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Standards and Technical Services
Standards for Quality for Waters of the State are contained in UAC R317-2. The water quality standards are intended to protect Utah’s waters and improve the quality for beneficial uses. Beneficial uses include drinking water, fish and aquatic life, wildlife, agricultural, industrial, and recreational uses. Once the beneficial uses are established, criteria that are protective of the beneficial use are set.
The standards must be reviewed and updated (if necessary) every three years through a process called the Triennial Review. In addition to the Triennial Review, standards are changed and updated as new information becomes available or in response to changes in laws from the State or Federal government.
Proposed revisions to the Standards are reviewed by the Water Quality Standards Workgroup. The Workgroup makes recommendations for standards changes to the Water Quality Board who is responsible for promulgating the standards.
Permit limits are set to ensure that the standards in the receiving waters will not be exceeded. Permit limits are typically developed by modeling the concentrations in the receiving waters after the mixing zone.
Antidegradation Reviews are intended to ensure that waters that have better quality than required by the standards are not degraded unless the degradation is necessary for important social or economic reasons.
Great Salt Lake Water Quality
A comprehensive approach for protecting the water quality of the Great Salt Lake and its surrounding wetlands.
Lakes and Reservoirs
Summaries of Utah's Priority Lakes.
Wasteload Analysis for Developing Permit Limits
General guidelines for how DWQ conducts waste loads.
Water Quality Assessment
DWQ compiles data to determine if water quality is sufficient to meet beneficial uses.
Water Quality Data and Monitoring
An overview of seven programs that collect water quality data.
Water Quality Management Section Contacts
DWQ employees and contact information.
Water Quality Standards Workgroup
Standards protect Utah’s waters and improve quality for beneficial uses.
- Wetlands Program
Wetland-related resources that support a wide range of projects, institutions, and program partners.
- Great Salt Lake Selenium Information
- Great Salt Lake Wetlands
- Mercury Information
- Proposed Rule Changes to Water Quality Standards
- Statewide Nutrient Criteria Development Website
For more information about water quality standards, please contact Chris Bittner.