Water Quality Stewardship Plan (WaQSP)

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1 Salt Lake Countywide Water Quality Stewardship Plan (WaQSP) Natalie Rees Salt Lake County Flood Control & Engineering Division 2008 Watershed Symposium

2 COUNTY RESPONSIBILITY AND AUTHORITY Salt Lake County is the designated Area-Wide Water Quality Planning Agency Designated by the State as a result of the 1978 Area-Wide Water Quality Management Plan Responsible for water quality planning throughout the County

3 COUNTY RESPONSIBILITY AND AUTHORITY Emigration Canyon, 2005 FEDERAL ROLE Clean Water Act (1972) Restore and Maintain the Chemical, Physical, and Biological Integrity of the Nation s Waters Focus was on Point Source Discharges Goal of fishable/swimmable waters by 1983 Administered by EPA STATE ROLE Authority has been delegated to States Chapter 5 of Utah s Environmental Quality Code (R317) Sets Up Water Quality Board Limits Discharges of Pollutants to Waters of the State Authorizes Setting up Beneficial Uses of Waters (Classification of Waters) Authorizes Establishing Water Quality Standards to Protect Beneficial Uses COUNTY ROLE Salt Lake County is the Designated Area-Wide Water Quality Planning Agency Countywide Flood Control Authority Shared UPDES permit with Cities

4 WATERSHED CHARACTERIZATION 805 sq. mile watershed (515,200 acres) 16 municipal governments, 4 wastewater treatment facilities (1 planned), 2 large drinking water districts, 73 drinking water systems, 12 sewer districts, and several federal, state, and local regulators Approximately 300 miles of streams 54% of the watershed is urban and highly developed Population expected to increase by 42% by 2030 Anticipated loss of ~14,000 acres of open space by 2030 Estimated increase of 5,400 acres of impervious lands by 2030 Extensive modification of urban stream segments due to development, water supply diversions and flood control purposes

5 WaQSP TIMELINE In 2006, the Public Works Department of Salt Lake County began a collaborative effort to develop the Salt Lake County Water Quality Stewardship Plan (WaQSP). In 2007, we: Compiled extensive data for determining existing and future watershed characteristics, including wastewater treatment, based on population and land use Developed a broad range of recommendations and guidance on such topics as wastewater treatment, flood conveyance, stormwater, open space acquisition and development strategies Sought stakeholder involvement: Met with 14 of the 16 cities Presented information on the WaQSP at over 30 community council meetings Numerous stakeholder meetings with the Jordan River Watershed Council Publication and distribution of a bi-annual newsletters Conducted a baseline assessment of all major Streams and River in Salt Lake County. This effort will augment existing data and provide a foundation for the Stream Function Index (SFI). In 2008, we will work with stakeholders and the public to finalize the WaQSP document. Implementation of the WaQSP will begin in It is anticipated that the WaQSP will be updated every six years.

6 WaQSP PURPOSE Provide framework of goals and policies Forge water quality stewardship Be consistent with: 1. Clean Water Act 2. Needs of local residents

7 Value of Watershed Planning Watershed plans are being developed and implemented nationwide. Recreational and aesthetic benefit Quality of life Funding opportunities enhanced Protects water supply quality Tourism-based revenues Benefits future generations

8 WaQSP APPROACH TO PLANNING Countywide Identified Seven (7) Strategic Targets Developed Planning Elements to Address Strategic Targets Recommendations were made in each Planning Element Sub-Watershed Divided the County into 27 Sub-Watersheds Used GIS to analyze data by Sub-Watershed Identified water quality stressors for each Sub-Watershed Made recommendations to address water quality stressors

9 WaQSP COUNTYWIDE STRATEGIC TARGETS To achieve improved watershed function, Salt Lake County identified seven strategic targets: Improve water quality in streams. Develop regional wastewater planning procedures. Evaluate the effects of Utah Lake and canals on water quality. Restore and protect stream channels and banks. Increase preservation of stream corridors and groundwater recharge areas. Develop strategies to improve instream flows. Identify funding mechanism for updating the WaQSP.

10 WaQSP COUNTYWIDE PLANNING ELEMENTS To address the strategic targets, the following planning elements are examined in the WaQSP: Economics Wastewater Stormwater Nonpoint Sources Water Supply Instream Flows Habitat Utah Lake Headwaters Countywide recommendations were made for each planning element. Willow Creek Sub-Watershed

11 WaQSP COUNTYWIDE RECOMMENDATION - EXAMPLES 54 countywide recommendations were made based on review of WaQSP Planning Elements. The following recommendations are given high priority in this planning cycle: Develop a Countywide Water Quality Predictive Management Tool for water quality planning and compliance purposes. Expand water quality and quantity data collection. Develop a wetland assessment that augments existing data. Work with established programs to acquire easements and parcels adjacent to SLCo streams that contain wetlands. Evaluate current Lower Jordan River flow management strategies for impact to water quality. Sample instream water quality during storm events. Continue stream restoration/enhancement and maintenance efforts.


