Water Quality Monitoring
From storm-water runoff in the Town of Jackson to multi-source nutrient pollution in Fish Creek, Teton Conservation District works with partners to study and address the causes of degraded water quality throughout the District.
Flat Creek watershed management plan
In 1996, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ) conducted an assessment of the surface water quality throughout Wyoming, as required by the Clean Water Act (CWA). This assessment revealed that non-point source pollution into Flat Creek threatened the state's designated beneficial uses for that water body. This finding, confirmed TCD and the Town of Jackson, led stakeholders within the Flat Creek watershed developed a locally led watershed plan. Flat Creek's watershed plan gives TCD and its partners a good standing to apply for state and federal grant funds for stream projects. That plan is available here.
Flat creek sampling
The TCD water quality sampling program began in 1996 in order to build a long-term database of baseline chemical, biological, and physical information. In 2000, TCD implemented an accepted water quality sampling and analysis plan in conjunction with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ). With WDEQ approval, TCD revised the monitoring plan in 2015. TCD currently monitors water chemistry, suspended sediment loads, aquatic macroinvertebrates, stream bed substrate and temperature.
After more than 15 years of collecting credible data under the WDEQ approved sampling and analysis plan, sufficient water quality data exists to monitor the many changes that have occurred within the watershed. Stream improvements projects in the Flat Creek watershed include the installation of the Karns Meadow Stormwater Treatment Wetland, the Flat Creek Enhancement Project, and improved stormwater mitigation within the Town of Jackson. TCD is working with WDEQ and the community to prioritize future activities in the watershed.
Fish Creek Sampling
Public concern about nuisance growth of aquatic plants in Fish Creek has been on the rise since the early 2000's. To address this concern, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the TCD, began studying Fish Creek in 2004 to describe the hydrology of the creek and later, between 2007-2011, to characterize the water quality and the biological communities. Most recently, USGS and TCD co-authored a study that quantified sources that contribute nutrients to the Fish Creek watershed. In 2016-17, TCD worked with Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality and Friends of Fish Creek to collect additional nutrient, aquatic macroinvertebrate and aquatic plant and algae data.
Fish Creek data is being analyzed. Results will guide further monitoring and help assess the need for further protections to the stream.
Further details and reports from Fish Creek data collection can be found on the Water Improvement Projects page.