Selenium Program

The first numeric water quality standard for selenium for Great Salt Lake was established in State rule (UAC R317-2-14) in November, 2008 and was approved by US Environmental Protection Agency Region 8 on December 12, 2011. This selenium water quality standard of 12.5 mg/kg is a tissue-based standard based on the complete egg/embryo of aquatic-dependent birds that use the waters of Gilbert Bay (Class 5A), Great Salt Lake. Establishing this standard required a 4-year arduous process led by a Selenium Steering Committee comprised of prominent stakeholders who were advised by an international scientific panel of selenium experts.

UDWQ continues to protect the water quality of Great Salt Lake for selenium by monitoring egg tissue in aquatic birds, evaluating trigger selenium concentrations that initiate various monitoring, assessment, and management actions, and identifying management actions to mitigate further increases in selenium concentrations if an upward trend is observed. The results of these efforts will be reported in the UDWQ’s Integrated Report.