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Willard Spur Research Program

The year 2011 was an important and foundational year for this project. Much was accomplished in terms of identifying and engaging stakeholders and experts, defining program objectives, developing and implementing a baseline sampling and monitoring program, and developing the overall research program. The years 2012-2013 included ongoing monitoring, analyses, and experiments to better understand the ecosystem’s dynamics and achieve program objectives. Please see the links above to review our activities for each of the three field seasons (2011-2013).


The Willard Spur Steering Committee was charged by the Utah Water Quality Board to guide the process of developing and, in the end, provide recommendations for water quality standards for Willard Spur that are protective of its beneficial uses. To that end, the Willard Spur Science Panel undertook the effort to identify the investigations and research needed to address the following question, i.e., this question frames the overall objective of the research program:

What water quality standards are fully protective of the beneficial uses of Willard Spur as they relate to the proposed POTW (publicly owned treatment works) discharge?

The Science Panel identified two questions that will need to be answered to be able to address the above question:

  1. What are the potential impacts of the POTW on Willard Spur?
  2. What changes to water quality standards will be required to provide long term protection of Willard Spur as they relate to the proposed POTW discharge?

The Science Panel then developed a Research Plan to work towards answering these questions and provide the information needed to address the Steering Committee's objective. The Research Plan served as our roadmap as we proceeded through the year 2015.

Air Boat

DWQ takes to the water in their new airboat.