GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 182-19
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


O'BRYANT, David Claud, Earth Science, Utah Valley University, 800 W University Parkway, Orem, UT 84058

Utah Lake is a major physical feature found within the Utah Valley region. Beneficial use of the lake and its resources will continually create controversy due to the ecological diversity and significance of these lake resources, such as industrial and agricultural water use, reclaimed water effluent from adjacent municipalities, and recreational purposes. Because of annual toxic algal blooms (cyanobacteria), public consensus persists that the primary focus of the lake should be prevention and control of pollution entering the lake and its tributaries; particularly anthropogenic phosphorus pollution. If phosphorus loading is available in excess, often from wastewater treatment plants (WWTP), stormwater runoff, and industrial discharges, then the profusion of phosphorus in a lake or reservoir can lead to eutrophication within the water body.

The purpose of this study is to identify the major sources and generators of anthropogenic phosphorus pollution entering the lake, to then determine the proportional loading of phosphorus each source and generator are contributing to the lake, and to provide solutions on how to further prevent and control the proliferation of phosphorus entering Utah Lake.

Previous studies have stated that approximately 76.5% of all anthropogenic phosphorus entering the lake is directly from wastewater treatment effluent. This study hypothesizes that this value has more than likely increased since the referenced study was conducted and is predominantly a result of population growth along The Wasatch Front.

The researchers conducting this study will implement standard modern methods for acquiring and monitoring WWTP effluent and stormwater runoff, such as daily average (DA) discrete grab sample collections. The researchers will then use supplemental remote sensing data, GIS applications, referenced data, and general statistical and laboratory analysis to present this data in the form of maps, graphs, and tables.