May 23, 2019
The City of West Fork has been made aware that the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) has issued an advisory to all persons to limit recreational activity on a certain portion of the west fork of the White River. The affected area begins at the upstream location of the Dye Creek Road Bridge in West Fork and ends at the Baptist Ford Bridge on South Main Street in Greenland, approximately 3.4 miles downstream. Activities such as swimming or canoeing that would bring a person into direct contact with the water in this section of the river should be avoided until further notice.
Water quality test results from the Beaver Water District and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) have indicated that elevated concentrations of E. coli and total coliform are present in the river. When levels of E. coli are high, people who come in direct contact with the water are at higher risk of developing infections that may cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and urinary tract infections.
The City of West Fork has been in close contact with ADH and ADEQ regarding this issue, and the City of West Fork is taking all measures necessary to inform and protect the public. The City of West Fork has undertaken an $8 million project to connect its sewage collection system to the City of Fayetteville’s sewage treatment system. This project is underway with a scheduled completion date of late 2020 and will provide the City of West Fork with a long-term solution to its current wastewater treatment facility, which is aged and becomes strained under heavy rains. In the interim period, the City will continue to work closely with ADEQ on solutions that improve the function of the wastewater treatment facility and return the water in this area to safe levels.
Information regarding this matter will be posted on the city’s website and social media outlets and will be discussed and updated in public meetings.