dogwood water

Message From
The month of April always brings thoughts of my childhood. I grew up in Southeast Kansas and most every spring our family would pile into the station wagon and head to the Ozarks to see the wild dogwood trees in full bloom. Now I live in the Ozarks and these trees are everywhere in the woods near our home and make Spring a special time!
The flowering dogwood became Missouri's official tree on June 20, 1955. The tree is small in size, rarely growing over 40 feet in height or 18 inches in diameter. The dogwood sprouts tiny greenish-yellow flowers in clusters, with each flower surrounded by white petals. The paried, oval leaves are olive green above and covered with silvery hairs underneath. In the fall, the upper part of the leaves turns scarlet or orange and bright red fruits grow on the tree.
There is a Bible legend about the dogwood in the form of a poem:
In Jesus' time, the dogwood grew
To a stately size and a lovely hue.
'Twas strong and firm, its branches interwoven.
For the cross of Christ its timbers were chosen.
Seeing the distress at this use of their wood
Christ made a promise which still holds good:
"Never again shall the dogwood grow
Large enough to be used so.
Slender and twisted, it shall be
With blossoms like the cross for all to see.
As blood stains the petals marked in brown,
The blossom's center wears a thorny crown.
All who see it will remember Me
Crucified on a cross from the dogwood tree.
Cherished and protected, this tree shall be
A reminder to all of My agony."
One thing I know for sure, the dogwood tree holds a very special place in my heart and in my heritage. Every spring the flowering dogwoods bring a smile to my face as I drive along our curvy Ozark roads.
H2Ozarks Provides Funding to Replace Failing Septic Systems!
H2Ozarks (H2O - formerly Ozarks Water Watch) has a history of projects that stop wastewater pollution from entering our ground and surface waters. Our Arkansas Septic Remediation Program, funded by the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, is now in its 2nd year and to date we have received 113 total program inquiries. We currently have 7 completed projects with an additional 20 projects in some stage of the approval process (i.e. waiting on bids or installation). Five of our seven completed projects were low-income homeowners who received 90% grant funding. H2O has distributed over $60,000 to homeowners participating in our program. Plus, all inquiries into our program have received some septic education and information about proper septic maintenance. Recent outreach for the program includes a mailing to 25,000 addresses in rural areas of the watershed as well as a presentation about the program to the Mayor and Alderman of Berryville at their March City Council meeting. 

The photo shows the installation at our most recent project in Avoca for a homeowner who works two full time jobs to support his family. The family qualified for a 50% grant and 50% zero-interest loan through our program, and after many months of working with septic professionals they were finally able to complete the installation! The installer noted that the old tank was full of “flushable” (aka not really flushable) materials like wipes, and this significantly contributed to the breakdown of the septic system. The tank had collapsed and was overflowing into the yard, and frequently backed up in drains inside the home. This family received $4,550 in grant and $4,550 in loan and will make low zero interest monthly loan repayments for about four years. Our program has enabled the family to address the pollution their failed system was introducing to the environment, and now their children can play in the whole yard safely! 

For more information about our program please contact Shelly, our Arkansas Program Manager at shelly@h2ozarks.org
2023 Triennial Review of Arkansas Water Quality Standards
The Arkansas Department of Energy & Environment - Division of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is initiating its 2023 Triennial Review of Arkansas’s Water Quality Standards (WQS). The WQS are found in Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission (APCEC) Rule 2. DEQ will hold a series of stakeholder workgroups to discuss the 2023 Triennial Review.

The Clean Water Act requires states to periodically review and adopt new or revised WQS, at least every three years. Any new or revised WQS must be submitted to the EPA for review and approval or disapproval under CWA Section 303(c). This process is known as the Triennial Review and must be undertaken with public notice and comment opportunities.

Section 303 of the CWA requires that each state develop WQS for jurisdictional waters of the United States within their borders. They establish the water quality goals for a specific waterbody and also serve as a regulatory basis for the development of water-quality based effluent limits and strategies for individual point source discharges. WQS consists of three parts:

  1. The designated use of a waterbody;
  2. The water quality criteria that are necessary to protect existing uses and to attain the beneficial uses designated by the state; and
  3. An antidegradation statement or policy to protect existing uses in high quality water.

Section 303 specifies the adoption of WQS as primarily the responsibility of the states and tribes. The states must adopt uses consistent with CWA objectives and water quality criteria sufficient to protect the chosen uses. However, EPA is required to ensure that the state WQS meet the minimum requirements of the CWA. Therefore, the CWA regulations provide for EPA review of any state WQS changes.

A Stakeholder workgroup meeting was held at the APCEC headquarters in North Little Rock on March 31, 2022. Ellen Carpenter (Ozark Society), Erin Scott (H2Ozarks, formerly Ozarks Water Watch), and Alan Nye (Ozark Society) attended the meeting as representatives of the Watershed stakeholders. The next stakeholder workgroup meeting is scheduled for May 19th. You can find more information about Arkansas’s triennial review and upcoming meetings on their website at https://www.adeq.state.ar.us/water/planning/reg2/triennial/2023/

Pollution? Or Cedar Pollen.....
In April and May we normally get a few calls about a yellow “pollution” forming on the lake. And you may also notice a "greenish yellow" dust on everything outside. This is cedar pollen. If the wind pushes it all to one place on the water, it can look like someone dumped paint in the water (see picture from previous year). Just a heads up in case you notice this.
The H2Ozarks Team
David Casaletto
Carin Love
Internal Operations Manager
Shelly Dare Smith
Arkansas Program Manager
Erin Scott
Senior Policy and Program Director