What is a Watershed?Keep It Pure

A watershed is a geographical or geological area of land that catches the rain and snow drained by a single river system. If a drop of rain lands near a ridgeline, it will eventually flow to the stream at the bottom of the canyon. All surface and ground water that contributes to a stream is part of that watershed system.This water is our drinking water!

Why Can't I Bring My Dog Into a Protected Watershed Area?

The five protected watershed canyons of the Wasatch Front include: Bell Canyon, City Creek, Parleys, Big Cottonwood and Little Cottonwood Canyons. These areas receive millions of visitors annually. As dogs don't use restrooms, lots of dogs would mean lots of dog waste in our drinking water. Dogs and other domestic animals can transmit human disease when their wastes get into canyon waters and these illnesses can be deadly to humans and wild animals. The cleaner our water is at its source, the easier and less costly to treat.

Why is it important?

watershedVarious canyons along the Wasatch Front are an important source of our drinking water, and are designated "Protected Watershed Areas." Bell Canyon Reservoir is one of these protected areas. Our activities and actions, both on the hillsides and around the water source impact the quality of our drinking water. Regulations govern our activity in these areas so this vital source of drinking water will be kept clean.

With millions of visitors, human activity can have far reaching impacts to our drinking water quality. While some watersheds in America have had to be closed, stewardship of the Wasatch Watershed has maintained it as a pristine water supply. You can make a positive contribution to our water quality by following the simple watershed regulations posted.

How can I help?


Please stay on designated trails and do not go on to Private Property. Sandy City has great trails throughout our community.

KEEP IT PURE! Don't Pollute the watershed.

Sandy City Public Utilities in collaboration with Salt Lake City Public Utilities - Watershed Management

Signage at the trailheads of Bell Canyon Reservoir state the regulations for our watershed: NO Dogs, NO Swimming, NO Camping, NO Campfires. It is also important to carry out what you bring in such as trash to keep the area clean. For more information, please call 801-568-7187.

Sandy City Watershed Management Plan 2002


Sandy City will be updating our Watershed Management Plan soon in coordination with Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County updating their watershed management plans. More information will be posted here as we plan for public outreach for the update. Questions, email aholt@sandy.utah.gov or call (801) 568-7119.


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