NWA Monitoring

Funding Agency: Arkansas Natural Resources Center

Project timeline: Ongoing.

We've been collecting water samples at several sites in the Upper Illinois River Watershed and Upper White River Basin for many years. This project allows us to continue monitoring at these sites, and to create a long-term water-quality database.

The ongoing goal is to evaluate constituent loads and trends in water quality across these two priority watersheds. Many years, or even decades, worth of data is needed to best understand how watershed-scale activities and land use changes might be influencing water quality.

All of our past project reports and the water-quality data reports are available to everyone on our website. Visit the MSC Publications page to read past project reports and the Water-Data Reports page to download a Microsoft Excel file containing the complete water-quality data.

See below for site specific water-quality information!

Kings River near Berryville ("Kings")

The Kings River watershed is 1370 km2, draining 67% forested lands, 28% pasture and grasslands, and 4% urban development. The Kings River is a tributary to the White River within the Upper White River Basin, flowing into Table Rock Lake.

What were the trends between 2009-2015?

  • Nitrate and TN were increasing.
  • SRP and TP were decreasing.
  • Total suspended solids was decreasing.
  • Chloride and sulfate were increasing.

See the report for more information.

Kings River near Berryville Arkansas in the Upper White River Basin site, water quality monitoring
Monitoring site on Kings River in the Upper White River Basin, Arkansas.

White River at Wyman Road ("Wyman")

The White River watershed at this site is 1032 km2, draining 69% forested lands, 23% pasture and grasslands, and 7% urban development. This site is just upstream of the wastewater effluent discharge from the Paul Noland Treatment Facility east of Fayetteville. The White River forms Beaver Lake, the drinking water supply for northwest Arkansas.

What were the trends between 2009-2015?

  • TN was increasing.
  • All other parameters were neither increasing or decreasing.

See the report for more information.

White River at Wyman Road Arkansas in the Upper White River Basin site, water quality monitoring
Collecting a water sample from the White River at Wyman Road during a flood in April 2017.

War Eagle Creek near Hindsville ("WEC")

The War Eagle Creek watershed is 690 km2, draining 57% forested lands, 38% pasture and grasslands, and 5% urban development. War Eagle Creek receives the treated wastewater effluent from the city of Huntsville, Arkansas before it flows into Beaver Lake (i.e. impoundment of the White River). War Eagle Creek is part of the Upper White River Basin.

What were the trends between 2009-2015?

  • Nitrate and TSS were decreasing.
  • SRP and chloride were decreasing slightly.
  • Sulfate was increasing.

See the report for more information.

War Eagle Creek near Hindsville Arkansas in the Upper White River Basin site, water quality monitoring
Monitoring site on War Eagle Creek near Hindsville in the Upper White River Basin, Arkansas.

Richland Creek on Highway 45 near Goshen ("RC45")

The Richland Creek watershed at this site is 362 km2, draining 58% forested lands, 38% pasture and grasslands, and 4% urban development. Richland Creek is one of the three main tributaries to Beaver Lake (i.e. impoundment of the White River) and is in the Upper White River Basin. We no longer sample Richland Creek at this location, but we do about 8 km upstream.

What were the trends between 2009-2015?

  • Nitrate and TN were increasing.
  • SRP and TP were decreasing.
  • Total suspended solids was decreasing.
  • Chloride and sulfate were increasing.

See the report for more information.


Richland Creek on Tuttle Road near Goshen ("Richland")

We started sampling this site in October 2015 instead of at highway 45 near Goshen. This site is about 8 km upstream from the site on highway 45 and is in the Upper White River Basin.

Stay tuned for water-quality trends coming later in 2018.

Richland Creek on Tuttle Road near Goshen Arkansas in the Upper White River Basin site, water quality monitoring
Monitoring site on Richland Creek in the Upper White River Basin, Arkansas.

West Fork of the White River at Mally Wagnon Road ("WFWR")

The West Fork of the White River (WFWR) watershed at this site is 317 km2, draining 60% forested lands, 26% pasture and grasslands, and 13% urban development. The WFWR flows into the White River just downstream of Lake Sequoyah in the Upper White River Basin.

