Selected Hydrologic and Water-Quality Data for Kamas Valley and Vicinity, Summit County, Utah, 1997–2000

P. L. Haraden
L. E. Spangler
L. E. Brooks
B. J. Stolp
U.S. Geological Survey
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Department of the Interior

Open-File Report 01–155


This report contains hydrologic and water-quality data collected in the Kamas Valley vicinity during a study from 1997 to 2000. The study area is in Summit County in north-central Utah and is part of the Middle Rocky Mountains Physiographic Province described by Fenneman (1931). Data were collected in Kamas Valley between the Uinta Mountains on the east and the West Hills on the west, the upper Weber River area, the Samak area along Beaver Creek, the Woodland area, and the Indian Hollow area. These areas, where population growth and water demand are concentrated, encompass about 70 square miles and include the Weber River, Beaver Creek, and Provo River drainages. Surface water is the dominant hydrologic resource. The combined average flow from these three drainages is about 345,000 acre-feet per year. Ground water is present in the unconsolidated deposits in Kamas Valley, in stream alluvium along Beaver Creek and the upper Weber River, and in the consolidated rocks surrounding Kamas Valley. Kamas Valley and vicinity recently have been undergoing increasing residential development, in part the result of overflow from rapid development in the Park City and Snyderville Basin areas. In 1996, the population of Summit County was 23,988 (Shawn Eliot, Mountainland Association of Governments, written commun., 1998), an increase of 55 percent since 1990, and an increase of 135 percent since 1980. Much of that growth has been concentrated in the area around Park City, but with the construction of new highways into Kamas Valley and continued growth in Park City, development is increasing in Kamas Valley. Because the water needed to support this new development will probably come from ground water, one of the major concerns is water supply. Ground-water development has been and probably will continue to be limited to municipal and domestic use. Many households in the study area use private domestic wells and septic systems, and much of the new development is occurring outside of communities with municipal water and waste-water systems. In addition, land use is changing from agricultural to large-lot subdivisions, ranchettes, and summer homes. As new houses are built and new wells and septic systems are constructed, the public and agencies with water-management responsibilities are concerned about the effects of additional development on ground-water levels and water quality. Concern about ground-water withdrawals prompted the Utah Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water Rights, to initiate a 4-year study of the ground- and surface-water resources in the Kamas Valley area in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey. Data were collected to better understand the hydrologic system in the area and to assess the effects of increased ground-water withdrawals on groundwater levels, discharge from springs, and surface-water flows. Because of water-quality concerns, the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Water Quality, provided additional funding to collect baseline water-quality data at selected ground- and surface- water sites. Data for this study could not have been collected without the cooperation of local residents and officials of water companies and municipalities, who permitted access to their wells, property, and well data.