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Water Quality

Hydroelectric dams are a source of clean energy because they produce no carbon air emissions and no solid or liquid wastes. But dams have environmental impacts, primarily related to their effects on river ecosystems and the fish and wildlife that live in those ecosystems.

Avista recognizes the role that clean, healthy rivers play in providing critical habitat and safe recreation. As part of our FERC license implementation on the Spokane and Clark Fork Rivers, we actively strive to monitor and improve water quality in and around our dams. Ongoing water quality measures include the research and monitoring of temperature, dissolved oxygen and total dissolved gases in the Spokane and Clark Fork rivers, as well as the study and management of erosion and invasive aquatic plants.

Avista must also comply with state water quality standards. Portions of the Spokane River, including Lake Spokane, have seasonal levels of dissolved oxygen that do not meet Washington State’s water quality standards. Avista is participating in the Washington State Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), along with a number of dischargers. Through the TMDL, Avista will look at a variety of solutions and improvements to address dissolved oxygen in Lake Spokane.

For more information about water quality programs at Avista, contact:

  • Clark Fork River Project: Tim Swant at 406-847-1282
  • Spokane River Project: Speed Fitzhugh at 509-495-4998

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