Search all of DEQ Main Menu Utah Department of Environmental Quality
Secondary Navigation

E. coli Advisories and FAQ's

Utah E. coli Monitoring and
Health Advisories 2018

Current Advisories

Location Issue Date Status
Clinton City Pond, Clinton August 31, 2018 Active
Maybey Pond, Clearfield August 31, 2018 Active
Steed Pond, Clearfield October 1, 2018 Active
Syracuse Pond, Syracuse August 31, 2018 Active
Utah Lake, Sandy Beach July 20, 2018 Active
Utah Lake, Lindon Drain August 28, 2017 Active
North Fork, Virgin River 2009 Active

2018 Advisories

Advisories Archive

Advisory FAQ's

What is my risk if there is an advisory?

Most strains of E. coli are not dangerous to people. However, some can cause illness such as diarrhea, urinary tract infections, and other infections. Some infections are very mild, but others are severe or even life-threatening. More information on the health effects of E. coli can be found at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

During an active E. coli advisory:

  • Do not ingest contaminated water
  • Do not swim or water ski
  • Wash hands after handling fish or contaminated water

While E. coli is an indicator of fecal contamination and may not be a direct cause of illness, the threshold of 409 most-probable number of density counts per 100mL of water sample (MPN) for adopted to issue a swimming advisory relates to a risk factor of 8 illnesses per 1,000 swimmers. As the value of the MPN increases above 409 MPN, the risk of illness if exposed to contaminated waters also increases.

How can I reduce my risk of E. coli exposure?

To reduce potential health risks, you should assume all surface waters contain some E. coli whether or not it has been monitored or an advisory has been issued. This means you should make sure you do not swallow the water, or if you have touched the water, make sure to wash your hands before you touch your mouth or eyes. The single most important way to prevent person to person spread of E. coli is careful hand washing.

How is an advisory issued and removed?

Priority lakes and reservoirs are routinely monitored for E. coli. When a sample is found to be greater than the water quality criteria according to R317-2, a crew is assembled to resample the site within 24 hours or as soon as possible after the first sample. If the consecutive sample is greater than the water quality criteria, then the local health department may issue a a joint advisory. The site is routinely monitored during the advisory and will remain in place until five consecutive samples are below the water quality criteria for the site. See DWQ’s E. coli Advisory Protocol for more information.

Where is an advisory posted?

E. coli advisories are issued by the local health department following guidance from DWQ. If an advisory is in place, signs will be posted at the lake/reservoir. Contact your local health department or visit DWQ’s E. coli advisory page for more information.

Can fish from the lake be contaminated because of E. coli?

Probably not. Because fish are not warm-blooded, E. coli cannot live in the fillets. However, the water covering the fish could contain E. coli, as well as the guts of the fish. Uncooked fish may well have E. coli contamination. Wash and cook the fish, and wash your hands after handling fish and lake water to reduce your risk.

2010 – 2016 E. coli Advisories

  • Utah Lake – Lindon Marina 2016
  • Clinton Pond, 2015
    An E. coli advisory was issued by Davis County Health Department for Clinton City Pond on May 22, 2015 following 2 consecutive samples over the maximum E. coli criteria for waters with a 2B beneficial use. Signs were posted at the site and remained in place until 5 consecutive samples yielded results below the numeric criteria. The advisory was removed on November 24, 2015.
  • Maybey Pond, 2015
    Davis County Health Department issued an E. coli advisory for Maybey Pond between October 1, 2015 and November 2, 2015 due to high levels of E. coli.
  • Salem Lake, 2010 
    In 2010, several sets of E. coli samples collected at Salem Lake exceeded the maximum water quality criteria for 2A waters. An advisory was issued by the Utah County Health Department and remained in place until 5 consecutive samples were found to be below the water maximum quality criteria for Salem Lake.