Utah Water Week Results 2019
This year was the Utah Water Watch's 6th annual Utah Water Week and it was amazing! Thank you to all the volunteers who monitored sites during the week, you helped create a snapshot of Utah's water quality in just seven days. The results show that all sites monitored were healthy and safe for critters that live in the lake and for humans to enjoy.
Some Utah Water Week Fast Facts:
Number of monitoring events/sites: 19
Total hours sampled by all volunteers: 26.25
Total miles driven: 300.75
Warmest air temperature sampled: 26 ºC (78.8 ºF)
Coldest air temperature sampled: 6.9 ºC (44.4 ºF)
Average water temperature: 8.62 ºC (46.9 ºF)
Average pH: 6.9
Average dissolved oxygen: 8.29 mg/L
Average turbidity: 49.94 cm
Other than Utah Water Watch monitoring, we also had other events going on to celebrate:
Monday, the 6th: high schoolers visited the wetlands at the USU Botanical Center and Utah House to learn about sustainability and conduct water quality monitoring.
Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday, the 7th-9th: 4th graders visited the Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve and the Wetland Discovery Point to explore and learn about wetlands and all the critters that live there.
Saturday, the 11th: new volunteers for the Utah Water Watch program attended a training to learn how to monitor their own sites.
To view the keys for all interactive maps, click on the picture of the box and arrow in the top left corner. To interact with the maps from each category, click on the link below each map.
Water temperature controls the kinds of organisms that can live in rivers and lakes. Each aquatic species has a preferred temperature range. As temperatures get too far above or below this preferred range, the number of individuals of the species decreases until finally there are none which means the body of water is no longer healthy.
The average water temperature for all sites was 8.62 oC, 4.28 oC cooler than last year. The cooler average temperature could be attributed to the high amounts of snow the state received this year. The coldest temperature was 4.5 oC at Emigration Creek, which is located in Escalante and had the highest elevation of all the monitored sites. The warmest temperature of 14 oC was at Mill Creek. These temperature differences can be attributed to elevation and location.
To learn more about water temperature, visit to the temperature information page.
For an interactive map, click here and "check" the temperature layer.
Dissolved oxygen is critical for aquatic life; it represents the air that aquatic organisms breathe under water.
Average dissolved oxygen was 8.29 mg/L, close to last year's average. When levels drop below 6mg/L it may be harmful for certain sensitive aquatic organisms. The lowest dissolved oxygen reading was 5 mg/L in Mill Creek and the highest was 12 mg/L in the South Fork of Ogden River.
To learn more, visit the dissolved oxygen page.
For an interactive map, click here and "check" the dissolved oxygen layer.
A healthy pH range in Utah is 6.5-9. pH determines what nutrients and heavy metals are present in our water. It also determines how many nutrients can be taken up by aquatic life. The average pH of all the lakes and streams was 6.9. The lowest pH this week was 6 in the South Fork of Ogden River and the highest was 8 at Chalk Creek.
To learn more, visit the pH page.
For an interactive map, click here and "check" the pH layer.
Turbidity is the measure of how clear the water is. When levels are high, that means the body of water is extremely clear. When levels are low, that means the water is very cloudy.
The highest stream turbidity during water week was in Sevier River, which had a measurement of 20 cm. Water week is held in the spring, typically during spring runoff which tends to make waters murky with mud. Spring runoff was mild this year and the average turbidity level was 49.94 cm, with nine sites having readings of 60 cm. There was only one lake measured this year and the volunteers used a secchi disk instead of a turbidity tube, which is the protocol for measuring lakes. Their measurement at Deer Creek Reservoir was 4.67 meters.
To learn more, visit the turbidity page.
For an interactive map, click here and "check" the turbidity layer.