DRAFT Middle Kansas DRAFT Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy Development Report June, 2007

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Table of Contents Mission Statement……………………………………………………….4 Introduction……………………………………………………………....4 Middle Kansas WRAPS Stakeholder Leadership Team………….. 5 Description of the Kansas-Lower Republican Basin……………….7 City of Topeka Source Water Protection and Project Scope………8 Description of the Middle Kansas Watershed………………..........11 Kansas River…………………………………………………………….17 Middle Kansas Watershed Conditions………………………………18 Upper Kansas Watershed Conditions……………………………….25 Impaired Waters in the Middle Kansas Watershed………………31 TMDLs in the Middle Kansas Watershed……………………….....32 Watershed Issues in the Middle Kansas Watershed…………….. 34 Watershed Goals and Objectives in the Middle Kansas Watershed………………………………………………………………..35 Bibliography……………………………………………………………..44 Appendices……………………………………………………………….45

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Acknowledgements
The Middle Kansas Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy was made possible through sponsorship of the Kansas Alliance of Wetlands and Streams, McPherson, KS, Tim Christian, Director. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment provided financial assistance to this project through an EPA Section 319 Nonpoint Source Pollution Control grant and through Kansas Water Plan Funds. Thanks to the landowners, agency, and local government representatives and other interested individuals who took time out of their busy schedules to attend meetings, provide information, and give input to the development of this plan Front cover photo courtesy of Laura Calwell, Friends of the KAW.

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Mission Statement
“The mission of Middle Kansas Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy is to promote watershed management through educational, technical, and financial assistance to stakeholders in the watershed.”

Introduction
Watershed restoration and protection efforts are needed to address a variety of water resource concerns statewide in Kansas. These concerns include issues such as water quality, public water supply protection, flooding, wetland and riparian habitat protection, and others. The State of Kansas committed to implementing a collaborative strategy to address watershed restoration and protection issues when the Governor’s Natural Resources Sub-cabinet adopted the Kansas Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (KS-WRAPS) in May, 2004. The KS-WRAPS effort established a new way of approaching watershed issues for Kansas. The effort placed emphasis on engaging watershed stakeholders in implementing a stakeholder developed action plan that achieves watershed goals established by the stakeholders themselves. This allowed for an individualized approach to watershed issues across the state, with input, guidance, and action to achieve watershed improvements coming from the people who live in and work in the watershed. Funding for the development of Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) plans for individual watersheds was made available to sponsoring groups, using Kansas Water Plan funds and EPA Section 319 Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Grant funds through the Kansas Department of Health & Environment (KDHE). The Middle Kansas WRAPS project began when the Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams (KAWS) was awarded a grant from the KDHE in 2006. A Coordinator for the Upper & Middle Kansas WRAPS project was hired in August of 2006 to guide the development of the WRAPS planning effort in the basin, and to work with stakeholders. Individuals with an interest in water resources in the Middle Kansas watersheds met and began the process of identifying water-related issues in the basin in September, 2006. Nine public meetings were held in various locations throughout the

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watershed in 2006 and 2007 to gather input from local stakeholders. A variety of other public informational activities were also undertaken to make the public aware of the WRAPS planning effort, and to gather input. A diverse group of stakeholders became involved in the Middle Kansas WRAPS planning process. Farmers, landowners, representatives of natural resource agencies and organizations, tribal, city and county government representatives, public water suppliers and others participated. The group identified watershed priorities and issues, gathered information, planned how resource concerns would be addressed, and prioritized issues and actions that should be taken. In addition to the educational benefits achieved thus far, the main outcome from this whole process is the development of the Middle Kansas Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy Development Report. It is the result of nine months of public debate, input and sharing of ideas, and documents watershed information and the decisions of stakeholders involved in its development. Middle Kansas WRAPS Stakeholder Leadership Team The Middle Kansas WRAPS Stakeholder Leadership Team (LT) evolved from a core group of meeting attendees. Watershed stakeholders focused on partnership invitation and consensus building for several months rather than initiating a formal structure. During the course of several meetings, the stakeholders discussed methods for devising a leadership team that would encompass the broad constituent base of the watershed, given the rural and urban components. The function of the team, how it is governed, what its make-up should be and why it was needed were discussed. The LT will serve as a board to make decisions and provide guidance to the WRAPS Coordinator. They will also determine priorities and provide direction to the project. The LT will be comprised of eleven members, including the following representatives: Agriculture One member for livestock agriculture One member for cropland agriculture One member for irrigated cropland Fish/Wildlife/Forestry One member Public Water Supplies One member

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Local Government (county, city, etc) One member Conservation District One member Outreach and Education One member Tribal One member Watershed District One member Environmental At Large – (local health, etc.) LT members will live and/or work in the watershed and will meet annually or semi-annually. The group agreed the LT should not have state or federal employees serving on the board representing their agency. However, an “Advisory Group” of people representing those natural resource agencies would be very helpful to the Management Team and the WRAPS project. The group also decided to form focus groups that would facilitate flexibility. The focus groups will operate autonomously in the sense of meeting location, frequency, activities, etc. Rather than limiting the natural breakouts to urban and rural, the need for local, geographically-based watershed priority areas was recognized. This format will accommodate the growth of new focus groups. To facilitate communication and coordination between the various focus groups, the watershed stakeholders suggested when possible, LT members will lead a focus group. the formation of a Middle Kansas WRAPS Watershed Council. This group will be comprised of a representative from each of the various focus groups. This group will meet annually or semiannually.

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Description of the Kansas - Lower Republican Basin

The Kansas-Lower Republican Basin, which includes the Middle Kansas watershed, covers nearly 10,500 square miles of northeastern Kansas. The basin includes all or part of 24 counties. The basin has the largest population of all the twelve major river basins, with an estimated 1,025,644 residents in the year 2000. The population is projected to grow to nearly 1,531,000 in the year 2040. Major streams are the Kansas, Republican, Big Blue, Little Blue, Delaware and Wakarusa rivers, and the Vermillion and Stranger creeks. The major reservoirs in the basin are Lovewell, Milford, Tuttle Creek, Perry and Clinton. Most of the bottom land and about 50 percent of the uplands are cultivated to crops of corn, soybeans, grain sorghum, wheat and oats. Alfalfa, wild hay, corn and sorghum silage are the major forage crops. The most important mineral resources in the basin are oil, natural gas, coal, building stone and ceramic materials. Sources of water used in the basin is 58 percent surface and 42 percent ground water. Irrigation is the largest water use in the basin (54%) followed by municipal at 30 percent. Industrial uses account for 3 percent of water used. Wide extremes in temperature and precipitation are characteristic. The length of the growing season typically extends from mid April to mid October.