What were the trends between 2009-2015?

  • Nitrate was decreasing.
  • Chloride and sulfate were increasing.

See the report for more information.

West Fork of the White River at Mally Wagnon Road near Fayetteville Arkansas in the Upper White River Basin site, water quality monitoring
Monitoring site on the West Fork of the White River in the Upper White River Basin, Arkansas.

Town Branch on Armstrong Street at Fayetteville ("TB")

We started sampling this site in October 2015. This site is just 0.5 km upstream from where Town Branch flows into the West Fork of the White River.

Stay tuned for water-quality trends coming later in 2018.

Town Branch on Armstrong Road at Fayetteville Arkansas in the Upper White River Basin site, water quality monitoring
Monitoring site on Town Branch in the Upper White River Basin, Arkansas.

Town Branch Tributary at Highway 16 in Fayetteville ("TBT")

The watershed for this unnamed urban tributary of Town Branch is just 3.3 km2, draining 86% urban development, 13% forested land, and less that 1% is pasture or grassland in the Upper White River Basin. We stopped monitoring at this site in summer 2015.

What were the trends between 2011-2015?

  • Chloride and sulfate were increasing.
  • All other parameters were neither increasing or decreasing.

See the report for more information.


College Branch at MLK Boulevard ("TB62")

The College Branch watershed is a small urban watershed of 2.3 km2, where 93% is urban development, and less than 7% is forested land in the Upper White River Basin. We stopped monitoring at this site in summer 2015.

What were the trends between 2011-2015?

  • Nitrate was decreasing.
  • TP was increasing.
  • Total suspended solids was increasing.
  • Chloride was increasing.

See the report for more information.


Illinois River near Watts ("Watts")

The Illinois River watershed at this site is 1,634 km2, draining 29% forested lands, 53% pasture and grasslands, and 18% urban development. This site is important because the Illinois River is a focal point for phosphorus management. The site at Watts is just downstream of a small impoundment called Lake Francis, which can affect water quality.

What were the trends between 2011-2015?

  • Nitrate was decreasing slightly.
  • SRP was decreasing.
  • Sulfate was increasing.

See the report for more information.


Illinois River south of Siloam Springs ("IR59")

The Illinois River watershed at this site is 1,473 km2, draining 29% forested lands, 52% pasture and grasslands, and 19% urban development. The Illinois River at this site is important because its watershed has been the focus of past management activities aiming to reduce phosphorus in the water.

What were the trends between 2009-2015?

  • Nitrate was decreasing.
  • SRP was decreasing.
  • Chloride and sulfate were increasing.

See the report for more information.


Illinois River at Savoy ("Savoy")

The Illinois River watershed at this site is 435 km2, draining 37% forested lands, 54% pasture and grasslands, and 8% urban development. This site is the most upstream site sampled on the Illinois River.

What were the trends between 2009-2015?

  • Nitrate and TN were decreasing.
  • SRP was decreasing.
  • Chloride and sulfate were increasing.

See the report for more information.

Illinois River at Savoy Arkansas in the Illinois River watershed site, water quality monitoring
A look downstream from the bridge on the Illinois River at Savoy where we sampled during a storm in April 2017.

Osage Creek near Elm Springs ("Osage")

The Osage Creek watershed is 337 km2, draining 12% forested lands, 51% pasture and grasslands, and 37% urban development in the Upper Illinois River Watershed. Osage Creek upstream from this site receives waste water effluent from three different treatment plants including the City of Rogers, City of Springdale, and the Northwest Arkansas Conservation Authority.

What were the trends between 2009-2015?

  • Nitrate was decreasing slightly.
  • SRP was decreasing slightly.
  • Chloride and sulfate were increasing.

See the report for more information.

Osage Creek near Elm Springs Arkansas in the Upper White River Basin site, water quality monitoring
Monitoring site on Osage Creek in the Upper Illinois River Watershed, Arkansas.

Flint Creek near West Siloam Springs, OK ("FCWSS")

The Flint Creek watershed at this site is 146 km2, draining 27% forested lands, 62% pasture and grasslands, and 10% urban development. Flint Creek is a major tributary to the Illinois River within the Upper Illinois River Watershed.

