Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics & Public Service

Project Prologue

East Canyon Creek

Development of the East Canyon Creek

In February, 2000 the Division of Water Quality completed a water quality study for East Canyon Creek in Summit County. The study, referred to as a Total Maximum Daily Load or “TMDL”, was one of the first in Utah that addressed point source (permitted discharge) and nonpoint sources of pollutant loading into the Creek.

East Canyon Creek suffers from excessive aquatic plant growth in the stream channel that affects the dissolved oxygen levels in the Creek required by fish such as cutthroat trout to thrive. To reduce this plant growth reductions in phosphorus, a key nutrient, were established for both the East Canyon Water Reclamation Facility and other sources including the ski resorts, golf courses, and agricultural grazing lands.

Since then, significant reductions in phosphorus loading have been realized, primarily through an upgrade of the treatment plant. At the same time other activities in the watershed, especially commercial and residential developments, have greatly increased. Although phosphorus remains a concern, the water quality impacts of rapid development such as increased soil erosion, sedimentation of the stream bed and decreased flows have become more prevalent.

Additional Information

East Canyon Creek TMDL – http://www.waterquality.utah.gov/TMDL/East_Canyon_Creek_TMDL.pdf

Utah Watershed Review – http://ag.utah.gov/news/watershed/documents/uwr-aut99.pdf

East Canyon Watershed Restoration – http://www.eastcanyoncreek.org/projects/5-swaner-nature-preserve-east-canyon-creek-restoration-project

Well Sludge Adds to Creek Pollution: Salt Lake Tribune – http://archive.li.suu.edu/docs/ms122/PP/water08.pdf

Why East Canyon Creek is Worth Any Fight:  Salt Lake Tribune – http://archive.li.suu.edu/docs/ms122/PP/water07.pdf

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Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service