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Average annual precipitation over the basin increases from about 28 inches in the west to about 38 inches in the east. Typically, about 70 percent of this total falls during the growing season. Flood events, such as in July 1993 and the drought experienced from 1952-1956, underscore the variability in precipitation. (Kansas Water Office)

City of Topeka Source Water Protection and Project Scope
The Safe Drinking Water Act, 1996 Amendments - Sec 1453 directs state drinking water agencies complete a source water assessment for all public water supplies that produce drinking water from a raw sources, including rivers, reservoirs and lakes, and wells. Source water assessments are designed to delineate the source water assessment area, inventory potential contaminant sources, conduct a susceptibility analysis, and inform the public. The Kansas Source Water Assessment delineates Zones A, B, and C for groundwater and surface water. Groundwater Zone A ● 100 feet radius of well - Kansas Public Water Supply Design Standards recommends public water supply own or control through easement Zone B ● 2,000 feet radius of well - Area eligible for Continuous Conservation Reserve Program
● 2 mile radius of well or 10 year time of travel capture zone

Zone C

Surface Water –River intake Zone A ● 1,000 feet upstream radius of intake, 16 miles upstream of intake, ½ mile riparian buffer and six hour water travel distance. Zone B ●16 to 65 miles upstream of intake, ½ mile riparian buffer, and 24 hour water travel distance Zone C ● Balance of watershed 8

In order to provide source water protection for the City of Topeka, Zones A and B need to be included in the project scope of the Middle Kansas WRAPS. The following map Figure 1 provides a graphic illustration of surface water source protection of Zones A and B for Topeka. (Don Snethen – KDHE – Watershed Management Section, Source Water Protection Needs for the Mid Kansas River WRAPS).

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Figure 1: Surface Source Water Protection Zones A & B for Topeka

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Description of the Middle Kansas Watershed
Land Area The Middle Kansas (HUC 10270102) and the Upper Kansas (HUC 10270101) watersheds comprise an area of land approximately 2,825 square miles (1,818,303 acres) in size that drains a portion of northeast Kansas. The watershed includes parts of ten counties, as shown in Table 1, including Douglas, Geary, Jackson, Jefferson, Morris, Nemaha, Pottawatomie, Riley, Shawnee and Wabaunsee Counties. Figures 2 and 3 illustrate the Middle and Upper Kansas Watersheds. Reference to the term “Middle Kansas Watershed,” for purposes of this document, includes the Middle Kansas (HUC 10270102) and the Upper Kansas (HUC 10270101) watersheds. The only exception is watershed conditions for both watersheds are provided. Figures 2 and 3 below illustrate the actual hydrologic units. Land Cover Land Cover Acres % Water 20,983 1.15 Urban/Developed 140,467 7.73 Barren/Transitional 3,291 0.18 Forest/Woodland 172,765 9.50 Shrubland 751 0.04 Grassland/Herbaceous 845,368 46.49 Pasture/Hay 324,361 17.84 Cropland 292,366 16.08 Wetlands 17,951 0.99 Total 1,818,303 100.00 Table 1: Land cover of the Middle Kansas Watershed

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Figure 2: Middle Kansas Watershed Boundary – HUC 10270102

Figure 3: Upper Kansas Watershed Boundary – HUC 10270101

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Figure 4: Land Use of Middle Kansas Watershed 13

Agricultural Crops The most common crops planted in the Middle Kansas watershed include soybeans, corn, wheat, and grain sorghum. In 2005, 403,200 acres of soybeans were reported planted in the ten counties in which the watershed is located. Corn was reported on 296,500 acres, wheat on 141,500 acres and grain sorghum on 45,266 acres [NASS, Kansas Farm Facts]. In 2005, hayland use included over 406,200 acres in the ten counties. In 2005, there were 447,000 cattle reported in the ten counties in the watershed [NASS, Kansas Farm Facts]. Table 2: Acres of Crops, Hayland, and Livestock in Middle Kansas Watershed
County Soybeans Corn Wheat Grain Sorghum Hayland (All) Cattle (all categories) Hogs * = 1998 ** = 1999 *** = 2000

Douglas Geary Jackson Jefferson Morris Nemaha Pottawatomie Riley Shawnee Wabaunsee Total

40, 300 13,900 38,400 46, 600 38,300 90,800 39,500 26,900 38,100 30,400 403,200

25,000 6,700 24,700 33,900 12,500 78,500 31,100 10,900 31,700 16,500 296,500

5,300 13,900 9,000 5,200 32,300 29,500 8,300 25,500 5,200 7,300 141,500

600 5,500 3,500 3,800 13,600 6,500 5,100 10,600 2,500 3,100 45,266

39,100 19,200 52,200 42,800 40,400 37,800 56,200 20,700 46,600 51,200 406,200

33,500 20,100 53,700 43,300 55,300 62,000 73,900 33,200 24,300 48,000 447,000

4,300*** 24,000* 2,400*** 3,400 *** 1,900** 99,500** * 30,500*** 10,700* 1,800* 7,500*** 186,000

Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service, Kansas Farm Facts, 2005 Agricultural Chemical Use Agricultural chemical use is widespread in the ten counties in which the Middle Kansas watershed is located. According to the 2002 Census of Agriculture, 59% of the total land area in these counties received commercial fertilizer, lime and soil conditioner applications in 2002. A small percentage of the cropland in the ten counties, 2%, received manure applications. Insecticides were used on 6%, and herbicides were used on 41% of the total land area of the five counties.

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Table 3: Fertilizer, Manure and Pesticide Application in the Middle Kansas Watershed
County Total Commercial Fertilizer Use (acres) Manure Application (acres) Insecticide Application (acres) Herbicide Application (acres)

Douglas Geary Jackson Jefferson Morris Nemaha Pottawatomie Riley Shawnee Wabaunsee

78,904 50,236 107,833 127,864 103,356 205,438 95,368 78,278 82,004 154,345 1,083,626

2,252 1,327 8,041 8,019 3,226 9,164 2,972 3,164 3,088 2,335 43,588

2,574 4313 11,441 4,696 5,742 18,727 39,740 5,677 9,939 2,736 105,585

80,054 34,018 59,477 89,526 84,245 148,814 114,176 59,005 88,407 72,911 830,633

Total

Source: Kansas Department of Agriculture website, www.ksda.gov 2002 Census of Agriculture - County Data Demographics The total population of the ten counties in the Middle Kansas watershed has grown approximately 1% from 1990 to 2000. Jackson County (6.9%), followed by Jefferson (3.7%) and Douglas (3.0%) Counties have experienced the most population growth. Geary County experienced a 12 % decline in the same period. Shawnee County has the greatest density (309 persons/sq. mile) while Wabaunsee County has the least (8.6 persons/sq. mile).

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Table 4: Population Statistics for Counties in Middle Kansas Watershed
County Population 1990 Population 2000 Population 2005 (estimated) Growth 19902005 Population density (persons/square mile)

Douglas Geary Jackson Jefferson Morris Nemaha Pottawatomie Riley Shawnee Wabaunsee TOTAL

81,798 30,453 11,525 15,905 6,198 10,446 16,128 67,139 160,976 6,603 407,171

99,962 27,947 12,657 18,426 6,104 10,717 18,209 62,843 169,871 6,885 433,621

102,914 24,585 13,535 19,106 6,049 10,443 19,129 62,826 172,365 6,919 437,871

+3.0% - 12.0% + 6.9% + 3.7% -0.9% -2.6% +5.1% 0.0% +1.5% +0.5%

219 73 19 34 15 15 22 103 309 8.6

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2005 Population Estimates U.S. Census Bureau, 2000 and 1990 Census Figures Table 5: Land in farms, number of farms and average size of farms in the Middle Kansas watershed COUNTY LAND IN FARMS (ACRES) Douglas 202,000 Geary 180,000 Jackson 340,000 Jefferson 281,000 Morris 385,000 Nemaha 420,000 Pottawatomie 468,000 Riley 225,000 Shawnee 217,000 Wabaunsee 462,000 NUMBER OF FARMS 880 250 1,100 1,040 470 1,020 840 500 900 630 AVERAGE SIZE OF FARMS (ACRES) 230 733 307 269 828 408 553 451 240 736

