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Red rock canyons and eroded cliffs such as those found in southern Utah may be pretty to look at but they are also indicative of potential water quality problems. In the Colorado Plateau physiographic region of Utah, two common causes of water quality impairment are warm stream temperatures and Total Dissolved Solids (salt) concentrations. In several cases these impairments can be attributed to natural sources such as saline geologic formations. Site-specific criteria have been established where natural sources of pollutants exceed water quality standards as identified during the development of Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs). This presentation will provide an overview of the challenges the State of Utah's TMDL program has had in resolving the influence of natural water pollution sources on several streams. Case examples will include TMDLs that address significant natural sources of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) on the Price River, Onion Creek and Virgin River watersheds and for Beaver Dam Wash that addresses temperature.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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