EPA recognizes Kansas' Success in Water Quality Restoration
Walnut and West creeks are located in the Toronto Reservoir watershed, which is used primarily as grassland for livestock grazing. Nonpoint source pollution, specifically nutrients from poor pasture management and livestock areas affected water quality, prompting the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to add both creeks to the state's list of impaired waters in 1998 for low levels of dissolved oxygen. Several organizations worked collaboratively with local landowners to implement agricultural best management practices. As a result, water quality monitoring data collected since 2002 showed improved water quality and the department has since removed both creeks from the state's 2010 list of impaired waters for dissolved oxygen impairment.
Grazing land or grassland is the predominant land use in the Fall River watershed. Low levels of oxygen and fecal coliform bacteria affected water quality in the upper Fall River watershed, prompting the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to add the river to the state's 1998 list of impaired waters for low levels of dissolved oxygen. In cooperation with the local Kansas Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy Upper Fall River Project, project partners in Greenwood County implemented several agricultural best management practices throughout the watershed. As a result, river monitoring data collected between 2000 and 2011 showed that water bodies in the upper Fall River watershed now meet the state’s water quality standards, and the department has removed nearly 144 miles of streams in the upper Fall River watershed from the 2010 list of impaired waters for dissolved oxygen impairment.