Note: USDA definition of a “farm” - a unit that has expected annual sales of agricultural products of at least $1,000, or of government farm payments of at least $1,000 (National Agricultural Statistics Service, 2006)

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The size of farms (in acres) and the number of farms in the watersheds vary from county to county. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service [NASS, 2002 Census of Agriculture], Morris County has the largest average farm size (averaging 828 acres in size). Douglas County has the smallest average farm size (averaging 230 acres). The number of farms in each county is variable as well. Table 4 above illustrates this information. Kansas River The most outstanding physical feature of the watershed is the Kansas River. Beginning at the confluence of the Republican and Smoky Hill rivers, just east of the aptly-named Junction City (1030 ft), the Kansas flows some 170 miles generally eastward to join the Missouri River at Kaw Point (730 ft) in Kansas City. The Kansas River valley is 138 miles long; the surplus length of the river is due to its meandering across the floodplain. This course roughly follows the maximum extent of the Kansan Glaciation, and the river likely began as a path of glacial meltwater drain. Recreation along the Kansas River includes fishing, canoeing and kayaking, and rowing. There are 18 public access points along the river. The Friends of the Kaw organizes many float trips down the river each year (as well as cleanup efforts), and the Lawrence KOA rents canoes for self-guided trips. At least two rowing teams regularly use the river: The University of Kansas rowing team uses the pool above the Bowersock dam for their exercises, and the Kansas City Rowing Club rows in the final stretches of the river, near its mouth. (Wikipedia).
Threatened and Endangered Species

A number of federally listed Threatened and Endangered Species can be found in the Middle Kansas watershed. Some of these include the Bald Eagle, Least Tern, Piping Plover, and Topeka Shiner. The area provides federally – listed critical habitat for only the Topeka Shiner. Topeka Shiner critical habitat has been designated in the following: Clear Creek (Pottawatomie County), Diamond and Mulberry creeks (Morris County), Walnut, Wildcat, Little Arkansas, Seven-mile, and Deep creeks (Riley County), Mission Creek (Shawnee County), Mill and Mulberry creeks (Wabaunsee County), and Davis, Thomas, Dry, Lyons and Clark creeks (Geary County). Kansas has also listed species as threatened or endangered within the Middle Kansas watershed, including the Blackside Darter, Sturgeon Chub, Silver Chub, Redbelly Snake, Eastern Spotted Skunk, Eskimo Curlew, and Pallid Sturgean. The area provides Kansas-listed critical habitat for these species as well. Blackside darter critical habitat is Mill Creek (Wabaunsee County). This is the only location in Kansas where this species is found. Sturgeon 17

chub and silver chub critical habitat is the entire mainstem length of the Kansas River. Redbelly snake critical habitat is heavily wooded areas near rivers and lakes in Jefferson and Douglas counties. In addition, a large number of species found in the area are listed as “Species in Need of Conservation” (SINC) by the Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks. SINC species are non-game species in need of conservation measures in order to keep the species from becoming threatened or endangered. A complete listing of all T&E species and species designated as SINC by individual county can be found at http://www.kdwp.state.ks.us/news/other_services/threatened_and_endangere d_species/threatened_and_endangered_species/county_lists/(offset)/20 Listing species as threatened, endangered, or as in need of conservation provides protection for native populations of these species. It also brings into play recovery plans designed to guide research and management aimed at enhancing the listed species' population. The ultimate goal is to be able to remove the species from their threatened or endangered status. Watershed restoration and protection, while not driven by the goal of restoration of threatened populations, is one way in which the protection of threatened and endangered species can be significantly enhanced.

Middle Kansas Watershed Conditions
Streams and Rivers The Middle Kansas (HUC 8 10270102) watershed is ranked fourth in priority for watershed restoration throughout the state. According to the Unified Watershed Assessment, approximately 52% percent of the total miles of water in this watershed do not meet their designated uses. This watershed contains one large river and many small streams, tributaries and creeks. The Kansas River, Mill Creek, Spring Creek, and Vermillion Creek are among the larger rivers and creeks.
Designated Uses

This watershed is mostly a drainage basin for the Kansas River, however several smaller streams and creeks are also abundant. There are 150 public water supplies within the watershed, many of which draw water from the Kansas River. According to the Kansas Surface Water Register, the most common designated use for streams and rivers in this watershed include: expected aquatic life uses, food procurement and domestic water supply as shown in Figure 5.

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Figure 5 S=Special Aquatic Life Use Water E=Expected Aquatic Life Use Water FP=Food Procurement DWS=Designated for domestic water supply GR=Designated for ground water recharge. LW=Designated for livestock watering use. IWS=Designated for industrial water supply IRR=Designated for irrigation use. PCR=Primary contact recreation.
TMDL/Contaminate Concerns

Streams and rivers throughout Kansas have been sub-divided into segments. By dividing the streams and rivers into segments they can be better analyzed and understood. A reach of river or stream may have segments which vary greatly in water quality, based on surrounding land uses. The figures below display the impairments of the streams and rivers based on the number of segments sampled. Surface waters not meeting their designated uses will require total maximum daily loads. As shown in Figure 6, 41% of the stream/river segments sampled are impaired and require TMDLs. The primary pollutant concerns of this watersheds streams and rivers is fecal coliform bacteria (FCB). Fecal coliform bacteria is a bacteria present in human and animal waste. It serves as an indicator of potential disease causing organisms. Figure 7 shows that approximately 76% of these impaired stream/river segments are impaired by FCB, 9% by excess nutrients, 3% by ammonia (NH3), and 1% by sediment. Ammonia is a chemical which is toxic to fish and aquatic organisms. Sediment loading is a result of erosion as the bare soil enters the lake and settles to the bottom. Sediment increases the cloudiness of the lake, creates a displeasing color, and fills the lake bottom. An excess of nutrients such as phosphorous and nitrogen can cause an abundance of plants, which use oxygen in the water as they decay, suffocating fish and aquatic organisms.

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Figure 6
Potential Pollution Sources

Figure 7

Potential sources of FCB contamination include feedlots, wastewater treatment facilities, septic systems, and wildlife. Potential sources of sediments include construction sites, stream bank erosion, and row crop agriculture. Potential sources of nutrients include row crop agriculture, urban/suburban runoff, registered feedlots, unregistered feedlots, wastewater treatment facilities, septic systems, and wildlife. Sources of ammonia include livestock, septic tanks, fertilizer, municipal and industrial waste.
Feedlots: In the State of Kansas, confined animal feeding operations

(CAFOs) with greater than 300 animal units must register with KDHE. There are approximately 170 registered CAFOs located within HUC8 10270102 (this number, which is based on best available information, may be dated and subject to change). Waste disposal practices and waste water effluent quality are closely monitored by KDHE for these registered CAFOs. Because of this monitoring, registered CAFOs are not considered a significant threat to water resources within the watershed. A portion of the State’s livestock population exists on small unregistered farms. These small unregistered livestock operations may contribute a significant source of fecal coliform bacteria and nutrients, depending on the presence and condition of waste management systems and proximity to water resources.
Wastewater Treatment Facilities: There are approximately 54 wastewater

treatment facilities within the watershed (this number may be dated and subject to change). These facilities are currently regulated by KDHE under National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. These permits specify the maximum amount of pollutants allowed to be discharged to the “waters of the State”. Due to the chlorination processes involved in municipal waste treatment, these facilities are not considered to be a significant source of fecal coliform bacteria; however they may be a significant source of nutrients.

