Fayetteville Homeowners Say Nearby Landfill Keeps Flooding Their Property

Plans to expand have property owners worried for future

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) - Rain run-off from a Northwest Arkansas amenity has caused a major headache for one Fayetteville family. The property owners hope to get to the bottom of it so to not be adversely affected by the next major flood.

"When I shake someone's hand and say say I'm going to do something, you can guarantee I will. But obviously that's not what we've been given," said Marilyn Beaver, who lives in Fayetteville. 

What once started as a small ditch has grown into a major canyon.

"It has become impossible for us to get in and out of our property," Beaver said.

Marilyn and Danny Beaver live in Fayetteville, less than a mile from the Tontitown landfill, a resource that they say has brought more harm than help.

Danny Beaver, Lives in Fayetteville: "It's so deep that my cattle could walk underneath without even ducking," Danny Beaver said.

Since the Waste Management facility nearby expanded 10 years ago, the Beaver Family was hit by flood after flood. They say they've had eight over the past 10 years. That's what's caused the major ravine on their property.

When you take a look at Northwest Arkansas, the landfill is hard to miss. But what's more subtle is the terrain of the land. Whenever there's a downpour, the runoff from the area flows directly on to the Beaver home and property.

"We're uphill and they are downhill," said George Wheatley, the public affairs director for Waste Management in Arkansas. "There's water coming from various directions, one of those being our landfill." 

George Wheatley with Waste Management says that's just the nature of the terrain.

"They are going to have problems whether there is a landfill or not. They are going to have a lot of water just because of the area where they live," Wheatley said. 

Now Waste Management has asked to expand. A new permit could take care of NWA's trash needs for nearly 20 years. But the Beaver's fear that type of growth.

"Until we get them to fix the problem on-site, we can't fix any problems here," Beaver said.

"Waste Management is going to do every bit of the design possible to minimize any type of potential future flooding issues that they may have," Wheatley said. 

But with the promise comes doubt.

"We've been told that for 10 years. And obviously it's never been done or else I wouldn't be in this big ditch," Beaver said.

Danny and Marilyn Beaver say they don't want to, but they will take legal action if a solution doesn't come soon.

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