Sanitary quality of the Jordan River in Salt Lake County, Utah

Water-Resources Investigations Report 83-4252




This investigation of the sanitary quality of the Jordan River was conducted from July 1980 to October 1982 using indicator bacteria rather than specific pathogens. A serious sanitary problem was identified. Concentrations of total coliform bacteria often exceeded 5,000 colonies per 100 milliliters and concentrations of fecal coliform bacteria often exceeded 2,000 colonies per 100 milliliters in the lower reaches of the river. At times these levels were greatly exceeded. The most conspicuous aspect of the bacteriological data is its extreme variability. Seven waste-water treatment plants, seven major tributaries, numerous storm conduits, irrigation-return flow, and other sources all contribute to the dynamic system that determines the sanitary quality of the river. Because of this variability the sanitary quality of the river cannot be predicted at any one time. In general, concentrations of all three indicator bacteria increased in a downstream direction. Storm runoff from urban areas contributed large concentrations of indicator bacteria to the river. Regression analysis of 9 years of data collected at 1700 South Street showed a significant positive correlation between both fecal coliform and fecal streptococcal concentrations versus time. Concentrations of fecal coliform and fecal streptococci have both been increasing since 1974 at 1700 South Street. (USGS)

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Sanitary quality of the Jordan River in Salt Lake County, Utah
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
vi, 36 p. :ill., map ;28 cm.