Frequently Asked Questions

about the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks and the Watershed Center

Can I fish at Valley Water Mill Park?


Do I need a fishing license?

Yes, everyone who fishes at Valley Water Mill Lake must have the appropriate lifetime, annual, or daily fishing permit or qualify for an exemption. These can be purchased over the counter from any permit vendor or online at A list of exemptions can be found in Chapter 5 of the Wildlife Code of Missouri.

What is in the Lake?

Largemouth bass, bluegill and channel catfish are the main species in the lake.

How do I get to Valley Water Mill Park?

What is a Watershed?

A watershed is an area of land that drains to a body of water. We all live in a watershed and we rely on our watersheds for our water supply.

What is Storm Water?

  • Storm water is rainfall runoff that flows over urban impervious surfaces like streets, parking lots and roof tops. Storm water can pick up heavy metals, automotive leaks, pet wastes, chemicals from yard care and pollutants and flow into a storm sewer system, or directly into lakes, streams, and rivers.
  • Anything that enters the storm sewer system is discharged untreated into water bodies we use for swimming, fishing and drinking water.
  • The EPA now considers storm water pollution to be one of the most significant sources of contamination to our nation’s water bodies and streams.

What is the Watershed Conservation Corps?

The Watershed Conservation Corps (WCC) is dedicated to engaging and employing young people in hands-on watershed improvement. Based out of Springfield, Missouri, the WCC is available for hire year-round, though the number of members available may vary throughout the year. The crew can be contracted for projects ranging from a single day, several months or multiple years.

Visit the WCC webpage HERE

How do I report Storm Water Pollution such as spills, dumping or draining of pollutants to the street, storm drain, drainage way, or waterway?

Contact your local City Storm Water Services.

Does the Storm Drain in my neighborhood lead directly to a river or stream?


How do I learn about Recycling in Springfield, Missouri?

How often do I need my drinking water well tested?

If you are on a private drinking water well EPA recommends to have your well tested at least once a year. Call your local Health Department to check for current water testing fees. For more information on private drinking water wells visit

Springfield-Greene County Health Department Water Testing: 417-864-1673

How often should I have my septic tank pumped?

It depends on the tank size and household size. See Maintaining Your Septic System Fact Sheet.

Where does the drinking water in Springfield come from?

Approximately 80 percent of Springfield’s drinking water comes from surface waters (lakes, rivers) and the rest from ground water (wells, spring). City Utilities’ Fulbright and Blackman Water Treatment Plants use a combination of sources for water treatment, including both surface and ground water. Fulbright is located on the northern edge of Springfield and is served by Fulbright Spring, the original source for the city, along with a deep well and McDaniel Lake. The Blackman plant is in the southeastern corner of the city and receives water from Fellows Lake, Stockton Lake and/or the James River. Both Fellows and McDaniel Lakes can be supplemented with water from Stockton Lake. Also, three deep wells are located in the distribution system and are used as additional sources when needed. City Utilities works in conjunction with the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks to preserve and protect our watersheds . (Information obtained from City Utilities Water Quality Report 2008)