News Release 506

Spring River sampling and inspection initiative continues water quality emphasis

Volume 38-506 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Judd Slivka
573-751-1010

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, AUG. 27, 2010 – While Labor Day signals the end of summer for most, one summertime program aimed at protecting water quality in southwest Missouri’s Spring River stretches the season’s end closer to Halloween.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Spring River Initiative, which began in June and will run through October, includes inspections and water quality sampling at 68 permitted facilities in Barton, Jasper and Lawrence counties.

“The goal of this sampling and inspection initiative is to gather data to determine if discharges from permitted facilities are meeting water quality standards and are protective of the Spring River,” said Mark N. Templeton, director of the Department of Natural Resources. “In cases where facilities are not meeting the standard, this data helps us ensure the facility takes the proper corrective measures.”

The inspection sites include industrial stormwater facilities, permitted concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, land disturbance sites and domestic wastewater facilities, some of which may discharge directly to the Spring River or the North Fork of the Spring River.

Samples are being collected from all sites at the outfall or sampling port if there is a discharge at time of inspection.  The inspections are being conducted to coincide with the current recreational season, which runs from May through October.

If a facility is found in violation of the standards outlined in its permit, the department will issue a letter of warning or notice of violation requiring the system to take action to correct any deficiency.  Through this point in the initiative, staff have completed almost half of the inspections, and the department has issued four letters of warning.

The Spring River touches six counties in western Missouri and crosses over into Kansas just north of Joplin. It is designated as Category A for whole-body contact recreation use, which means it has swimming areas which are open to and fully accessible by the public. Spring River is scheduled for a total maximum daily load development plan in 2013.  More information on this plan is available on the department’s website at:  http://www.dnr.mo.gov/env/wpp/tmdl/info/3160-spring-r-info.pdf .  More information on previous sampling initiatives is also available online:  http://www.dnr.mo.gov/env/wpp/waterquality/303d/2008/3160-spring-r.pdf

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