New water treatment plant will improve water heading for Utah Lake

Apr 22, 2024, 10:33 PM | Updated: Apr 23, 2024, 6:51 am

PROVO — A new state-of-the-art water treatment plant will eventually provide Utah Lake with a big boost.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Utah Division of Water Quality, the water treatment plant will help reduce the growth of algae. The new treatment plant will replace the current system that was built in the 1950s.

The $83 million water treatment plant is designed to process 21 million gallons of water a day. That water will then end up at Utah Lake, the state’s largest freshwater lake that spans roughly 150 square miles.

“If the water isn’t cleaned up before it gets to Utah Lake, you end up with harmful algal blooms that really impact recreation,” said KC Becker with the EPA. “This is a really great example of cleaning up wastewater.”

The new plant will cut the nutrients to the algae by about 80%.

“By removing [the nutrients] it’s less food, if you will, for algae to grow out there and create these difficult conditions,” said John Mackey, the director of the Division of Water Quality. “It’s a eutrophic lake which means its nutrients enriched and that causes harmful conditions that aren’t conducive to fishery or good recreation.”

The plant is expected to be in full operation by March 2025. So, it may be a couple of years before we see a change in Utah Lake.

“It’s not going to happen overnight,” Mackey said. “Two or three years for the new nutrients to replace the water that’s already there.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to show Utah Lake’s surface area is 150 square miles, not acres.

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New water treatment plant will improve water heading for Utah Lake