13 WaQSP SUB-WATERSHED - STRESSORS Floodplain Encroachment Red Butte Creek Unstable Banks Little Cottonwood Creek Lack of water Big Cottonwood Creek Debris Mill Creek






19 WaQSP SUB-WATERSHED - EXAMPLE - - Existing Land Use (2005) Future Land Use (2030) BARNEY S CREEK SUB WATERSHED (31,873 Acres) BN

20 WaQSP SUB-WATERSHED - EXAMPLE RECOMMENDATIONS EXISTING CHARACTERISTICS (2005) Social/Recreational Conveyance* Habitat Water Quality Developed Recreation (%) Reduced or Interrupted Flow (%) Poor or Fair Stream Bank Stability (%) Structures in FEMA Floodplain (%) Stream w/ Adjacent Public Land (%) Avg. Annual Change in TDS (mg/l) No Data Change in Population (Persons) Change in Density (People/Acre) Social/Recreational FUTURE CHARACTERISTICS (2030) Change Impervious Surface Area (%) Change in Open Space (%) Change in TP Loading(%) Water Quality Change in TN Loading (%) Change in TSS Loading (%) 70, Riparian buffer restoration/enhancement Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design criteria Land acquisition for preservation Land use ordinances Volunteer programs Channel restoration/enhancement Wetland restoration/enhancement Identify community needs and opportunities Develop trail networks Floodplain re-establishment Stormwater BMP retrofitting

21 WaQSP IMPLEMENTATION Implementation is the heart of the Stewardship Plan Open Space Preservation Important to Vegetated healthy watershed Swales Volunteer Programs Benefits: Broad, Buffer shallow Wetland Protection channel Ordinances Restoration/Enhancement Participation by individuals and groups habitat dense including: Buffer vegetation = natural covering boundary side between and Not bottom functioning waterway slopesproperly infiltration Natural and capacity Channel existing developments Restoration litter and dog feces removal No Swales benefit Ordinances convey to water stormwater quality, groundwater flood control Re-establishment establish of specific original buffer stream size Plantings and habitat. Trap Maintained particulate channel for pollutants the protection of water groundwater educational recharge programs Promote quality Helps infiltration and stream aquatic maintain habitat healthy aquatic and recreational opportunity - protection Reduce and stormwater Example: riparian Salt habitat enhancement runoff Lake velocity City Riparian Corridor Overlay District Ordinance

22 WaQSP IMPLEMENTATION This can become THIS!!!

23 PUBLIC SUPPORT Public Survey Results 94% consider outdoor activities very important 74% use creeks or river trails for hiking or biking Most respondents said water quality has high value Most respondents said that a healthy economy depends on good water quality 63% favor new developments natural open space

24 SMALL INVESTMENTS = BIG BENEFITS Economic Benefits Community Benefits WATERSHED HEALTH Est. Costs of Watershed Projects Plan Implementation & Funding

25 SMALL INVESTMENTS = BIG BENEFITS Economic Benefits Positive economic impact Property values increase Increased recreational sales Nature-based tourism WATERSHED HEALTH

26 SMALL INVESTMENTS = BIG BENEFITS Community Benefits Creates sense of place Improves quality of life Increased recreational opportunities Better living environment Pride in local surroundings Personal and public health Better water quality WATERSHED HEALTH

27 SMALL INVESTMENTS = BIG BENEFITS Plan Implementation & Funding Maintain plan every 6 years Open space preservation Stream buffer ordinances LEED criteria Stormwater BMPs WATERSHED HEALTH

28 SMALL INVESTMENTS = BIG BENEFITS Estimated Costs of Watershed Projects Stream restoration ~ $200/ foot Channel restoration ~ $50K-$100K/mi. Bank protection ~ $18K/mile Re-vegetation ~ $250 - $10K/acre Stormwater retrofitting ~ $10K/acre WATERSHED HEALTH

29 2009 WaQSP Priority Implementation Tasks Encourage the adoption of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design criteria. Develop sensitive areas overlay zone ordinance template for use on the west side of unincorporated Salt Lake County and within cities. Establish maximum impervious surface area ordinance for site developments within unincorporated Salt Lake County. Develop a Countywide Water Quality Predictive Management Tool for water quality planning and compliance purposes. Expand water quality and quantity data collection. Develop a wetland assessment that augments existing data. Work with established programs to acquire easements and parcels adjacent to SLCo streams that contain wetlands. Evaluate current Lower Jordan River flow management strategies for impact to water quality. Implement Public Involvement Plan.

30 2009 WaQSP Priority Implementation Tasks Maintain and update Stream Function Index (SFI). Develop countywide water quality design criteria for stormwater management facilities. Maintain and update Water Quality Stewardship Plan (WaQSP). As part of ongoing planning efforts, re-establish a core working headwaters group to facilitate inter-agency coordination and further define permit consistency review procedures. Provide assistance, coordination, facilitation and oversight for water quality improvement grant applications. Sample instream water quality during storm events. Continue stream restoration/enhancement and maintenance efforts. Implement BMPs for stormwater quality purposes.

31 WaQSP IMPLEMENTATION Characterize Monitor Adaptive Management Identify Water Quality Stressors Implementation Recommendation

32 STREAM FUNCTION INDEX Stream Function Index (SFI) is a monitoring tool to measure the effectiveness of WaQSP implementation activities. The SFI measures chemical, biological, physical, and social conditions of river and stream corridors. These conditions are used as indicators of overall watershed health. Data will be compiled and added to Atlas of Opportunities to assist in identifying and prioritizing implementation activities.

33 Stream Function Index EHI/SFI Weighting Ecosystem Health Index Stream Function Index (SFI) Ecosystem Health Index (EHI)



36 Who to CONTACT FOR QUESTIONS OR INFORMATION Salt Lake County Water Resources Planning and Restoration Government Center 2001 South State Street, N3100 Salt Lake City, UT

37 2009 Salt Lake County Water Quality Stewardship Plan Thank You!