Beaver Water District held its 17th annual Secchi Day on Beaver Lake on the third Saturday in August 2022. Named after the Secchi Disk, a device invented in 1865 by Angelo Secchi to measure the transparency of a waterbody, Secchi Day is a yearly event where volunteers use a Secchi Disk to measure lake water clarity. Volunteers also collect water quality samples at 35 different locations along a 50-mile transect within Beaver Lake. Unlike previous years, where collected water quality data was announced in real-time, the Secchi Day data reveal was delayed until October 22nd to coincide with the Beaver Lake Cleanup sponsored by the US Army Corps of Engineers. October 22nd was also national Make a Difference Day, and quite a difference was made with respect to the amount of trash pulled from Beaver Lake. A total of 2,324 lbs. of debris was collected by approximately 70 volunteers. This debris was composed of 75 bags of trash, 19 bags of recycling, 393 lbs. of bulky waste, and 28 tires. There were four main drop-off locations for the cleanup around the lake, with Prairie Creek serving as the main site.
As cleanup volunteers began to reassemble at Prairie Creek, employees of Beaver Water District, along with representatives from partner organizations, presented hands-on displays that highlighted the work of their respective organizations. Partner organizations such as the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust, Watershed Conservation Resource Center, Northwest Arkansas Master Naturalists, Beaver Watershed Alliance, and others spoke to visitors about the important work that they are doing to maintain the water quality and ecology within the Beaver Lake Watershed. Simultaneously, a Beaver Water District representative presented the results of Secchi Day 2022. Volunteers from the Beaver Lake Cleanup, as well as Citizen Scientist volunteers that participated in Secchi Day, were on hand to view the data results and ask questions. Volunteers were also treated to information about the dynamic nature of water quality parameters within Beaver Lake. For instance, did you know that Secchi depth (a measure of water clarity) ranged between 0.5 meters in the headwaters and 5.3 meters at the dam? This means that the clarity of the lake was ten times greater near Beaver Dam than it was near the Highway 45 bridge on Secchi Day. Maps and graphs of the results from Secchi Day are available for you to view, download, and share.
Above: Watershed Steward, Abby Stolt, educating on watersheds at the 2022 Beaver Lake Volunteer Day.
If you would like to view the results maps from Secchi Day 2022, they are available on the Beaver Water District webpage at bwdh2o.org/water-data/secchi-day-report