How to Tell if Your Watershed is in Good Condition
Here are a few simple things to check:
Many of Utah's streams have cold-water fish, macroinvertebrates, and amphibians that require cold temperatures (maximum: 20 degrees Celsius, 68 degrees Fahrenheit) to survive. Temperatures may fluctuate across seasons, but drastic temperature changes can hinder the metabolic activity of organisms.
|Clear water is most desirable, but it doesn't necessarily mean the water is clean. Some pollutants are not colored.||
Erosion of sediments can cause streams to appear brown or cloudy. This is not necessarily a bad sign. All streams have a natural level of turbidity (how much suspended material is in the water). For example, the Colorado River is very turbid, yet its waters hold abundant life.
|Green water can be caused by excessive algae. This generally is an indicator of poor water quality.||An oily or rainbow sheen on water is an indicator of poor water quality. Oil usually enters waterways from runoff of oil on roads from automobiles.|
In a stream foam can be natural or anthropogenic. Natural foam will have an earthy or fishy smell and will be white, cream-colored, or brown. It will usually be described as more "pillowy" rather than "sudsy". Pollution from detergents can create foam that may smell like soap or perfume and will be white and sudsy.
Riffles, runs and pools