BRHD checks the health of our waterbodies

Mack Stokes a Bear River Environmental Health technician holds up a container of water from Mantua Reservoir on Tuesday, Sept. 13.

MANTUA – Hyrum Reservoir was cleared for all types of water activity after E. Coli levels dropped recently.

Mack Stokes an Bear River Environmental Health technician testes water in Mantua Reservoir on Tuesday, Sept.14.

Earlier this month high levels of the bacteria in the reservoir prompted officials to post a sign warning people from getting in the water.

Grant Koford, environmental health director for the Bear River Environmental Health Department, said finding E. Coli from a test and then a few days later another test finding the water under the standard isn’t that unusual.

A lot of it depends on the flow of the water, what it brings in and ultraviolet light,” he said. “E. Coli is always present in bodies of water, but it is monitored and when it gets above the standard, we post a warning.”

The environmental health director has taken down the warning signs and the reservoir is good to fish in, swim in, boat or whatever.

The Utah State Division of Water Quality was initially the agency that flagged the Hyrum reservoir’s bacterial issues.

The Utah State Division of Water Quality is not the only agency that monitors the water Bear River Health Department checks the seven largest bodies of water in Cache, Rich Box Elder counties twice a month.

The constant testing is done to ensure everyone even pets can safely be in the water.

Mack Stokes is Bear River Environmental Health technician that tested the water this season.

Wearing hip high rubber boots he steps into Mantua Reservoir, dips a sample container with a lid on Tuesday to collect samples. He takes the sample back to the lab where the water is checked for amounts of E. Coli and Cyanobacteria or blue-green algae.

I check seven bodies of water, in three counties,” he said. “We test Bear Lake, Cutler, Newton, Porcupine, Willard, Hyrum and Mantua reservoirs about twice a month.”

The water is taken back to a lab and tested by adding other chemicals and letting it sit for 24 hours.

Mack Stokes is a Bear River Environmental Health technician that dips his container into Mantua Reservoir Tuesday Sept 13, to make sure it is safe for people to recreate in.

In April, the Utah State Division of Water Quality examined over 1,900 the water sites in 900 different lakes, rivers and streams to examine water quality.

At that time, just over 40 percent of the water tested would not support what was supposed to be used for. Water in the Beehive state is used farming, ranching, drinking water, fish production and recreation.



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