Stormwater Quality

Fayetteville is rich with water resources. In fact, there are more than 100 miles of streams within the city limits! This means every resident and business has an effect on our water quality.

Stream Restoration of Niokaska Creek at Gulley Park

Niokaska Creek at Gulley Park with flowing water

Fayetteville's Watersheds


A watershed is the area of land where all of the water that is under it or drains off of it goes into the same place.

Fayetteville lies in major 2 watersheds, the Illinois River Watershed and the White River or Beaver Lake Watershed. The divide between the 2 runs along Mount Sequoyah and the downtown area.
Map of the Illinois River Watershed and White River and Beaver Lake watershed.

Managing Stormwater on Your Property


Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Center


These items include:
  • Automotive products
  • Batteries
  • Cleaning products
  • Florescent bulbs
  • Lawn and garden products
  • Paint products
  • Pool chemicals
  • Thermometers
Items can be recycled at a local HHW collection center at no charge for household quantities. This service is available to residents only. For more information please visit the Washington County Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Website.

Rain Gardens


Rain Gardens: Capture the Flow & Watch it Grow (PDF)
View this guide to benefits, plant selection, site preparation, planting and maintenance of a rain garden prepared by the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. Also, view Native Plant Selections for Northwest Arkansas (PDF).
Walker Park garden with red and yellow flowers and greenery

Rain Barrels


What is a Rain Barrel?


A rain barrel is a system that collects and stores rainwater from your roof that would otherwise be lost to runoff and diverted to storm drains and streams. Usually a rain barrel is composed of a 55 gallon drum, a vinyl hose, PVC couplings, a screen grate to keep debris and insects out and other off-the-shelf items. A rain barrel is relatively simple and inexpensive to construct and can sit conveniently under any residential gutter down spout.
Rain barrel underneath a house

What are the Advantages of a Rain Barrel?


Lawn and garden watering make up nearly 40% of total household water use during the summer. A rain barrel collects water and stores it for when you need it most - during periods of drought - to water plants, wash your car or to top off a swimming pool. It provides an ample supply of free soft water to homeowners, containing no chlorine, lime or calcium making it ideal for gardens, flower pots and car and window washing.

A rain barrel will save most homeowners about 1,300 gallons of water during the peak summer months. Saving water not only helps protect the environment, it saves you money and energy by decreasing the need for treated tap water. Diverting water from storm drains also decreases the impact of runoff to streams. Therefore, a rain barrel is an easy way for you to have a consistent supply of clean, fresh water for outdoor use - free.

You can build your own rain barrel (PDF) or rain barrels can be purchased at many hardware and garden supply stores.

City of Fayetteville Stormwater Permit


National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit Program


Fayetteville is a regulated Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4).

All regulated Small MS4s permitted under the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) general permit are required to develop and implement a stormwater management plan (SWMP) (PDF) to address each of the 6 minimum control measures that are contained in the federal regulation and Part V.B of the ADEQ general permit. These SWMPs must be developed and fully implemented no more than 5 years from the effective date of the permit. The SWMP must include best management practices (BMPs) for each of the minimum control measures along with measurable goals and interim milestones for each BMP.

For more information, visit the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality.