Arkansas is ranked nationally in the production of broilers, laying hens, turkey, swine and beef cattle. These animals produce large volumes of waste, which are spread on pasture land as a method of disposal, as well as a source of fertilizer, resulting in nonpoint source contamination of surface water and ground water. One area of concern includes the Decatur City Spring, which provides municipal water for the city of Decatur. A total of eight sites in the surrounding area were monitored routinely for water quality parameters, including pH, specific conductance, and nitrate-nitrogen. Water temperature and spring and lake stage were also recorded. Crystal Lake (site 7), an impoundment of Wolf Creek (site 4) is south and upstream from the Decatur City Spring (site 3). It has been proposed that the city spring and lake are hydrogeologically connected. Additionally, there are two springs, (sites 5 and 6) both northwest and downstream of the lake, below the dam, that provide most of the flow to Wolf Creek. Spring site 1 is downstream from Decatur City Spring on Wolf Creek. Results indicate relatively low, but consistent nitrate concentrations for sites 7 (0.7-1.4 mg/L), 5 (0.4-1.0 mg/L) and 6 (0.2-0.6 mg/L), which are the lake and two springs below it, respectively. These consistent concentrations, as well as the similar periodicities, suggest an association between these three sites. Higher nitrate concentrations are exhibited for sites 3 (2.4-3.0 mg/L) and 1 (2.4-2.9 mg/L), which are the city spring and the spring north of it. There is also correlation in the periodicity of these two sites indicating a relationship between them. Based on similar fluctuations in the hydrochemical data, it can be concluded that Crystal Lake and Decatur Spring are hydrogeologically related. Water flows from Crystal Lake to the two springs below the dam. These springs feed Wolf Creek which is then connected to Decatur Spring via a losing segment just above the spring, hydrogeologically connecting Decatur Spring to Crystal Lake.
Salisbury, Demetra O. and Davis, Ralph K.
"Hydrogeological and Hydrochemical Connection Between the Decatur City Spring and Crystal Lake, Benton County, Arkansas,"
Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science: Vol. 51
, Article 25.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uark.edu/jaas/vol51/iss1/25