Lakeshore Property Owners

What is LakeSmart?

The Beaver LakeSmart education program was started in 2009 through collaboration between several organizations interested in helping lakeside landowners learn practical tips and practices that they can do voluntarily to protect their water quality in Beaver Lake and its watershed. This program offers workshops, informational handouts and recorded educational videos tackling subjects ranging from managing residential property to minimize erosion to offering tips about managing your home septic system. Workshops and talks are offered through Beaver LakeSmart to homeowners, business owners, school classrooms, civic groups and others who are interested in learning more about Beaver Lake Watershed and how to manage their property and activities to protect their health and water quality. This education program is presented in partnership with Beaver Water DistrictOzarks Water Watch (OWW), the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Association for Beaver Lake Environment.

What is Site Assessment?

LakeSmart includes a confidential, self-assessment guide that can help you evaluate your home and property for potential pollution risks. In every home – large or small, new or old, city or country – there are potential pollution sources that can affect the health of your family, community or the environment.

In Northwest Arkansas, Beaver Lake can be affected by many potential contaminant sources including fer­tilizers, pesticides and hazardous household products. The LakeSmart assessment guide is designed to help lakeside residents identify management techniques which reduce or prevent pollution and help reduce consumption of water, energy and other resources.

Who Should Use this tool?

This easy-to-use assessment program can serve as a valuable reference for residents surrounding Beaver Lake. It is for those who care about natural resources and the environment and who are willing to take steps – no matter how small – to improve how they manage their homes and properties. Whether you rent a room or own a house, this tool can guide you in how to reduce your impact on natural systems and cut back on your use of the earth’s resources. LakeSmart can also help you protect your investment by identifying pollution risks on your property before expensive problems occur.

The main idea is to take the time to identify pollution threats to your local environment; then, where feasible, to take voluntary actions to reduce those risks and prevent problems.This guidebook should help you accomplish three important objectives:

Home Purpose

This checklist is a quick way to scan for potential problem areas in and around your home and property. It will help you identify possible risks and introduces you to many of the topics discussed in this book.The chapters cover many other assessment questions about situations and practices not included in the checklist. If you identify potential concerns using this checklist or think there may be risks or areas needing improvement, please turn to the chapter on the appro­priate topic.

LakeSmart is a confidential, self-assessment guide that can help you evaluate your home and property for potential pollution risks. In every home – large or small, new or old, city or country – there are potential pollution sources that can affect the health of your family, community or the environment.

Primary Water Quality Concerns

Understanding the resource values Beaver Lake provides, it is essential to understand how lakeshore landuse practices can affect water quality. Because educated lakeshore landowners can make wise behavioral choices that protect the water quality of the lake, Beaver Water District, in collabora­tion with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service and the Association for Beaver Lake Environment (ABLE), initi­ated the development of this LakeSmart guide.

List of terms found in these materials:

  • Algae: A large and diverse group of simple plant-like organisms, ranging from unicellular to multicellular forms. Algae reduce the aesthetic value of a body of water; adds organic carbon; and depletes dissolved oxygen when it dies. Some algae release taste and odor causing compounds into the water.
  • Bacteria: Microorganisms, typically single-celled, some of which have the potential to cause disease in humans.
  • Chlorides (CI): A chemical compound in which one or more chlorine atoms are bonded in the molecule. Chlorides can corrode metals and affect the taste of food products.
  • Dissolved Oxygen (DO):The measure of free oxygen dissolved in water. Higher levels of DO indicate higher water quality.
  • Eutrophication: A process by which an excess of plant nutrients (e.g.nitrogen and phosphorous) reduces the , oxygen dissolved within a body of water.
  • Nutrients: Elements essential for the growth of organisms. In aquatic systems, the primary nutrients are nitro­gen and phosphorus. Surplus nutrients may lead to excessive algae growth and DO depletion of water bodies.
  • pH: A measure of the acidity or alkalinity of water. For aquatic life the pH should be between 6 and 9.
  • Sediment: Particulate matter that can be transported by water flow. Sediment increases turbidity, fills in habitat between gravel, and transports nutrients and other pollutants.
  • Sulfates (S04): A salt of sulfuric acid. The recommended limit of S04 in potable water is below 250 mg/L.
  • Total Organic Carbon (TOC):The amount of carbon that originates from organic matter only.
  • Total Dissolved Solids (TDS):The residue of solids left after water is passed through a very fine filter and all remaining moisture is evaporated. Water high in TDS may contain ions in concentrations exceeding Primary or Secondary Drinking Water Standards.
  • Turbidity: A measure of the cloudiness of water caused by suspended particles.

Water Management and Conservation

This section will help you better understand your water well, if you have one, its condition, and how Chapter 2 LakeSmart homeowner guide to take care of it.  You will be guided through assessments to help identify situations and practices that are safe as well as ones that may require prompt attention. You can also have your well tested through the Health Department.  Additional resources on wells are available through the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, your county conservation district, and your local county health department.

AWRC can also test well water samples. They also have fact sheets on well water quality. You can visit their website at www.awrc.uark.edu

Hazardous Household Waste

Many products we use for housework or home improvements contain hazardous materials that can be harmful to the user or to children in the house and may pollute the environment if not handled properly.  It is important to make sure chemicals, cleaners, and other products are used safely, stored properly, and disposed of correctly.  This section will guide you in assessing activities that involve the use of hazardous products.  You will be guided in safely disposing, recycling, or reusing products when possible and you will learn a few simple management principles to keep you, your family, your home, and the environment safe.

Boat and Dock Maintenance

f you go boating or have a dock on the lake, you can be a key player in keeping good water quality   in Beaver Lake.  By understanding potential impacts of boating practices you can ensure that the waters we all depend on will not be damaged.  This chapter of Beaver LakeSmart examines boating-related activities and what you can do to minimize possible harm to the environment and the lake.  In the chapter you will learn about boat cleaning and maintenance; spill prevention and waste disposal; and dock construction and maintenance.  By completing this chapter you will learn to identify, evaluate, and reduce the pollution risks through environmentally responsible boating practices.