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Septic Systems: There are currently thousands of septic systems within the

watershed and this number is increasing. When properly designed, installed, and maintained, septic systems can act as an effective means of wastewater treatment. However, poorly maintained or “failing” septic systems can leach pollutants into nearby surface waters and groundwater. The exact number of failing septic systems within the watershed is unknown; however the number may be increasing due to the current trends in suburban development. Local Environmental Protection Programs and County health departments may provide excellent sources of information regarding the proper design, installation, and maintenance for septic systems. considered a significant source of nonpoint source pollutants. However, during seasonal migrations, concentrations of waterfowl can add significant amounts of fecal coliform bacteria and nutrients into surface water resources.
Row Crop Agriculture: Row crop agriculture can be a significant source of Wildlife: Wildlife located throughout the watershed are not usually

nonpoint source pollution. Common pollutants from row crop agriculture include sediment, nutrients, pesticides, and fecal coliform bacteria. Many producers within the watershed regularly implement and maintain BMPs to limit the amount of nonpoint source pollutants leaving their farm. Some common BMPs include: the use of contour plowing; use of cover crops; maintaining buffer strips along field edges; and proper timing of fertilizer application.
Urban/Suburban Runoff: Many urban landscapes are covered by paved

surfaces including roads, driveways, parking lots, and sidewalks. These surfaces are impermeable and tend to divert water into storm drains at high velocities. This increased flow velocity from urban areas can cause severe stream bank erosion in receiving water bodies. Additionally, urban and suburban runoff may carry other pollutants like petroleum hydrocarbons and heavy metals. Currently, the watershed is only about 6% urban. Limiting paved surfaces is the key to slowing urban nonpoint source pollution. The use of grass swales, open spaces, and storm water retention ponds are recommended to slow runoff in urban areas. The watershed has an increasing population living in suburban areas. Residential landscapes are often designed with large turf areas which require high amounts of water and chemicals to maintain. The use of excessive amounts of fertilizers and lawn care chemicals in residential areas can contribute a significant amount of pollution to nearby water resources. Suburban nonpoint source pollution can be limited by: using less lawn fertilizers and chemicals; control of construction sites; proper disposal of pet waste; establishing large areas of native vegetation; and conserving the amount of water use for maintenance.

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Lakes and Wetlands The Middle Kansas watershed is home to Warren Park Lake, Lake Shawnee, Wabaunsee County Lake, and several smaller city and county lakes. Many of these lakes are used for recreational activities such as camping, water skiing, fishing, and sight seeing.
Designated Uses

According to the Surface Water Register, the majority of the lakes in this watershed are designated for expected aquatic life use, food procurement, contact recreation and domestic water supply, as shown in Figure 8.

Figure 8 E=Expected Aquatic Life Use CR=Designated for contact recreational use. DW=Designated for domestic water supply use. FP=Food Procurement LW=Designated for livestock watering use. IWS=Industrial Water Supply
TMDL/Contaminate Concerns

Surface waters not meeting their designated uses will require total maximum daily loads. Figure 9 shows that approximately 32% of the lakes in this watershed require TMDLs. The primary pollutants for this watersheds’ lakes and wetlands are eutrophication (E), excessive biomass (AP), and insufficient flow(hydro). As shown if Figure 10, 66% of the impaired lakes/wetland segments are impaired due to eutrophication. The remaining pollutants, biomass (Ap) and hydro are present in over 16% of the lakes. Eutrophication is caused by excess nutrients from a variety of nitrogen and phosphorous sources including row crop agriculture, feedlots, septic systems, and

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urban/suburban runoff. Excessive biomass is an abundance of vascular plants that tend to be a nuisance and interfere with designated water uses. Hydro is a term used for lack of water flowing into a lake. This can cause the lake to have a low temperature, low dissolved oxygen, and stagnation.

Figure 9
Potential Pollution Sources

Figure 10

Based on the watershed’s land use percentages, the primary pollutant sources for nutrients causing eutrophication may be row crop agriculture. Additionally, feedlots, septic systems, and urban/suburban runoff may contribute significant amounts of nutrients into the watershed. Groundwater Major groundwater aquifers underlying this watershed include portions of the Glacial Drift and Alluvial aquifers of the Kansas River and it’s tributaries.
Designated Uses

There are approximately 2,450 groundwater wells located within the watershed. Water from these wells isused for domestic use, groundwater monitoring, irrigation, lawn & garden, and several other uses as shown in Figure 11.

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Figure 11
Aquifer Characteristics Glacial Drift Aquifer: Portions of the Glacial Drift aquifer exist in the

northwest portion of the watershed. Water from this aquifer is often used for rural domestic water supply. Historically, water from this aquifer is very hard with nitrates being one of the primary pollutant concerns.
Alluvial Aquifer: Alluvial aquifers of the Kansas River and its tributaries

exist throughout the watershed. Alluvial aquifers provide the primary water source for many public water supplies located within the watershed. Water quality in alluvial aquifers is generally good; however nitrates, minerals, pesticides, and bacteria can be pollutant concerns.
Potential Pollution Types and Sources

Common groundwater pollutants include: nitrates, chloride, sulfates, ammonia, iron, manganese and voc’s. Nitrate impaired groundwater is perhaps the most prevalent groundwater contamination problem in the State.
Nitrate: Nitrate is a naturally compound mineral and is an essential

component of all living matter. However, high concentrations of nitrate in drinking water can cause adverse health effects including “blue baby” syndrome. Sources of nitrate include municipal waste water treatment plant discharges, runoff from livestock operations, leaching of fertilizer from urban and agricultural areas, and failing septic systems.

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Chloride : Chloride is a naturally occurring mineral found in Kansas lakes,

streams, and groundwater. In high concentrations, chloride can cause deterioration of domestic plumbing, water heaters, and municipal water works. The primary source of chloride impacted groundwater is intrusion of salt water from deeper formations, often due to improperly constructed water wells which allow confined aquifers to come into contact with each other.\

Ammonia: Ammonia is a chemical which is toxic to fish and aquatic

organisms. Sources of ammonia are livestock, septic tanks, fertilizer, municipal and industrial waste.
VOCs: Volatile Organic Compounds, also called purgeable organics, are

components of fuels and solvents. They are ingredients in many household and industrial products. Sources of VOCs are leaking fuel storage tanks, trash dumps, and some agricultural pesticides.
Iron: Iron is a naturally occurring element found in the soil throughout Kansas. It is an annoyance as it has an objectionable taste, causes a red stain to porcelain fixtures and laundry, and causes plumbing irritations. Manganese: Manganese is a naturally occurring element and causes an

unpleasant taste in drinking water, stains porcelain and laundry, and collects deposits in plumbing. It is naturally occurring throughout the soils in the state. (A Watershed Conditions Report for the State of Kansas HUC 10270102 – Middle Kansas Watershed, KDHE – Bureau of Water, 2000).

