Water Quality
2021 State of the Environment Report

“As an 8-year Water Quality Board member and a manager of a Major UPDES permit facility, I’ve had the unique opportunity to interact with Division of Water Quality personnel both internally and as an Operator. I can confidently state that Erica Gaddis and the entire Water Quality Team continually provide the expertise, professionalism, and vision to simultaneously accommodate the needs of permittees while protecting the waters of the State, both today and into the future. The State of Utah is in good hands.”

–Gregg A. Galecki, Water Quality Board Member

The Division of Water Quality (DWQ) safeguards Utah’s surface and groundwater through programs designed to protect, maintain, and enhance the quality of Utah’s waters. To ensure that the state’s waters meet the requirements of the Clean Water Act and Utah Water Quality Act. 

DWQ responsibilities include:

  • Developing water-quality standards
  • Issuing discharge permits, inspecting facilities, and enforcing compliance of permit requirements
  • Providing funds for projects that address nonpoint sources of pollution
  • Developing water-quality standards to protect Utah waters from pollution
  • Monitoring and assessing Utah waters
  • Developing watershed protection plans to bring impaired waters back into compliance with water-quality standards
  • Responding to spills
  • Providing construction assistance through loans and grants
  • Partnering with the Utah Department of Health and local health departments to address water quality and health issues
$62,861,850 invested in clean water projects. $62,134,252 Point source. $727,598 Non-point source.
Assessed 15,820 perennial stream miles. 31% are in good condition.

Success Story: In-Depth Report Submitted to EPA on Health of Utah’s Waters

DWQ’s Integrated Report (IR) assesses the quality of the surface waters in the state and identifies waterbodies that are not meeting water quality standards. These standards support the designated beneficial uses that protect water quality for drinking water, recreation, aquatic life, and agriculture. Waterbodies that do not meet one or more of their beneficial uses are classified as impaired in the IR and placed on the Clean Water Act 303(d) list.

The combined 2018/2020 IR was submitted to EPA in February 2021 following a public comment period/response. 

The IR supports DWQ‘s commitment to protecting and improving the water quality of Utah‘s flowing surface waters of the state, canals, lakes, reservoirs, and ponds by providing critical information and thorough analyses of water quality conditions, waterbody impairments, statewide trends, and emerging issues. DWQ uses these data to identify areas with impairments and prioritize projects, total daily maximum loads (TMDLs), permits and best management practices to improve and enhance water quality in affected areas.The Draft Combined 2018/2020 IR reports on 913 assessment units (AUs), over 15,000 miles of perennial flowing surface waters of the state and canals, and nearly 1.5 million lake, reservoir, and pond acres. The water quality assessment data cover the period between October 1, 2010 and September 30, 2018 and includes updates to previous reports. The data used in the report were collected by DWQ and 12 other federal, state, and local agencies. To see the results of the 2018/2020 Integrated Report, please visit the newly formed and widely used web page including an interactive map.