Constituent Concentrations, Loads, and Yields to Beaver Lake, Arkansas, Water Years 1999-2008
Beaver Lake is a large, deep-storage reservoir used as a drinking-water supply and considered a primary watershed of concern in the State of Arkansas. As such, information is needed to assess water quality, especially nutrient enrichment, nutrient-algal relations, turbidity, and sediment issues within the reservoir system. Water-quality samples were collected at three main inflows to Beaver Lake: the White River near Fayetteville, Richland Creek at Goshen, and War Eagle Creek near Hindsville. Water-quality samples collected over the period represented different flow conditions (from low to high). Constituent concentrations, flow-weighted concentrations, loads, and yields from White River, Richland Creek, and War Eagle Creek to Beaver Lake for water years 1999–2008 were documented for this report. Constituents include total ammonia plus organic nitrogen, dissolved nitrite plus nitrate nitrogen, dissolved orthophosphorus (soluble reactive phosphorus), total phosphorus, total nitrogen, dissolved organic carbon, total organic carbon, and suspended sediment. Linear regression models developed by computer program S-LOADEST were used to estimate loads for each constituent for the 10-year period at each station. Constituent yields and flow-weighted concentrations for each of the three stations were calculated for the study. Constituent concentrations and loads and yields varied with time and varied among the three tributaries contributing to Beaver Lake. These differences can result from differences in precipitation, land use, contributions of nutrients from point sources, and variations in basin size. Load and yield estimates varied yearly during the study period, water years 1999–2008, with the least nutrient and sediment load and yields generally occurring in water year 2006, and the greatest occurring in water year 2008, during a year with record amounts of precipitation. Flow-weighted concentrations of most constituents were greatest at War Eagle Creek near Hindsville than White River near Fayetteville and Richland Creek at Goshen. Loads and yields of most constituents were greater at the War Eagle Creek and White River stations than at the Richland Creek Station.