Monthly Archives: January 2015

January Best Management Practices

sodaYou may have spent a lot of time in your home cooking and entertaining guests over the last few months.  Many people find the first months of the year to be the time they clean their home after holiday cooking is over and the kids return to school.  This month we are focusing on providing you with ideas for cleaning products and techniques that will help you with cleaning while also protecting water quality by using alternatives to traditional chemicals.

While what you do inside your home might not seem like it has an impact on water quality, it very much does, because the plumbing inside your home is a direct connection back to a municipal wastewater treatment plant, a small subdivision wasterwater treatment facility, or to your septic system, depending on how your wastewater is treated at your home.  All of these waste water treatment processes have a direct impact on water quality because treated wastewater is discharged back to a waterbody or into the ground within a watershed.  Therefore, it is helpful to water quality and even to the health of you and your family to use less harmful chemicals and to always be aware of what you are putting down the sink!

One of our favorite cleaners is baking soda! Baking soda is the ideal all-purpose cleaner for the kitchen.  It is non-toxic and food-safe.  It acts a cleaning agent because it is a mild alkali and can cause dirt and grease to dissolve easily in water for effective removal. When it is not fully dissolved, like when it is sprinkled on a damp sponge, Baking Soda is mildly abrasive and can lift dirt for easy removal as a gentle scouring powder. Since it’s gentle, Baking Soda is safe and effective as a cleaner for glass, chrome, steel, enamel and plastic.

Below, we have a few recipes from our Beaver LakeSmart Manual that you can copy, share, and try for yourself in your home!  Let us know how these work for you!   For more ideas on best management practices you can implement around your home, be sure to visit our Homeowner Education Program where you can get ideas from experts through our video series or download the Beaver LakeSmart Manual!

Also be sure to follow us on facebook where every Friday we release a new BMP!

Linoleum Floor Cleaner


Drain Cleaner for Clearing Clogs


Tub and Sink Cleaner


Oven Cleaner


Window and Mirror Cleaner


The following resources were used for this blog post:

Swain County Cooperative Extension in North Carolina – Baking Soda Magic: Part 1

Oconto County University of Wisconsin-Extension – Baking Soda — The Everyday Miracle ™ 

Article by: Angela Danovi – Program Director of Beaver LakeSmart

StreamSmart Quarterly Monitoring


Courtney Thomas with Beaver Watershed Alliance collects a water sample on Brush Creek during StreamSmart Volunteer Monitoring

One of our main objectives through Beaver LakeSmart is cultivating environmental stewardship while also collecting high quality data through volunteer monitoring of our lakes, creeks, streams, and rivers in the Beaver Lake Watershed. We currently have two volunteer monitoring programs, the Beaver Lake Volunteer Monitoring Program and StreamSmart Volunteer Monitoring Program.

Volunteers for StreamSmart monitor their sites quarterly during the first week of the month in February, May, August, and November.  February is when we complete our winter monitoring of the creeks, streams, and rivers that flow into Beaver Lake.  During the first week of February, teams of volunteers will head out to their respective streams to collect water samples, take measurements, and make field observations.  Their water samples are delivered to the water quality lab at the Arkansas Water Resources Center at the University of Arkansas.  There, the samples are analyzed for total nitrogen, total phosphorus, total dissolved solids, total suspended solids, pH, and conductivity.  All of the field and lab data is compiled and posted under each site’s page, found here.

We still have plenty of space for monitoring teams, especially in the central and southern part of the watershed.  So, if you have access to waterway within the Beaver Lake Watershed that you think would be a good candidate for the StreamSmart program or if you are interested in joining a team, you can read more about the program here or contact program director, Angela Danovi, at 479-295-7717.


by: Angela Danovi – Program Director of Beaver LakeSmart