Upper Kansas Watershed Conditions
Streams and Rivers The Upper Kansas (HUC 8 10270101) watershed is ranked twenty-second in priority for watershed restoration throughout the state. According to the Unified Watershed Assessment, approximately 80% percent of the total miles of water in this watershed do not meet their designated uses. This watershed contains one large river and many small streams, tributaries and creeks. The Kansas River, Wildcat Creek, Clarks Creek, and Three Mile Creek are among the larger rivers and creeks.
Designated Uses

This watershed is mostly a drainage basin for the Kansas River, however several smaller streams and creeks are present. There are 41 public water

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supplies within the watershed, many of which draw water from the Kansas River. According to the Kansas Surface Water Register, the most common designated use for streams and rivers in this watershed include: expected aquatic life uses, food procurement, and contact recreation as shown in Figure 12.

Figure 12 S=Special Aquatic Life Use Water E=Expected Aquatic Life Use Water FP=Food Procurement DWS=Designated for domestic water supply GR=Designated for ground water recharge. LW=Designated for livestock watering use. IWS=Designated for industrial water supply IRR=Designated for irrigation use. PCR=Primary contact recreation.

TMDL/Contaminate Concerns

Streams and rivers throughout Kansas have been sub-divided into segments. By dividing the streams and rivers into segments they can be better analyzed and understood. A reach of river or stream may have segments which vary greatly in water quality, based on surrounding land uses. The figures below display the impairments of the streams and rivers based on the number of segments sampled. Surface waters not meeting their designated uses will require total maximum daily loads. As shown in Figure 13, 86% stream/river segments sampled are impaired and require TMDLs. The primary pollutant concern of this watersheds’ streams and rivers is fecal coliform bacteria (FCB). Fecal coliform bacteria is a bacteria present in human and animal waste. It serves as an indicator of potential disease causing organisms. Figure 14 shows that approximately 57% of these impaired stream/river segments are impaired by FCB, 14% by chloride (Cl), 14% by dissolved oxygen (Do), and 14% by sulfate (SO4). Chloride is a naturally occurring 26

mineral found in Kansas lakes, streams, and groundwater. In high concentrations, chloride can cause deterioration of domestic plumbing, water heaters, and municipal water works. Low DO levels typically coincide with an abundance of algae, which may be caused by excess nutrients. An abundance of algae causes the population of decomposers to increase, which in turn uses up the oxygen in the stream or river.

Figure 13
Potential Pollution Sources

Figure 14

Potential sources of FCB contamination include feedlots, wastewater treatment facilities, septic systems, and wildlife. The primary of source of chloride is intrusion from deep parent material underlying the surface waters. Potential sources of excess nutrients include registered feedlots, unregistered feedlots, wastewater treatment facilities, septic systems, wildlife, and grazingland. Analyzing the land uses within this watershed helps to understand which land uses might have greater influences on the source of the impairments. Below are a list of the land uses in this watershed which can effect a stream or river segment. Grassland is considered grazingland for livestock. Urban Area.... 2.6% Row Crop....12% Grassland....77% p Wooded area....8% Water area.... .3% Other.... .1%

Feedlots: In the State of Kansas, confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) with greater than 300 animal units must register with KDHE. There are approximately 40 registered CAFOs located within HUC8 10270101 (this number, which is based on best available information, may be dated and subject to change). Waste disposal practices and waste water effluent quality are closely monitored by KDHE for these registered CAFOs. Because of this monitoring, registered CAFOs are not considered a significant threat to water resources within the watershed. A portion of the State’s livestock population exists on small unregistered farms. These small unregistered livestock operations may contribute a significant source of fecal

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coliform bacteria and nutrients, depending on the presence and condition of waste management systems and proximity to water resources.
Grazing land: Concentrations of livestock in and around creeks can be a

significant source of FCB.
Wastewater Treatment Facilities: There are approximately 9 wastewater

treatment facilities within the watershed (this number may be dated and subject to change). These facilities are currently regulated by KDHE under National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. These permits specify the maximum amount of pollutants allowed to be discharged to the “waters of the State”. Due to the chlorination processes involved in municipal waste treatment, these facilities are not considered to be a significant source of fecal coliform bacteria; however they may be a significant source of nutrients.
Septic Systems: There are currently thousands of septic systems within the

watershed and this number is increasing. When properly designed, installed, and maintained, septic systems can act as an effective means of wastewater treatment. However, poorly maintained or “failing” septic systems can leach pollutants into nearby surface waters and groundwater. The exact number of failing septic systems within the watershed is unknown; however the number may be increasing due to the current trends in suburban development. Local Environmental Protection Programs and County health departments may provide excellent sources of information regarding the proper design, installation, and maintenance for septic systems.
Wildlife: Wildlife located throughout the watershed are not usually considered a significant source of nonpoint source pollutants. However, during seasonal migrations, concentrations of waterfowl can add significant amounts of fecal coliform bacteria and nutrients into surface water resources. Row Crop Agriculture: As stated above, approximately 12% of the

watershed’s land is used for row crop agriculture. Row crop agriculture can be a significant source of nonpoint source pollution. Common pollutants from row crop agriculture include sediment, nutrients, pesticides, and fecal coliform bacteria. Many producers within the watershed regularly implement and maintain BMPs to limit the amount of nonpoint source pollutants leaving their farm. Some common BMPs include: the use of contour plowing; use of cover crops; maintaining buffer strips along field edges; and proper timing of fertilizer application.

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Urban/Suburban Runoff: Many urban landscapes are covered by paved

surfaces including roads, driveways, parking lots, and sidewalks. These surfaces are impermeable and tend to divert water into storm drains at high velocities. This increased flow velocity from urban areas can cause severe streambank erosion in receiving water bodies. Additionally, urban and suburban runoff may carry other pollutants like petroleum hydrocarbons and heavy metals. Currently, the watershed is only about 2.6% urban. Limiting paved surfaces is the key to slowing urban nonpoint source pollution. The use of grass swales, open spaces, and storm water retention ponds are recommended to slow runoff in urban areas. The watershed has an increasing population living in suburban areas. Residential landscapes are often designed with large turf areas which require high amounts of water and chemicals to maintain. The use of excessive amounts of fertilizers and lawn care chemicals in residential areas can contribute a significant amount of pollution to nearby water resources. Suburban nonpoint source pollution can be limited by: using less lawn fertilizers and chemicals; control of construction sites; proper disposal of pet waste; establishing large areas of native vegetation; and conserving the amount of water use for plant maintenance. Lakes and Wetlands Huc 8 10270101 is the home to Ogden City Lake and several other smaller city and county lakes.
Designated Uses

According to the Surface Water Register, the Ogden City Lake is designated for expected aquatic life use and food procurement.
TMDL/Contaminate Concerns

Surface waters not meeting their designated uses will require total maximum daily loads. Currently, only one lake, the Ogden City Lake requires a TMDL. This lake’s primary pollutant concern is eutrophication, which is a natural process which creates conditions favorable for algae blooms and excess plant growth. This process is often accelerated by excess nutrient loading from the watershed.
Potential Pollution Sources

Based on the watershed’s land use percentages, the primary pollutant sources for nutrients causing eutrophication and FCB may be grazingland. Additionally, feedlots, septic systems, row crop agriculture and urban/suburban runoff may contribute significant amounts of nutrients into the watershed.

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Groundwater

Major groundwater aquifers underlying this watershed include portions of the Glacial Drift and Alluvial aquifers of the Kansas River and it’s tributaries.
Designated Uses

There are approximately 721 groundwater wells located within the watershed. Water from these wells is used for domestic use, groundwater monitoring, irrigation, dewatering, public water supply, lawn and garden, industrial, feedlots, and oil field supply, as shown in Figure 15.

Figure 15
Aquifer Characteristics Glacial Drift Aquifer: Portions of the Glacial Drift aquifer exist in the

northeast portion of the watershed. Water from this aquifer is often used for rural domestic water supply. Historically, water from this aquifer is very hard with nitrates being one of the primary pollutant concerns.
Alluvial Aquifer: Alluvial aquifers of the Kansas River and its tributaries

exist throughout the watershed. Alluvial aquifers provide the primary water source for many public water supplies located within the watershed. Water quality in alluvial aquifers is generally good; however nitrates, minerals, pesticides, and bacteria can be pollutant concerns.

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Potential Pollution Types and Sources:

Common groundwater pollutants include: nitrates, chloride, sulfates, ammonia, iron, manganese and voc’s. Nitrate impaired groundwater is perhaps the most prevalent groundwater contamination problem in the State.
Nitrate: Nitrate is a naturally compound mineral and is an essential

component of all living matter. However, high concentrations of nitrate in drinking water can cause adverse health effects including “blue baby” syndrome. Sources of nitrate include municipal waste water treatment plant discharges, runoff from livestock operations, leaching of fertilizer from urban and agricultural areas, and failing septic systems. streams, and groundwater. In high concentrations, chloride can cause deterioration of domestic plumbing, water heaters, and municipal water works. The primary source of chloride impacted groundwater is intrusion of salt water from deeper formations, often due to improperly constructed water wells which allow confined aquifers to come into contact with each other. Ammonia: Ammonia is a chemical which is toxic to fish and aquatic organisms. Sources of ammonia are livestock, septic tanks, fertilizer, municipal and industrial waste.
VOCs: Volatile Organic Compounds, also called purgeable organics, are Chloride: Chloride is a naturally occurring mineral found in Kansas lakes,

components of fuels and solvents. They are ingredients in many household and industrial products. Sources of VOCs are leaking fuel storage tanks, trash dumps, and some agricultural pesticides.
Iron: Iron is a naturally occurring element found in the soil throughout

Kansas. It is an annoyance as it has an objectionable taste, causes a red stain to porcelain fixtures and laundry, and causes plumbing irritations.

Manganese: Manganese is a naturally occurring element and causes an

unpleasant taste in drinking water, stains porcelain and laundry, and collects deposits in plumbing. It is naturally occurring throughout the soils in the state. (A Watershed Conditions Report for the State of Kansas HUC 10270101 – Upper Kansas Watershed, KDHE – Bureau of Water, 2001).

Impaired Waters in the Middle Kansas Watershed
Water quality standards for Kansas are established by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) [K.A.R. 28-16-28b through 28g]. These standards represent

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the quality of water that is necessary to fully support the designated uses of classified streams, lakes and wetlands throughout the state. Specific designated uses, such as domestic water supply, primary contact recreation (swimming), secondary contact recreation (wading, fishing, etc.), and other uses, are assigned to each major body of water in the state. When water quality standards are NOT met, a water body and its use(s) are considered impaired. States are required to develop a list of impaired waters, commonly referred to as a "303(d) list", so named after Section 303(d) of the federal Clean Water Act of 1972. The state is required to establish a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for such impaired water bodies. More information on TMDL’s can be found on the Kansas Department of Health & Environment website at the following web address: http://www.kdheks.gov/tmdl/index.htm.

TMDL’s in the Middle Kansas Watershed
The state is required to establish a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for significantly impaired water bodies. TMDL’s specify the maximum amount of a pollutant causing an impairment that a water body can receive from all pollutant sources and still be able to meet water quality standards and support its designated use(s). In establishing a TMDL for a stream or lake, the state must determine the specific pollutant(s) causing the water quality impairment, the degree of deviation from the applicable water quality standard that exists, and the level of pollution reduction needed to achieve compliance with the water quality standard. The pollutant load determined by the TMDL is allocated between both point and non-point pollutant sources in the water body’s watershed. TMDL’s must be approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Existing TMDL’s for streams and lakes in the Middle Kansas watershed were developed in 1999 and 2005. TMDL’s designated “High Priority for Implementation” include bacteria for Mill Creek, Vermillion Creek, and Shunganunga Creek; dissolved oxygen for Shunganunga Creek; and biology/sediment for Soldier Creek. Medium to low priority TMDL’s include bacteria for the Kansas River at Wamego, above and below Topeka; biology on the Kansas River below Topeka; and the small city lakes of Wamego, Topeka (Gage, Central, Warren Park) and Meyer’s Pond. 2006 TMDL listing for the Middle Kansas include: biology on the Kansas River above Topeka, Lower Vermillion Creek, and Halfday Creek; zinc on the Kansas River at Wamego above and below Topeka; and eutrophication on Lake Shawnee, Lake Wabaunsee, and Pottawatomie County Fishing Lake #1. It is important to note that the indicator for bacteria has changed from fecal coliform to E. coli. Stream TMDLs listed in 2000 as high priority in the Upper Kansas include Clark’s Creek for fecal coliform and Wildcat Creek for fecal coliform and dissolved oxygen. The Upper Kansas was listed as medium priority for fecal coliform and low priority for chloride and sodium. Lake TMDLs listed in the Upper Kansas include Ogden City Lake as low priority for eutrophication. (Tom Stiles, KDHE – Watershed Planning Section, TMDLs in the Kansas Subbasin, September, 2006).

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Figure 16: High Priority Stream TMDLs in the Middle Kansas Watershed

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Watershed Issues in the Middle Kansas Watershed The Middle Kansas WRAPS focuses on four major watershed issues that are of greatest concern in the basin (identifying high priority areas, education and outreach, implementation of management practices, and policy recommendations). Specific objectives were developed to address these four major issues. It should be noted that the issues identified and discussed in this document are dealt with as individual issues, yet they are interrelated. Water issues are seldom separate and discrete from one another. Sedimentation is a result of erosion that comes about from both natural and man-made sources. It is an issue critical to water quality because sediment itself is a pollutant that also has a negative impact on water quantity issues. In addition, sediment acts in tangent with other pollutants like pesticides, plant nutrients, and bacterial contaminants as these materials can be attached to sediment particles to streams and lakes in the watershed. Runoff that transports sediment also carries other materials in solution that do not adsorb to sediment, but that cause significant water quality problems themselves. So when sedimentation is discussed as a serious water quality and water quantity concern, it must also be discussed in context with pesticide contamination, algae blooms and eutrophication, public water supply issues, land management practices and many other factors. The following is a list of initial watershed issues by the Middle Kansas WRAPS stakeholders. 1. TMDLs 2. Stream degradation on Kansas River and its tributaries 3. Funding for maintenance of terraces, ponds, lagoons; erosion reduction 4. Remove/limit animal activity next to streams; small livestock operations 5. Need additional data to identify problem areas 6. Look at urban development issues; urban sprawl, erosion practices 7. Onsite wastewater 8. Abandoned wells 9. Lack of technical assistance 10. Sedimentation from county road and bridge properties. 11. Failing or no septic systems 12. Sedimentation from streambank erosion 13. Source water protection 14. Flooding 15. Nutrient management 16. Grazing lands

