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New North Davis pipeline project seeks to improve birds' habitat

Antelope Causeway Pipeline Project
Posted at 11:18 AM, Feb 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-02 14:53:15-05

NORTH DAVIS COUNTY, Utah — Visitors to Antelope Island may be wondering why a huge trench and pipeline is under construction along the access road; it's part of the Antelope Causeway Pipeline Project to cleanse wastewater before it goes into the Great Salt Lake.

North Davis Sewer District is in charge of the project.

Its mission is to exceed E.P.A. standards so that the lake is safe for swimming, boating, and wading, as well as for the aquatic and avian life that depends on it.

Wastewater will be diverted from Farmington Bay to Gilbert Bay, which is better suited to receive nutrients, has fewer algae blooms, and more brine shrimp to eat algae that does grow there.

Water will continue to flow to Farmington Bay while the pipeline is constructed, estimated to be through September 2023.

Overflows of water into Gilbert Bay (anything over 34 million gallons a day) will still go into Farmington Bay.

A primary goal the District’s outfall to Gilbert Bay is to preserve its discharge to the Great Salt Lake to improve bird habitats and help communities around the lake.

This will change the bird habitat at Farmington Bay, but the District is working with state agencies and conservation groups on how best to preserve them.

Part of the pipeline project is a three-year program to control over 535 acres of the invasive Phragmites at its current discharge location in Farmington Bay.

This will open up 535 acres currently not available to waterfowl and shorebirds, therefore increasing their habitat.

Antelope Island will remain open throughout the construction.