Iowa DNR

Water Quality Assessments

Impaired Waters List

Beaver Creek IA 02-CED-555

mouth (S34, T90N, R14W, Black Hawk Co.) to confluence with South Beaver Cr. in S25, T90R, R17W, Butler Co.

Assessment Cycle
Release Status
Result Period
2010 - 2012
Class A2 Class B(WW-1) Class HH Class A3
Assessment Type
Integrated Report
Category 5a
Legacy ADBCode
IA 02-CED-0400_0
Overall Use Support
Not supporting
Aquatic Life Use Support
Fish Consumption
Not assessed
Primary Contact Recreation
Not supporting
Secondary Contact Recration
Assessment Comments

Assessment based on: (1) the results of IDNR monthly ambient monitoring from January 2010 through December 2012 at the county road T75 bridge approximately 3.5 miles northwest of Cedar Falls (STORET station 10070001), (2) results of IDNR/SHL biological sampling in 2003, 2012 and 2013 and (3) 2001 IDNR Fisheries sampling.

Basis for Assessment

[Note 1:  Prior to the 2008 Section 305(b) cycle, this river segment was designated only for Class B(WW) aquatic life uses, including fish consumption uses.   Due to changes in Iowa’s surface water classification that were approved by U.S.  EPA in February 2008, and due to approval of a use attainability analysis, the lower portion of this segment is also now designated for Class A1 (primary contact recreation) uses.   The entire segment remains designated for warmwater aquatic life use (now termed Class B(WW1) uses), and for fish consumption uses (now termed Class HH (human health/fish consumption uses).]

[Note 2:  Due to the completion and approval of a use attainability analysis, a portion of this assessment segment is now designated for Class A3 (children’s recreation) use; IDNR has proposed that the portions immediately upstream and downstream of this Class A3 segment be designated for Class A2 (secondary contact recreation) uses; these proposed use recommendations have not yet been approved by U.S.  EPA.   Because (1) the water quality criteria to protect Class A1 and A3 uses are identical and (2) the Class A2 recommendations have not yet been approved by EPA (i.e., these portions remain presumptively designated for Class A1 uses), the entire segment (IA 02-CED-0400_0) will be assessed as a Class A1 (primary contact recreation) segment for the current Integrated Reporting (305(b)/303(d)) cycle.]

SUMMARY:  The Class A1/A3 (primary contact recreation) uses are assessed (monitored) as "not supported" (IR 5a) due to levels of indicator bacteria that violate state water quality criteria.   The Class A2 (secondary contact recreation uses) are assessed as “fully supporting” (IR 2a).   The Class B(WW1) aquatic life uses are assessed (monitored) as “fully supported” (IR 2a) based on results of IDNR ambient water quality monitoring, IDNR/SHL biological data and IDNR Fisheries data.   Fish consumption uses remained "not assessed" (IR 3a) due to the lack of fish contaminant monitoring in this stream segment.   The sources of data for this assessment are (1) the results of IDNR monthly ambient monitoring from January 2010 through December 2012 at the county road T75 bridge approximately 3.5 miles northwest of Cedar Falls (STORET station 10070001), (2) the results of IDNR/SHL biological sampling in 2003, 2012 and 2013 and (3) 2001 IDNR Fisheries sampling.  

EXPLANATION:  The Class A1/A3uses are assessed as "not supported" based on results of ambient monitoring for indicator bacteria (E.  coli).   The geometric means of indicator bacteria (E.  coli) in the 24 samples collected during the recreational seasons of 2010 through 2012 at IDNR ambient station 10070001 were as follows:  the 2010 geometric mean was 233 orgs/100 ml, the 2011 geometric mean was 191 orgs/100 ml, and the 2012 geometric mean was 297 orgs/100 ml.   All three geometric means slightly exceed the Class A1/A3 criterion of 126 orgs/100 ml.   Eleven of the 24 samples (46%) exceeded the Class A1 single-sample maximum criterion of 235 orgs/100 ml.   According to U.S.  EPA guidelines for Section 305(b) reporting and IDNR’s assessment/listing methodology, if a recreation season geometric mean exceeds the respective water quality criterion, the contact recreation uses are "not supported" (see pgs 3-33 to 3-35 of U.S.  EPA 1997b).   Thus, because at least one recreation season geometric mean exceeded criteria for Class A1/A3 uses, these uses are assessed as “impaired.”  The results of bacteria monitoring from 2010 through 2012 at IDNR ambient station 10070001, however, show that all recreation season geometric means meet the Class A2 geometric mean criterion of 630 orgs/100 ml, and only one of the 24 samples (4%) exceeds Iowa’s single-sample maximum criterion.   These results suggest that the Class A2 secondary contct recreation uses should be assessed as “fully supporting”.