What were the trends between 2009-2015?

  • Nitrate and TN were increasing.
  • Total suspended solids was decreasing.
  • Sulfate was decreasing.

See the report for more information.


Baron Fork at Dutch Mills ("Baron")

The Baron Fork watershed at this site is 106 km2, draining 46% forested lands, 50% pasture and grasslands, and 4% urban development in the Illinois River Watershed. Baron Fork is a large tributary to the Illinois River and flows into the Illinois just upstream of Lake Tenkiller in Oklahoma.

What were the trends between 2009-2015?

  • SRP and TP were decreasing.
  • Total suspended solids was decreasing.
  • Chloride and sulfate were increasing.

See the report for more information.

Baron Fork at Dutch Mills Arkansas in the Upper Illinois River Watershed site, water quality monitoring
Monitoring site on Baron Fork during a storm in 2015 in the Upper Illinois River Watershed.

Spring Creek at highway 112 near Springdale ("Spring")

The Spring Creek watershed at this site is 92 km2, draining 12% forested lands, 43% pasture and grasslands, and 45% urban development. Spring Creek receives wastewater effluent from Springdale's treatment plant before flowing into Osage Creek in the Upper Illinois River Watershed.

What were the trends between 2011-2015?

  • Nitrate and TN were decreasing.
  • SRP and TP were decreasing.

See the report for more information.

Spring Creek at highway 112 near Springdale Arkansas in the Upper Illinois River Watershed site, water quality monitoring
Monitoring site on Spring Creek on highway 112 after a storm in April 2017.

Osage Creek near Cave Springs ("OC112")

We started sampling this site in October 2015. This site is almost 11 km upstream from our other sampling site on Osage Creek, and allows us understand water quality from upstream to downstream of where Spring Creek enters Osage Creek.

Stay tuned for water-quality trends coming later in 2018.


Ballard Creek near Westville, OK ("Ballard")

The Ballard Creek watershed at this site is 57 km2, draining 28% forested lands, 64% pasture and grasslands, and 8% urban development in the Upper Illinois River Watershed. Ballard Creek is an important site in the Illinois River Watershed because of it's large percentage of pasture land use. We stopped monitoring this site in summer 2015.

What were the trends between 2009-2015?

  • Chloride and sulfate were increasing.
  • All other parameters were neither increasing or decreasing.

See the report for more information.


Mud Creek near Johnson ("Mud")

We started sampling this site in October 2015. This site drains mostly urban land use, including much of north and east Fayetteville.

Stay tuned for water-quality trends coming later in 2018.


Flint Creek at Springtown ("FC12")

The Flint Creek watershed at this site is 39 km2, draining 25% forested lands, 69% pasture and grasslands, and 6% urban development in the Upper Illinois River Watershed. Flint Creek is a major tributary to the Illinois River. We stopped monitoring this site in summer 2015.

What were the trends between 2009-2015?

  • Nitrate and TN were increasing.
  • SRP and TP were increasing.
  • Sulfate was increasing.

See the report for more information.


Sager Creek at Siloam Springs ("Sager")

The Sager Creek watershed at this site is 35 km2, draining 4% forested lands, 58% pasture and grasslands, and 38% urban development in the Upper Illinois River Watershed. Sager is a unique site because it has a fairly large urban influence and the City of Siloam Springs has done a lot to improve water quality in Sager Creek.

What were the trends between 2011-2015?

  • TN was decreasing.
  • Total suspended solids was decreasing.
  • Chloride was increasing.

See the report for more information.


Niokaska Creek at Township Street in Fayetteville ("NC")

The Niokaska Creek watershed at this site is 3.1 km2, draining 15% forested lands and 84% urban development. Niokaska Creek is unique because although it is small, it is almost entirely urban land use, and is in the Upper Illinois River Watershed. We stopped monitoring this site in summer 2015.

What were the trends between 2011-2015?

  • Chloride was increasing.
  • All other parameters were neither increasing or decreasing.

See the report for more information.