November 2021

Message From
Executive Director,
Cathy Stepp
One of the best parts of the Fall Season is decorating with pumpkins. After all the costumes are put away, the candy has been consumed and pumpkins have done their decorative duty, it is time to figure out exactly what to do with leftover pumpkins.

Every year, over 1 billion pounds of pumpkins wind up in landfills. Like all food scraps sitting in the garbage can, food scraps that go to landfills as opposed to being recycled into soil contribute to climate change. Carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases are emitted as it decomposes and is released into the atmosphere.

A way to put carbon back into the ground as opposed to the air is through composting, but instead of simply tossing entire pumpkins into a compost pail, there are many ways, and ideas to repurpose, or even recycle those Jack 'O Lanterns. Here are some great ideas, and Tips For Recycling Pumpkins.

Beaver Reservoir Watershed Septic System Success Story!
A family in Lowell had a 47-year-old septic system that they knew was failing. They were having the tank pumped up to three times a year and were experiencing backups inside their home as well as surfacing effluent around the tank and in other areas of their backyard. They knew how costly it was going to be to have a new system installed, and so they had been saving money for many years to enable them to address the problems. 

To install a new system, it was necessary to run a main wastewater line from the house approximately 70 feet around a shed and under the driveway to access the most suitable ground for the new system. This family was eligible for grant funds through our program, so the $13,000 septic system cost the family less than $1,500 out of pocket.  

In their words, “We are so thankful we found out about the program Ozarks Water Watch has to offer. It has saved us thousands of dollars! We were having problems with our septic system and were in the process of hiring a contractor to fix it, and we stumbled onto this program and are so thankful we did! I would highly recommend this generous program - the people at Ozark Water Watch are very easy to work with. Thank you!”

If you are experiencing trouble with your septic system and would like to explore our program, we're here to help you. Need more information, please feel free to Contact Us or visit our website for more information.
MaMa Jean's Is Helping Us To Have Cleaner Water!
Every year, across the globe, it is estimated that humans produce 300 million TONS of plastic waste. As if that number wasn’t jarring enough, 80% of that waste is single-use! These are small items such as bottles, bowls, boxes, and bags. Can you imagine the volume of waste it would take for those lightweight items to reach millions of tons? Just like many of us, MaMa Jeans is concerned and decided to make a huge difference!

As of October 1st, MaMa Jean’s will be making every effort to completely switch over to reusable bags. That means that paper bags will no longer be available and a biodegradable option will be available for a 10 cent donation. All the proceeds of these bags will be donated to our nonprofit organization, Ozarks Water Watch. Thank you to MaMa Jeans for helping us have Cleaner Water Together!

Read the full story here: Really Bag News From MaMa Jean's

How Does Lead Get Into Our Drinking Water?
Lead can enter drinking water when plumbing materials that contain lead corrode, especially where the water has high acidity or low mineral content that corrodes pipes and fixtures. The most common sources of lead in drinking water are lead pipes, faucets, and fixtures. In homes with lead pipes that connect the home to the water main, also known as lead services lines, these pipes are typically the most significant source of lead in the water.  

Lead pipes are more likely to be found in older cities and homes built before 1986. Among homes without lead service lines, the most common problem is with brass or chrome-plated brass faucets and plumbing with lead solder.
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) has reduced the maximum allowable lead content -- that is, content that is considered "lead-free" -- to be a weighted average of 0.25 percent calculated across the wetted surfaces of pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings, and fixtures and 0.2 percent for solder and flux.

Corrosion is a dissolving or wearing away of metal caused by a chemical reaction between water and your plumbing. A number of factors are involved in the extent to which lead enters the water, including:

  • The chemistry of the water (acidity and alkalinity) and the types and amounts of minerals in the water.
  • The amount of lead it comes into contact with.
  • The temperature of the water.
  • The amount of wear in the pipes.
  • How long the water stays in pipes
  • The presence of protective scales or coatings inside the plumbing materials.

Learn more about what you can do and the important steps you can take by clicking HERE.

Imagine A Day Without Water
Water, a seemingly unending resource, plays a significant role in our lives, yet the infrastructure needed to maintain access to our homes and businesses is often out of sight, and therefore, out of mind.
You wake up, shower, make your coffee, clean your car, feed your family, flush the toilet, wash your laundry. But have you thought about where your water comes from or where your wastewater goes?

On October 21, Ozarks Water Watch participated in Value of Water Campaign’s annual Imagine a Day Without Water, where people across the United States engaged in opportunities to learn about our nation’s water systems and the hard work that goes into ensuring a day without water doesn’t become a reality for our community.

In the United States, most water systems are more than a century old. Aging infrastructure, intensified weather events, and a lack of investment have kept over two million Americans from accessing safe and reliable water and wastewater services.

According to the 2021 Annual Value of Water Index, a reliable water supply is the highest federal priority for voters. Together, we can urge public officials to take responsibility for and invest in our water today and tomorrow. See VIDEO.

How Deep Does It Go?
The KISS dive team finds an 'enormous' cave room and breaks records by diving 344 feet below the surface at Roaring River spring. In the past, some of the deepest depths recorded at the Roaring River cave in Cassville, were a little more than 200 feet, according to the Department of Natural Resources. Those records were shattered this year, and there's still more cave to explore. The KISS Rebreathers dive team made it to 344 feet during their dive in September, Lead Exploratory Diver Mike Young said. Read more about the record-breaking dive and plans for the future, HERE.

Make A Difference In The Ozarks And Save Money
It's easy to take for granted how lucky we are to have access to fresh, clean water at the turn of a tap. It’s especially amazing considering that available fresh water only accounts for approximately 2% of all water resources.

Did you know that 70 percent of the Earth is water?

  • 349 billion gallons of freshwater are withdrawn every day in the United States.
  • 41 percent of that water (143 billion gallons) is used to produce thermoelectric power, another 37% goes to irrigation.
  • 4% of US energy is used for transporting, treating, and pumping water.
  • 40% of water in America is used to produce the food we eat and the beverages we drink.
  • The average American uses 176 gallons of water per day—that’s 64,240 gallons a year!
  • More than one-third of all counties in the lower 48 states will face higher risks of water shortages by mid-century!

There are a number of easy ways to save water, and they all start with YOU. When you save water, not only will you save money on your utility bills, you'll help the environment too...

Here are some tips from our friends at Ozarks Clean Water Company to save water and save money. CLICK HERE.
Ozarks Water Watch In The News
Our Communications Manager, Eric Simon had a great visit to Ozarks FOX AM KOLR10 & Ozarks Local News with Jeremy Rabe and Kelly Smith, morning hosts of Ozarks Fox AM. It was a great opportunity to recap and relay the success of the 21st Annual Shoreline Cleanup, providing viewers with details about Ozarks Water Watch, and talking about the importance of protecting our water sources. Thank you NextStar Broadcasting for having us on, and helping us have Cleaner Water together!  See the video HERE!

The Ozarks Water Watch Staff
David Casaletto
Cathy Stepp
Executive Director
Carin Love
Internal Operations Manager
Eric Simon
Communications Manager
Erin Scott
Senior Policy and Program Director
Shelly Dare Smith
Arkansas Program Manager
Check This Out And Make A Big Difference!
Helping us improve water quality is just a few clicks of your computer mouse and can be done just by shopping online!
Really...It's that easy using Amazon Smile.
While shopping at Amazon, please consider helping Ozarks Water Watch by using this LINK.
A portion of your purchase will be donated to Ozarks Water Watch at no cost to you and thank you for helping us have Cleaner Water Together!