Development of Water Quality Standards for Willard Spur, Great Salt Lake, Utah
Construction of the Perry Willard Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant (Plant) adjacent to Willard Spur presented the State of Utah with a challenge that is becoming increasingly frequent in the management of terminal lakes. Very little was known with regard to the composition and condition of Willard Spur’s ecosystem, how it cycles nutrients, its hydraulic and nutrient loading characteristics, and even the frequency with which water flowed through it to Great Salt Lake. However, and most significantly, the State was challenged with divergent views on whether existing water quality standards were adequate to protect its beneficial uses.
The Utah Division of Water Quality (UDWQ)’s project team, including researchers, a steering committee, and expert science panel, has been working since 2011 to complete numerous studies to determine the impact of the Plant and make recommendations for protecting the beneficial uses of Willard Spur. Field work is now complete and the team is finishing its evaluations. Final recommendations are anticipated to be made in the fall of 2014. This presentation will summarize what we have learned and the path forward.