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Utah State University Press

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The South Fork of the Ogden River, one of several heavily used mountain watersheds along Utah's Wasatch Front, was studied between February 1 and November 1, 1974, to determine the effects of recreation on water quality.

Although the greatest impacts on water quality occurred during spring runoff, it was found that recreational use had a definite effect on water quality. Bacteriological parameters were found to be the most sensitive indicators of contamination.

Differences between heavy weekend and light weekday recreational use were reflected by differences in bacteriological counts. Also, it appears that changes in bacterial water quality were more closely correlated with high intensity, short duration use rather than with the overall number of visitor days use received at a recreational site.

The results of this study indicate that improvements are needed at several recreational sites. Studies to investigate the improvement of recreational facilities along the South Fork are recommended.


This work made publicly available electronically on May 21, 2012.