Why will you be monitoring?
There are two types of pollution: Point source (PS) pollution and Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution. While the amount of pollutants area easy to track from point source
pollution, it is more challenging to track and regulate nonpoint source pollution.
The State of Utah regulates water quality using a Targeted Watershed approach. Local
Watershed Coordinators work with other agencies, land owners and stakeholders to reduce
nonpoint source pollution and employ Best Management Practices (BMPs). BMPs are ways
to manage your land and activities to reduce or limit pollution of surface and groundwater
near you. Each year, a different watershed is targeted on a rotating schedule and
receives the bulk of Utah NPS and EPA 319 grant funds for that year.
One of the biggest challenges with the NPS program, is tracking its success. Monitoring
before and after BMPs are implemented are necessary to determine whether we have helped
improve the water.
What is a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)?
Monitoring by the Division of Water Quality (DWQ) and Cooperators, such as Utah Water
Watch, must follow the Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC) Program so that
environmental data collected is of known and suitable quality for monitoring goals
and objectives. High quality, or credible data is important for the DWQ to use for
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) describe how the DWQ collects, handles, processes
and analyzes data. A SOP is generated for any routine procedure and ensures the data
is comparable, accurate, defensible and limits bias.
Data collected in the Tier 2 program follows these SOPs, so it is important to become
familiar with these methods and pay attention to detail.
What is a Sample Analysis Plan (SAP)?
A Sample Analysis Plans (SAP) is required for all monitoring activity overseen by
the DWQ and provides guidance to the people in the field on the required sampling
procedures. The Sample Analysis Plan describes what tests are needed, the frequency
of samples, project coordinator contacts, etc. We will be developing specific SAPs
for projects where UWW volunteers are being used.
What is a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)?
A TMDL establishes the maximum amount of pollutant that is allowed in the water while
still maintaining all of the designated beneficial uses. The Clean Water Act requires
that each state produce water quality standards to protect, restore and preserve water
quality. When a water body does not meet these standards, it is placed on an impaired
list, referred to as the 303(d) list the state develops a plan to restore the water
quality through the TMDL process. Utah currently has about 50 developed TMDLs with
many more in the process.
*Tip for using the Utah DWQ webpage (waterquality.utah.gov
): use the search bar to find what you are looking for