The Class B(WW1) aquatic life uses remain assessed as “fully supported” based on results of both chemical/physical and biological monitoring.   Results of IDNR ambient water quality monitoring station NW of Cedar Falls during the 2010-2012 assessment period showed no violations of Class B(WW) water quality criteria for dissolved oxygen, pH, ammonia-nitrogen, temperature, chloride, or sulfate in the 36 samples collected.  

The assessment of the Class B(WW1) aquatic life uses as “fully supporting” remains partially based on results of biological monitoring conducted in 2003, 2012 and 2013 by IDNR/SHL as part of the REMAP and large river sampling projects and on data collected in 2001 by the IDNR Fisheries bureau.   A series of biological metrics which reflect stream water quality and habitat integrity were calculated from the biological sampling data.   The biological metrics are based on the numbers and types of benthic macroinvertebrate taxa and fish species collected in the stream sampling reach.   The biological metrics were combined to make a fish community index of biotic integrity (FIBI) and a benthic macroinvertebrate index (BMIBI).   The indexes rank the biological integrity of a stream sampling reach on a rising scale from 0 (minimum) to 100 (maximum).   The 2001 IDNR Fisheries FIBI score was 61 (good).   The 2003 FIBI score was 45 (fair) and the 2003 BMIBI score was 77 (excellent).   The 2012 BMIBI score was 76 (excellent) and the 2013 BMIBI score was 57 (good).   The aquatic life use support was assessed as fully supporting (=FS), based on a comparison of the FIBI and BMIBI scores with biological impairment criteria (BIC) established for previous Section 305(b) reports.   The biological impairment criteria were determined from a statistical analysis of data collected at stream ecoregion reference sites from 1994-2008.   The non-riffle FIBI BIC for this ecoregion is 44 and the artificial substrate BMIBI BIC for this ecoregion is 52.   This segment passed the FIBI BIC 2/2 times in the last 12 years and passed the BMIBI BIC 3/3 times in the last 10 years.  

This aquatic life assessment is now considered "monitored" based on a change in the 2010 IDNR assessment methodology.   IDNR now requires a segment have two or more biological samples collected from the segment in multiple years over a five-year period to be considered “monitored”.   This segment had BMIBI samples collected in 2012 and 2013.

Fish consumption uses remain "not assessed" due to the lack of fish contaminant monitoring in this stream reach.

Monitoring and Methods
Assessment Key Dates
10/9/2013 Biological Monitoring
12/3/2012 Fixed Monitoring End Date
8/6/2012 Biological Monitoring
1/6/2010 Fixed Monitoring Start Date
8/14/2003 Biological Monitoring
1/1/2001 Biological Monitoring
220 Non-fixed station physical/chemical monitoring (conventional pollutant only)
315 Regional reference site approach
330 Fish surveys
380 Quan. measurements of instream parms-- channel morphology-- floodplain-- 1-2 seasons-- by prof
320 Benthic macroinvertebrate surveys
230 Fixed station physical/chemical (conventional plus toxic pollutants)
420 Water column surveys (e.g. fecal coliform)
Monitoring Levels
Biological 4
Habitat 4
Physical Chemistry 3
Toxic 3
Pathogen Indicators 3
Other Health Indicators 0
Other Aquatic Life Indicators 0
# of Bio Sites 2
BioIntegrity Good
Causes and Sources of Impairment
Causes Use Support Cause Magnitude Sources Source Magnitude
Pathogens Primary Contact Recreation Slight
  • Source Unknown
  • Moderate