The Greene County Soil and Water Conservation District has implemented a Section 319 Grant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Agency Region VII designed to reduce nonpoint source pollution in the Asher Creek Watershed in northern Greene and southern Polk Counties. In 1998, the Little Sac River was placed on the 303d list for bacterial contamination, for which a TMDL for Total Coliform was approved in 2006 (Baffaut 2006). Various studies have indicated Asher Creek has the highest level of E. Coli bacteria in the entire Little Sac River Watershed and the Upper Little Sac Watershed Plan has identified Asher Creek as a priority area for BMP implementation and restoration (WCO 2010). However, these recommendations are based on limited spatial and temporal data availability within the watershed and an evaluation of bacteria sources has not been done. Furthermore, little is known of nutrient loadings in this watershed. To better understand the variability in the water quality of Asher Creek, the monitoring portion of this project was designed to address three questions. First, how does E. Coli and total Coliform bacteria vary throughout the watershed and between seasons to better focus remediation efforts in the watershed? Second, how do bacteria concentrations compare to optical brightener (OB) concentrations that would indicate a potential municipal waste water source? Finally, what are the nutrient loads from this watershed to the Little Sac River that may be contributing to water quality degradation? The purpose of this project is to identify the bacteria levels and to quantify the nutrient loads within the Asher Creek Watershed. The specific objectives of this project are; 1) establish 6 water quality monitoring stations throughout the watershed with two of those sites hydrologic monitoring stations, 2) collect and analyze regular time-interval grab samples from each station over an 18 month monitoring period for nutrients, bacteria, and OB, 3) describe the spatial and temporal variability in bacteria concentrations at these 6 stations, 4) compare OB and E. Coli results that may indicate municipal waste sources, and 5) quantify the nutrient loads at the two hydrologic monitoring stations.
Owen, Marc R. and Pavlowsky, Robert T., "Asher Creek Water Quality Assessment, Greene and Polk Counties, Missouri: Final Report" (2014). OEWRI Technical Reports. 52.