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Watershed Goals and Objectives in the Middle Kansas Watershed From the initial list of identified watershed issues, similar issues were grouped into four main issues including identifying high priority areas, education and outreach, implementing management practices and policy recommendations. 1. Identify high priority areas A. TMDLs I. Fecal coliform bacteria is used as an indicator of contamination. Although FCB themselves may not be harmful, their presence in water indicates that fecal material is present, and that disease organisms such as E. Coli, giardia, or others may also be found in the water. Generally speaking, the higher the level of FCB, the greater the level of fecal contamination of the water, and the greater the likelihood of pathogenic organisms being present. Bacterial contamination of surface water in the Middle Kansas basin is widespread. 2006 TMDLs designated “High Priority for Implementation” include Mill Creek, Vermillion Creek, and Shunganunga Creek. Medium to low priority TMDL’s include bacteria for the Kansas River at Wamego, and above and below Topeka. At the May 16, 2007 Natural Resource Management Workshop, a representative from EPA stated that in collaboration with KDHE, Vermillion Creek and Mill Creek have been selected among five watersheds in Kansas that have the potential for restoration within a period of approximately five years. Bacterial contamination of water in the Middle Kansas basin comes from a variety of sources including livestock wastes, failing on-site wastewater systems (such as septic tanks and lagoons), and wildlife. Discharges from public wastewater treatment plants may contribute to FCB levels as well. Livestock Wastes: A portion of farm income in the Middle Kansas watershed comes from the livestock industry. Some of these animals are contained within confined animal feeding operations (CAFO’s). Registered CAFO’s are closely monitored by KDHE and because of this monitoring CAFO’s are not considered a significant threat to water resources. More livestock can be found in unregistered, smaller livestock operations that often over winter in riparian areas. These smaller

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operations may be a significant source of fecal coliform bacteria and nutrients to streams and lakes. Whether or not these smaller operations pose a water quality threat depends on waste management practices and their proximity to water resources. Human Wastes: For rural populations, wastewater is usually disposed of by on-site wastewater systems. Properly designed, constructed and maintained systems are an effective and safe means of wastewater treatment. However, many of these systems are old, may not be properly maintained, and may consist of nothing more than a pipe from the house to a ditch or stream. Such systems do not provide sufficient treatment of wastes prior to release to the environment, and are considered to be failing. They can be a significant source of fecal coliform bacteria and other potentially disease-causing organisms, nutrients, and chemicals that are used in the household. Human wastes from public sewer systems may at times also be a source of fecal bacterial contamination. Public wastewater treatment plants are regulated under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and must have pollution controls in place to avoid contaminating receiving waters with polluted discharges. Wildlife Wastes: Wildlife can contribute to fecal coliform bacteria levels in water when their numbers are large. Migrating waterfowl congregating in large numbers on area ponds and lakes are an example of a situation where wildlife may be a significant source of bacterial contamination in water. However, it is not believed that wildlife are a consistent source of contamination in the watershed as a whole. II. Sediment and Biology Soldier Creek is designated “High Priority for Implementation” for sediment and biology. The natural process of succession (the progression of an aquatic ecosystem to a terrestrial ecosystem) occurs as sediment is deposited in lakes and ponds over time. Lakes eventually fill with sediment to the point that they become marshes and finally dry land. This process usually takes many years to run its course. However, the rate at which this occurs is dependent on various characteristics of the watershed itself and land uses within the watershed. Human activity in the watershed tends to greatly accelerate this process,

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causing rapid aging of lakes. Cultivation of cropland, poor grazing practices, construction activity, and removal of trees or other vegetation along stream banks all increase the amount of sediment that is sent downstream into lakes and ponds. Once in the lake, sediment settles to the bottom, reducing the water capacity of the lake, causing it to become more shallow. In many cases, sediment has other materials attached to it such as pesticides and phosphorus that also pollute the water of lakes and ponds. Soils in the Middle Kansas Watershed are agriculturally very productive. Crop production exposes soils to erosion because the soil surface is not protected by permanent growing vegetation at all times, and is frequently disturbed for planting, cultivation and weed control. Overgrazing pastures, home and road construction and other activities also have the same effect. Runoff transports sediment and other pollutants to lakes and ponds. As the water slows it drops its load, filling ponds and lakes with the sediment that has been transported from fields, pastures and streambanks. III. Eutrophication 2006 TMDLs designated “Medium to Low Priority for Implementation” include the small city lakes of Wamego, Topeka (Gage, Central, Warren Park) and Meyer’s Pond. Algae are aquatic plants containing the pigment chlorophyll a. Algae growth increases in response to added nitrogen and phosphorus, thereby producing more chlorophyll a. Measuring chlorophyll a concentrations in water is one simple way to gauge the level of nutrient enrichment in a lake or pond. This measurement can also be used to determine a lake’s trophic state, that is its level of aquatic productivity. Eutrophication, is a result of heavy inputs of nutrients from the watershed. 2. Grazing lands Approximately 845,368 acres or 46.9% of the Middle Kansas watershed is classified as “grassland/herbaceous.” Grazing lands in Kansas are defined as agricultural lands used for the removal or harvest of perennial and annual vegetation by or for grazing animals. Grazing lands include rangeland, pastureland, woodland, and cropland. Trees and shrubs are natural invaders on grazing lands in Kansas. While woody plants have value along streams and ravines in portions of the state, excessive amounts of woody growth on grazing lands will reduce livestock carrying capacity by shading out more desirable herbaceous vegetation. Proper grazing will slow down woody

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plant invasion, but prescribed burning, herbicide, and mechanical treatments are necessary to control woody invasion on grasslands. Additional management practices can also provide better grazing distribution, which enhances water quality protection. 3. Water Quantity Wide extremes in precipitation are characteristic in the Kansas – Lower Republican basin. Average annual precipitation over the basin increases from about 28 inches in the west to about 38 inches in the east. Typically, 70 percent of this total falls during the growing season. Flood events, such as in July, 1993 and the drought experienced from 1952-1956, underscore the variability in precipitation. Drought can have adverse impacts on urban and rural residents. A number of state, federal, and local agencies work together to insure that a sufficient supply of water is available for the beneficial uses of the people of the State. Individual water conservation practices can range from xeriscape for urban residents to herd management for livestock producers. 4. Degradated streams and rivers Streams in the Middle Kansas are substantially degradated are often related to cultural activities in the watershed including stream channelization, mining, drainage of cropland and other stream alterations. Channel degradation includes both the downcutting process through which the Kansas River has lost its natural bed in some reaches, and bank sloughing, the loss of the river bank. At present, there appear to be two primary reasons for this degradation. Since settlement, the Kansas River has been a primary source of aggregate for building projects and road construction along the river’s corridor from Topeka to the Kansas City metropolitan area. Most of this aggregate has been removed from the river bed through hydraulic dredging at multiple permitted sites. Dredging in the Kansas River is regulated at the federal level by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and at the state level by the Department of Agriculture/ Division of Water Resources. The Corps’ twelve existing permits were originally issued for a ten year period which expired on December 31, 2001, but have been indefinitely extended. The Kansas City District Office of the Corps of Engineers has asked for the State’s position on aggregate dredging before the Corps takes action on renewing these permits. Since the 1950’s, 38

