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Science and the Environment

Grant Received to Improve Water Quality in Little Sac River

The Little Sac River Restoration Project will work to reduce bacteria pollution in the water./Credit: Department of Natural

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/grant-received-improve-water-quality-little-sac-river_85253.mp3

The Watershed Committee of the Ozarks was granted over $250,000 by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. The money will go towards the Little Sac River Restoration Project, working to make cleaner drinking water for the area. KSMU’s Anna Thomas has more.

Little Sac River flows into many streams and lakes in southwest Missouri, including Fellows, McDaniel and Stockton Lake, which are primary sources of drinking water in Springfield.

Little Sac River is also currently on the list of impaired waters because of its e. coli pollution, making the restoration project a necessity in the area. Mike Kromrey is the executive director of the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks.

“This is a good chance to impact non-point source pollution right in the heart of our drinking watershed,” Kromrey said.

The committee will work to reduce pollution, specifically bacteria pollution, by implementing best management practices, like stream bank stabilization and bank vegetative buffers.  

“So we’re going to be doing things on the ground to actually fix the problems.  We’re also going to be monitoring; doing water quality monitoring to check and see if our efforts are working, to give us baseline data on any pollution in the system as it is. We’ll also focus on education,” Kromrey said.

He said educating local landowners and professionals on the organization’s methods will allow everyone to do their part in maintaining the quality of the watershed nearest them. Kromrey also said landowners in the upper Little Sac area can contact the committee for additional help.

“We do have cost share money available for best management practices on private lands. Things like grazing systems, like fencing around streams, even maybe stream bank restorations. If there are eroding areas of stream banks, we’d like to stop the erosion,” Kromrey said.

The Watershed Committee of the Ozarks expects to add about $170,000 to the fund over the life of the project, which is expected to be completed by spring 2017.

Click here for more information amount Little Sac River.

For KSMU News, I’m Anna Thomas.