Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Why we needed Fayetteville's newly approved streamside ordinance many years ago: A few photos of stream abuse witnessed March 21, 2011

Please click on individual images to ENLARGE views of pollution headed directly to Spout Spring Branch without the polluted water being allowed to soak in and be cleansed before heading to Beaver Lake.
Unpleasant looking runoff from storm drain on north edge of Fifteenth Street. Is it caused by naturally occurring algae or by whatever a homeowner on South College Avenue dumped from a bucket shown in photo below?

Drain entrance still wet two hours after I watched a guy dump a bucket there. Material appeared to be white paint chips and thick plastic-like goo that could be material from a paint can.

Flow from storm drain above enters Spout Spring Branch on north side of 15th Street.

The gel-like material at first glance looked like icicles but the the temperature hadn't been below freezing for more than a week.

Seeds from pod of vine milkweed knocked down by Arkansas Highway Department machines dredging ditch the routes water from a storm drain on the south side of 15th Street directly into Spout Spring Branch. Milkweed plants of all varieties provide foliage to the caterpillars of monarchs and a few other species of butterfly and logically would be protected by a state highway department whose Web site touts its wildflower program.

Back on the northside of 15th Street, which is a state highway at that point, the water polluted by something but at least there is a remnant of vegetation including the same milkvine and a few other native species.

The highway workers dredged out part of the business owner's landscaping and widened and deepened the ditch. And hauled away the good soil to its dump in south Washington County.

Both the dumping of ANYTHING into a storm drain and the dredging of the ditch and allowing erosion violate best-management practices for watershed management and were already illegal before Fayetteville's new streamside ordinance was passed. If the ADEQ and the AHTD and the US Corps of Engineeers won't protect our water supply, maybe this new ordinance will embolden city officials to see that such things don't happen so often in the future.