Kansas River flows have been regulated by tributary reservoirs. Sediment loads are largely deposited in these reservoirs. The result is the release of relatively clear water from the reservoirs with a large material carrying capacity and increased downcutting (degradation) of the streambed. (Kansas Water Plan Concept Paper, Channel Degradation in the Kansas River, Proposed for Consideration by the Kansas Water Authority, January 2005) 5. Onsite Wastewater (Discussed under fecal coliform) 6. Abandoned wells Contamination of wells is often the result of citing wells in close proximity to pollution sources such as livestock lots, septic drain fields, or other pollutant sources. Pollutants present in streams, ponds and rivers can also enter shallow groundwater that is closely connected to surface water in alluvial aquifers. Groundwater contamination can also occur when contaminated runoff has direct access to an aquifer. This happens when runoff enters drill holes around poorly constructed wells or runs into well pits and abandoned wells. For this reason, proper well location, construction and plugging of pits and abandoned wells are important to the protection of groundwater in the region. 7. Additional assessment needed Identification of data gaps. These gaps can be filled by additional monitoring and modeling or, in some cases, compilation and analysis of data that does exist but that is not in a format that could be easily used for comparison and decision-making purposes. 8. Identify urban area priorities Urban sources of nonpoint source pollution include improper fertilizer and pesticide application, pet waste, improper disposal of petroleum and hazardous waste, lack of construction site runoff controls, improper disposal of solid waste in streams, degradation of riparian areas, aquatic and wildlife habitat. Urban sprawl into Shawnee, Geary, and Riley Counties has the potential to contribute to nonpoint source pollution. 9. Biological items of concern (T&E and SINC species) (Discussed under threatened and endangered species) 10. Source water protection (discussed under project scope) 11. Flooding The primary approach to flood management in the Kansas – Lower Republican basin focuses on floodplain management through 39

community participation in the National Flood Insurance Program and reduction of rural flood damages through construction of watershed dams in organized watershed districts. The basin has 26 communities (cities and counties) participating in the National Flood Insurance Program. Four communities have been suspended from the program and 11communities with identified flood hazard areas do not participate. The communities shown in Table 3 have been identified by the Kansas Department of Agriculture, Division of Water Resources as priority communities in the basin for future floodplain mapping. Priority watersheds for rural flood damage priorities were identified for the basin in 1986 by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and are shown in Figure 17. Fourteen watershed districts have been organized in the basin. (Kansas Water Plan, Kansas – Lower Republican Basin Section, August, 2006) Flooding is a major concern in the Middle Kansas watershed, especially with Cross Creek, which runs north of Rossville, and Shunganunga Creek, which runs through Topeka. In May, 2007, Shunganunga Creek flooded in areas of town that had been previously unflooded

Figure 17

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12. Livestock management A portion of farm income in the Middle Kansas watershed comes from the livestock industry. Some of these animals are contained within confined animal feeding operations (CAFO’s). Registered CAFO’s are closely monitored by KDHE and because of this monitoring CAFO’s are not considered a significant threat to water resources. More livestock can be found in unregistered, smaller livestock operations that often over winter in riparian areas. These smaller operations may be a significant source of fecal coliform bacteria and nutrients to streams and lakes. Whether or not these smaller operations pose a water quality threat depends on waste management practices and their proximity to water resources. Low to no-cost management practices can enhance economic production, while protecting water quality. 13. Nutrient Management Nutrients including phosphorus and nitrogen are one of the greatest impediments to achieving improved quality of surface waters in Kansas. Additionally, nutrients exported beyond Kansas contribute to water quality problems elsewhere, such as development of a “dead zone” within the Gulf of Mexico where many bottom-dwelling organisms have been killed or forced to move. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has requested that all states develop plans to establish water quality criteria for nutrients in surface waters. Kansas has focused on nutrient reduction rather than nutrient criteria as proposed in the Kansas Surface Water Nutrient Reduction Plan. Specific actions necessary to meet the 30 percent reduction target are expected to be developed through Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies and establishment of high priority Total Maximum Daily Loads. The policy infrastructure for both approaches is in place. (Kansas Water Plan, Water Quality Policy and Institutional Framework, Working Draft Released for Public Review by the Kansas Water Authority, June 2, 2006) Nutrient sources within the Kansas Lower – Republican basin include both point and non-point sources. The major point sources in the basin include large wastewater treatment plants, which are regulated under the NPDES Program. The primary non-point sources of pollution include both agricultural and urban areas. Table 6 shows the relative

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contribution of point and non-point sources in the KLR basin for total phosphorus and total nitrogen leaving the state.

Table 6 The Kansas Surface Water Nutrient Reduction Plan, developed by KDHE, outlines a statewide strategy for reducing the export of total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) in surface waters leaving the state. This involves additional reductions in nutrients from point source discharges through the NPDES Program and reductions in non-point sources through development and implementation of Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS). The Nutrient Reduction Plan includes Improvement Potential Index (IPI) maps for Kansas counties for TP and TN reductions In The KLR basin, Cloud, Brown, Nemaha and Republic counties showed the highest improvement potential for TP and Cloud, Republic and Wabaunsee counties showed the highest improvement potential for TN. (Kansas Water Plan, Kansas – Lower Republican Basin Section, August, 2006) The remaining watershed goals and objectives listed below will be developed during the assessment and planning phase of the Middle Kansas WRAPS.

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II. Education and Outreach 1. Educate at producer level, don’t use technical terms 2. Educate public on proper use practices (BMP’s) 3. Develop demonstration projects 4. Conduct Workshops 5. Develop Educational materials 6. Facilitate a method for self-sampling and monitoring for bacteria. III. Identify and Implement Management Practices 1. Focus on high priority areas 2. Provide sufficient technical services 3. Promote additional soil testing and proper application (urban and rural) 4. Develop a list of average costs for practices 5. Promote innovative management ideas 6. Develop focus groups to address local priority issues 7. Develop funding sources to address implementation needs 8. Coordinate with existing watershed districts concerning, sedimentation, flooding, and pesticides/fertilizers. IV. Policy Recommendations 1. Advocate the equivalent of a grass filter strip for livestock producers. 2. Investigate the possibility of a tax credit for maintaining grass filters and riparian buffers 3. Advocate grazing of grass filters strips. 4. Project needs where no funding assistance is available ; example streambank stabilization not above a federal lake 5. Develop stream setback ordinances in high priority areas (urban)???

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Bibliography
A Watershed Conditions Report for the State of Kansas HUC 10270102 – Middle Kansas Watershed, KDHE – Bureau of Water, 2000. A Watershed Conditions Report for the State of Kansas HUC 10270101 – Upper Kansas Watershed, KDHE – Bureau of Water, 2001. Census of Agriculture - County Data, 2002. Kansas Department of Agriculture website, www.ksda.gov Kansas Department of Health & Environment, http://www.kdheks.gov/tmdl/index.htm Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks website., www.kdwp.state.ks.us Kansas Water Plan Concept Paper, Channel Degradation in the Kansas River, Proposed for Consideration by the Kansas Water Authority, January 2005. Kansas Water Plan, Kansas – Lower Republican Basin Section, August, 2006. Kansas Water Plan, Water Quality Policy and Institutional Framework, Working Draft Released for Public Review by the Kansas Water Authority, June 2, 2006. National Agricultural Statistics Service, Kansas Farm Facts, 2005. Snethen, Don – KDHE – Watershed Management Section, Source Water Protection Needs for the Mid Kansas River WRAPS.. Stiles, Tom - KDHE – Watershed Planning Section, TMDLs in the Kansas Subbasin, September, 2006. U.S. Census Bureau, 2000 and 1990 Census Figures. U.S. Census Bureau, 2005 Population Estimates.

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Appendices

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