansas to target urban audiences, promoting their role and responsibility in improving and protecting the water quality in an urbanizing watershed.
Vendrell, Paul and Teague, K.. 1998. Mud Creek Urban Nonpoint Source Demonstration. Arkansas Water Resources Center, Fayetteville, AR. MSC302. 7