USGS - Science for a Changing World

Water-Resources Investigations Report 02-4276

Hydrology and Water Quality of an Urban Stream Reach in the Great Basin--Little Cottonwood Creek near Salt Lake City,Utah, Water Years 1999-2000

By Steven J. Gerner and Kidd M. Waddell

Prepared as part of the National Water-Quality Assessment program


The hydrology and water quality of an urbanized reach of Little Cottonwood Creek near Salt Lake City, Utah, were examined as part of the Great Salt Lake Basins study, part of the U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Assessment program. Physical and chemical properties of the stream were referenced to established aquatic-life criteria as available. Two fixed sampling sites were established on Little Cottonwood Creek with the purpose of determining the influence of urbanization on the water quality of the stream. The fixed-site assessment is a component of the National Water-Quality Assessment surface-water study design used to assess the spatial and temporal distribution of selected water-quality constituents.

The occurrence and distribution of major ions, nutrients, trace elements, dissolved and suspended organic carbon, pesticides, volatile organic compounds, and suspended sediment were monitored during this study. From October 1998 to September 2000, stream samples were collected at regular intervals at the two fixed sites. Additional samples were collected at these sites during periods of high flow, which included runoff from snowmelt in the headwaters and seasonal thunderstorms in the lower basin.

This report is contained in the following file:


The file is readable with Adobe Acrobat Reader. The reader is available for free download from Adobe Systems Incorporated.


Purpose and Scope
Description of Study Area
Land Use and Urbanization
Stream Classification
Methods of Sample Collection and Data Analysis
Stream Characteristics
Streamflow Components
Water Quality
Major Ions
Trace Elements
Volatile Organic Compounds
Effect of Storms
Spring and Summer
References Cited
Quality-Control Procedures and Results

Send questions or comments about this report to the author,S.J. Gerner at 801.908.5000.

For more information about USGS activities in Utah, visit the USGS Utah District home page.

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