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Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Issue

You may (or may not) have heard about the critters swimming around uninvited in our secondary water lines.

The pests in our secondary water system have been identified as Conchostraca, a crustacean commonly known as a clam shrimp.  Clam shrimp are found in almost every aquatic habitat and indicate the water is of good quality.  These freshwater creatures show up every year in our system, but some years are worse than others.  They are not everywhere in our system but have been found in many areas.  Experts at the Bureau of Reclamation and Utah State University Extension have taken samples from our system and identified the creature, but we have not yet learned of a safe way to alleviate the intruders without harm to other natural flora and fauna.

If you are experiencing pressure issues, the culprit is most likely a clogged filter due to other debris and possibly these shrimp.  Many property owners are not aware they have a filter (usually by their gate valve), but about 95% of properties do in fact have a filter on their system.  The best course of action you can take right now is to locate your filter, remove it, take it apart, and clean it out completely.  While the filter is removed, turn your water back on and let it run for about 3-5 minutes to flush out the water line that runs from our mainline in the street to your water service.  We have posted videos of four different types of filters and how to clean them on our Videos page.

We are doing all that we can to eliminate these unwanted creatures from our system and appreciate your patience as we work through this issue.  As a reminder, it is the homeowner or tenant’s responsibility to maintain the filter or any other devices that may catch debris before it enters your sprinkling system.  Also, the source of secondary water is untreated river water which has naturally occurring aquatic and plant life which can reach your system when there are unusually high amounts in the river system.  We recommend that everyone perform regular maintenance on your filter or other devices much like you would change the filter in your furnace or vehicle.  Most in our system have enjoyed clean water for over forty years and this is a highly unusual occurrence for us.  We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused our customers.  Please contact our office at (801) 825-9744 with any questions.

Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Fact Sheet