Judge sets water standards

(February 17, 2004) — (Tulsa-AP) -- Temporary standards will be used to limit the amount of organic material that can be put on land in the Northwest Arkansas watershed that supplies Tulsa's drinking water. U-S District Judge Claire Eagan made the ruling after plaintiffs and defendants in a settled lawsuit over water pollution couldn't agree on an index for phosphorous. Tulsa officials sued six Arkansas poultry companies and the city of Decatur, Arkansas, over pollution in creeks and streams that fed Lake Spavinaw and Lake Eucha in Tulsa. The settlement called for the final phosphorus index to have the agreement of the scientific team, which includes researchers from the University of Arkansas and Oklahoma State University. The index will govern the terms and conditions under which any animal waste, manure or commercial fertilizer containing phosphorus can be applied to land in the watershed.