Seasonal spikes in turbidity, taste, and odor affect many water utilities that rely on surface sources for their water treatment plants. The Yampa River presents a classic example of how one municipal water system dealt with it.
The Yampa River runs clear at only 600 cu.ft/sec during the ‘Dog Days of Summer’. This comes in the wake of the river’s flow reaching more than 20,000 cu.ft/sec in the earlier spring when snow melt and mountain rains can supercharge the channel. Measured another way, this scenic river’s turbidity can range from a low of 4 to 10 ntu in summer but reach as much as 500 ntu or more during peak runoff.