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Arkansas River

River Water Quality

The Arkansas River and Little Arkansas River are valuable assets providing pastoral beauty, wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities to Wichita and the region. Over the years, water quality in these rivers has improved substantially with more effective treatment technologies, better land management practices, and increasingly more stringent water quality regulations. Nevertheless, there is opportunity for additional improvement.

Extensive water quality testing continues through the efforts of the City of Wichita, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and the United States Geological Survey. This sampling provides data that further defines the sources of contamination detrimental to the river.

River Water Quality Status Flags at the Wichita River Festival​​

Different colored flags are used during the Wichita River Festival to inform the public of river water quality status. These levels of Big Arkansas River water quality information will be based on water testing performed during the Wichita River Festival. Find out what steps are taken to test the water.​

Water Quality Status Flag Program Protocol

The flags will be displayed at strategic locations near the Douglas and Lewis Street bridges. Citizens wishing to participate in river-related activities at River Festival should continue to do so being mindful of the water quality status flags.​ There are two levels: blue and green.

Wichita Clean Streams

Formerly known as River City WRAPS, Wichita Clean Streams's vision is to improve and protect the water quality of the Arkansas River and its watershed.
Wichita Clean Streams

More Information

Contact Jim Hardesty
P: (316) 268-8317
Email Jim Hardesty

Boating and Access

The Arkansas River Access Coalition, a consortium of municipalities, counties, and various user groups, has united to develop 120 miles of the Arkansas River into a recreational amenity that will draw users from all around the region.

Desired recreational uses include, but are not limited to, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, biking, wildlife viewing, fishing, and hunting. To achieve this objective, a Master Plan has been created as a blueprint for developing access points at desired intervals in a way that is both cost-effective and protective of the Arkansas River's natural amenities and character.

Project Go​​als

  • Protect the natural amenities and character of the Arkansas River corridor.
  • Develop a Master Plan for recreational river access.
  • Develop access point types and supporting facilities.
  • Develop prioritized list of access points
  • Build public awareness and support for the project's vision

Available for download: ​​ ARCAP Master Plan​​ ARCAP Brochure

2018 Arkansas River Trash Roundup


Date: May 5, 2018

Time: 9am - NOON​

Check-In Location: 151 N Waco

More Inform​​ation

Contact Charles Anderson

P: (316) 350-3386
Email Charles Anderson

Sponsors: Cargill, Ducks Unlimited - Wichita Chapter, City of Wichita, Spirit Aerosystems, Intrust Bank, Koch, Terracon, Cox, Spectrum Promotional, Smile Craft Family Dentistry, Davis Moore Chevrolet - Big Al, Ray Rental, Waste Connections, Envision, Key Construction, Marketplace Properties, Starbucks, NBC World Series, Pepsi, Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburger, Pure NRG Productions, Heartland Coca Cola, Drury Plaza Hotel, and Dillons. Transportation Provided by Party Express Bus and Success National Lease. 

Previous River Trash Round Ups by the Numbers