Water-quality investigations of the Jordan River, Salt Lake County, Utah, 1980-82

Water-Resources Investigations Report 84-4298




Water-quality studies were conducted on the Jordan River, Utah, to investigate specific problems: dissolved oxygen, toxic substances, sanitary quality, and turbidity and suspended sediment. The dissolved oxygen decreased from 8 milligrams per liter at the Jordan Narrows to less than 5 milligrams per liter at 500 North Street. Chemical oxygen demand increased about 23 percent and biochemical oxygen demand increased 90 percent. Nearly 78 percent of the water samples analyzed for total mercury exceeded the State intended-use standard of 0.05 microgram per liter. Concentrations of ammonia, cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc exceeded the standards periodically. The pesticides DDD, DDE, DDT, dieldrin, methoxychlor, and 2,4-D were occasionally detected in bottom materials. Most were present in quantities of less than 15 micrograms per kilogram. Concentrations of three indicator bacteria (total coliform, fecal coliform, and fecal streptococcus) increased in a downstream direction. 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. The primary sources of turbidity in the Jordan River are Utah Lake and discharges from the wastewater-treatment plants. Large values of turbidity were measured at the Jordan Narrows with a summer mean value of 88 nephelometer turbidity units (NTU) and a winter mean value of 43 NTU. (USGS)

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USGS Numbered Series
Water-quality investigations of the Jordan River, Salt Lake County, Utah, 1980-82
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
viii, 45 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.