SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Division of Water Quality's is seeking public comment on the first part of a draft water quality study on the impact of low dissolved oxygen levels in the lower Jordan River.

Excess organic matter in the lower Jordan River during late summer is contributing to the low dissolved oxygen levels that may hurt fish and other aquatic organisms, said the DWQ in a press release. 

An open house will be held from 4-6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21, in the DEQ’s board room 1015 at the Multi-Agency State Office Building at 195 N. 1950 West.     

The comment period will run through March 31. The draft study is available at Comments must be submitted via email to or via mail to Hilary Arens, Division of Water Quality, P.O. Box 144870, Salt Lake City, UT 84114 no later than close of business on March 31, 2012.

Responses to comments will be compiled and presented with the draft TMDL study to the Utah Water Quality Board for approval to proceed with the next phase of the study and endorsement for future water quality improvement efforts.     

The second phase will identify the causes of the low dissolved oxygen, which will lead directly to an implementation strategy to restore the river, the release said.

In the end, the so-called Total Maximum Daily Load study will establish the threshold on the daily dose of pollutants to bring the river into compliance with state and federal water quality standards.