Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas on June 16, 1974 · Page 13
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Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas · Page 13

Fayetteville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 16, 1974
Page 13
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Page 13 article text (OCR)

On Farm Southwest Of Springdale NortfiwMt Arfcamat TIMES, Sun., Jun* T*. 1974 «T1TT1VILL1, 11* i Mystery Surrounds Flow Of Smelly, Polluted Water By PEGGY FRIZZELL I TIMES Slaff Writer Inky, oily water seeps out the side of Ihe hill and is caught at the base of two hills in the ravine where it settles until evaporating or, with heavy rains, moving on. Slinking and sudsing, the liquid travels down into a pond where cattle drink, across a neighboring piece of property and then, sometimes, i n t o Clear Creek. The area is southwest of Springdale near Johnson. Where is the dark, sewage- smelling liquid originating? That seems to be the question. Property owner Orville White -- on whose land the water apparently first emerges -believes the liquid is leachate and run-off from the Sunray Sanitary Landfill. The landfill, privately owned by Carl Carpenter and approved by (he state Department of Pollution Control and Ecology, joins -White's properly on the north about one fourth mile from where the black water emerges. It serves Springdale. The slope of the land, the appearance of trash (cans. jars, pieces of metal) on Whites properly, Ihe nearness of the landfill and the fact that much of the trash at the landfill does not appear to be properly covered with dirt are some of the reasons. White is directing the blame at Sunray. While thinks surface water accumulates among the piledun trash and debris. He feels the resultant leachate, a highly polluting liquid, enters his land endangering his livestock--92.000 broilers and about 80 head of cuttle. The polluted water, which the Department of Pollution Control and Ecology tested in Little Rock, a high coliform bacteria count and a high BOD (biochemical oxygen demand or the a m o u n t of oxygen required to mix with the waste materials) rating. For this reason. White has put his cattle in another fenced- off pasture on his 180 acres. The problem did not begin until last fall, he said, when some of the calves died and he started looking for the cause. White thinks (he calves may have died as a result of drinking the polluted water. He said he thinks the water is n o t as poisonous after heavy rains when it is diluted with other run-off water. Except for periods when there has been heavy rain. White has kept his cattle away f r o m the black water. When lie first noticed the pro- belm and approached Carpenter of Sunray about it. White said Carpenter agreed to help stop the flow of water once it came out on White's land. Carpenter, at his own expense, dammed up the base of the two near where the water emerged and .creeled an electrical fence to keep away White's cattle. Since then, t h e efnce has washed away. Carpenter put in a pipe from the newly made pond (see photograph) through a dam wall to let out the overflow'caused'by heavy rains. White said Carpenter was planning to put in a cut-off valve to waler in the catch keep pond prevent it from flowing farther south. When heavy rains came, the valve would be opened to 1 e t out the excess water. But the cut-off valve was never installed. The liquid is posing a major threat to White's total water supply for his animals, he said. He is in the process of filing a legal suit over the matter. At The Library By ANN JACORS "What (expletive deleted) did they break into a psychiatrist's office for? I couldn't believe it." -- Richard Nixon, April 27, 1973. Well, they're here -- the Washington Post'« "Presidential Transcripts," for every citizen to read and decide the role played by the President and members of the White House staff in the Watergate scandal; nearly 700 close-set pages.. On a happier nole, here's the pick of the newest books: Grace Halsell, who as "Soul Sister" undertook skin treat- merits to allow herself to pass as black, recently persuaded a Nwajo family to adopt her, and as "Bessie Yellowhair" she experienced the beauty and grinding poverty of Indian life, including hiring out as a cleaning w o m a n (still disguised). A revelation. "Whispers From Space" is a serious investigation by John A. MacVey. Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, of the prospect of inter-stellar communications and the possibility of other life in the universe. Eric Ryback, champion backpacker, describes "The Ultimate Journey," Canada to Mexico down the Continenta Divide. The trip took five months, and covered some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, reproduced here in many fine photographs, some in color. The obligatory new World War II books have arrived: "Great Baltics of WW II." (photos and m a p s ) ; Richard Proktor's "Nazi Germany," intended by the author as a short introduction; and "Hitler Close-Up," by the dhtilor's personal photographer. (Where will it end?) Closer to home. , Maya Angelou, outstanding Black A r k a n s a s author, continues her story in "Gather Together in My Name' 1 (previous volume, "I Know Why the Caged Bird iSngs"). Arkansas history b u f f s will welcome the "History of Baxter County." 11173-1973, by Mary Ann Messiek. lifelong resident, who has assembled r grandmother's scrapbag reminiscences, history, i rare photos. Collectors of fine china ' welcome "Coffee Pots and Tea Pots," a review of 200 years of English manufactures, in eluding a Sheffield plate coffee maker in the shape of "Puffing Billy," the first British railway engine. Hans Holzer, indefatigable p s y c h i c , investigates faith healing and related phenomena in "Beyond Medicine." T h e F,xxon Corporation understandably a n x i o u s t o improve its public image, 'has issued a series called "Shore lines of America" through Viking Press. "The Gulf Mexico" surveys Ihe world's firth-largest sea in text am color photographs, with never an oil slick in sight. Again, all children in Ihe county in grades 1 6 are mos cordially invited to sign up for the library's Summer Reading Program, which combines hook reading with special enter tainment e v e r y Wednesdaj afternoon. To sign up a child come by the library between 9 and 6. Monday-Thursday, or b e t w e e n Saturday. 9 and 5, Friday Now that summer's here, the Beautiful People (that is. al library patrons) are filling the Fayetteville Public Librarj every day, leaving not mud leisure to select a n d review books for this column. Si thanks for all the limes you'v asked for books presented here and for the nice thin-gs you've said about it. "At the Library' will resume in September, and meanwhile, I look forward to ·ccinf «11 of you in the library itself. Apparently the polluted water has not entered While's or other neighboring farms' wells. Jim Rush, field representative for the Department of Pollution Control and Ecology, said neither he nor the county san- t in itarian, Bill Paretle, have ra- the ceived complaints of polluted and well water in this area. Nor have any other property owners, except Mahlon Gibson, whose farm adjoins White's on the south, complained about the smelly liquid on their land. Gibsons is in the p r o c e s s of having some liquied on his land tested. He said he is looking into possible litigation on the- matter. Hush said his department is still conducting . tests on the water and has no positive findings about where the water is originating. "They are interesting lab tests," he Rush indfill does not believe is responsible for WATER POURS THROUGH PROTECTIVE DAM ... bringing joul odors, pollution into pasture area 20 Stale Students To Attend Summer Science Camp Twenty high-ability students rom Arkansas high schools lave been selected to attend the Icicncc Camp sponsored by the ^hysics Department at the University of Arkansas. The 20 will be in the camp 'rom July 12 through Aug. 9, according to Dr. Richard J. Anderson, camp director. Ttie c a m p schedule is designed whereby students will receive an introduction to the areas of astronomy, computer ·nathematics and electronics. Special emphasis will be placed laboratory experience and each student w i l l be couraged to construct simple apparatus, such as telescoiies w i t h .science kits. University staff and graduate counselors will work with the students and tailor the subject matter to ndividual needs, Dr. Anderson said. i scholasic apiude. (he Participant selection is based i scholastic aptitude (t'le student must be in at least the upper 20 per cent of his class) and students must be attending schools that offer limited opportunities in the sudy of physical ciencc. High school siidenls who will attend the camp are Darrell I-,. Amos of Lavaca; George Curtis Bailey of Norphlet: Ramona L. Bates of Conway; David I,. Boyslcr of Clarendon; Pam 11. Kulrner of Vitonia; Gary D. Henson of Malvcrn; Janice XI. Lee of Portland; Joyce D. Lichli of Huntsville; Robin A Marvel of Trumann: Freeman M. Montaquc ol West Memphis; John T. O'Brien of Harrison; Jim Bob Fender of Foreman; Danny A. R e e d of Mammoth Spring: Patrick Rooney of Rogers; David B, Sandage of Donaldson; Richard anclage of Donaldson; Richarc P. Sliva of Rogers; Michicl S Stegall of Benlon; Freddy C Stokes of Prcscott; Charles M Sykcs of Heber Springs a n d Alan W. Wagoner of Booneville professor of geology and fo Bock At Base Cpl. Patrick T. Hixon. son o XIr. and Mrs. Pete Hixon o Springdale, has returned to hi base at Camp I^cjennc, N. C after a seven-month rleploymen to the Mediteranean where h participated in the clearing o mines from the Suez Canal. lie is a member of the 32d Marine Amphibious Unit. said. "The more we test, the more questions we have." He said his information and- 1 the geophysical surface of the area would seem to indicate the hog ponds at Tyson Foods, Inc. (northeast of the White property) arc more likely to be the cause than the landfill. While Rush was quick to say he would not say the landfill was not the cause, h e . noted his office's information did not indicate this. He also said the flow is usually limited enough to be absorbed into the ground or caught in White's pond' before continuing on to Clear Creek. No tests have been conducted at the creek he said. After approaching Tyson's engineer about the problem, Rush said the company agreed to build a new hog pond and seal it with Bontonite clay (a kind of claw that expounds fill- crevices and cracks). Then this pond will be used until the present three hog ponds are sealed with the same clay. Rush said that hog wastes are dumped into these ponds. Tyson's cooperated quickly because the company had proof its ponds were leaking and admitted the possibility that the hog ponds might be to blame for White's problem. Rush said a stand of trees near the Tyson operations has turned into a swam"" marsh. A property owner's ponds near the hog farm were being polluted by the leaking ponds until Tyson's diverted the flow from the leak. Because the pollution control and ecology office knows the hog poncts are leaking:bccause tests on White's water have indicated a higher amount of zinc present than normal (zinc is used in hog feed and excreted in hog waste), and because there appears to be a natural ravine leading from Tyson's hog ponds to White's land. Rush and d e p a r t m e n t geologist Jack Smitherman feel the hog ponds are the most likely source of the pollution. lack water although he did say t is possible to find a coliform bacteria count, in leachate from a landfill. He said trash at the landfill is continously being covered with dirt from the more than 100 acres surrounding it. Some :rash will always be exposed, ie said, To White and his son, Jerry, and to the photographer and reporter, it appeared that most all the surface trash was uncovered. Rush reminded that there is about 40 feet of trash beneath ihe surface -- trash that has been covered. He also said that this is a bad time weather -wise for covering trash at the land- till. The heavy rains turn the hills into mud and landfill operators spend much time pulling equipment out of mudholes, he said. Last week's heavy rains also washed away much of the cover dirt, exposing the trash. Rush said. Landfills are required to daily cover trash with six in ches of dirt. Smitherman explained rea- sons his department does not 'eel Sunray is to blame for the xilluled water on White's farm, said that a great protion of this area's rock i* limestone, a substance which fractures easily allowing water to f l o w rapidly underground. U s i n g a n aerial map. Smitherman pointed to the ravines connecting White's farm with the landfill and with the hog ponds. He noted that water Flows in a because of slopes. southerly direction the area's rock But Tests at and near the actual landfill site do not 'convey the idea that the liquid seepage on White's property is leachate from landfill. The liquid on White's l a n d smell* of s e w a g e. Rush and Smitherman b o t h said landfill leachate has* a unique odor that "knocks you over." not the same as the odor from the dammed-in pond on White's farm. Other tests along the natura course of the water as it woult come from the White's property landfill to - if it : did -- indicated no liquid was flow con- i «e- ng from the landfill. Smith» lan said. He and Rush also said thty ad seen very little trash on White's property and noted tljat he seepage hole at the base ' White's hill is not lae nough to carry trash and sptw out again. Testing on the water nuos. Rush said. The state __ artment people say they flo ot have enough evidence -or information to definitely con- lude if the hog ponds or the andfill are causes of the pol- ution. . £ Rush and Smitherman are oping that sealing the. lug xnds with clay will stop me eepage on White's farm. Tlie reject, now in operation. 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