In 2021, a pioneering boat decontamination dip tank was installed at Lake Powell to combat the invasive quagga mussels. Since then, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR), Clean Wake LLC, and Utah State Parks have expanded this initiative, installing four additional dip tanks across Utah. The most recent installations include new dip tanks at Willard Bay State Park and the Lake Powell Bullfrog Marina.

Garrett Atwood and Jonas Hyita, founders of Clean Wake LLC, developed the dip tank in collaboration with the DWR's aquatic invasive species team. Their goal was to create a more efficient method of decontaminating boats to prevent the spread of quagga mussels. This innovative system features a tank, pumphouse, and heating and filtration mechanisms, earning patents in both the U.S. and Canada in 2022.

The traditional method of manually spraying boats with hot water during inspections and decontaminations was labor-intensive and less effective. The dip tank, however, allows boaters to back their trailers into a 14-foot wide, 5-foot deep tank filled with 110-degree water. This method flushes complex intake systems more thoroughly and effectively. The tank includes guiding tracks to assist boaters in positioning their trailers, and its filtration and pump system refreshes the water every two hours. The entire decontamination process takes only 5-10 minutes. However, two people are required to operate the system: one to maneuver the boat trailer and another to handle the boat’s systems.


"The dip tank systems have been invaluable in our efforts to stop the spread of invasive quagga mussels and other invasive species," said DWR Aquatic Invasive Species Lt. Bruce Johnson. "They are much more effective and faster at decontaminating boats with complex systems and require less training for our staff. We are grateful for the ingenuity of Clean Wake LLC, our partnership with various agencies, and the legislative support that made these dip tanks possible."

The dip tanks are free to use and conveniently located near state park entrances or boat ramps. The current locations of these dip tanks in Utah are:

  • Lake Powell — Stateline Launch Ramp at Wahweap Marina (May 2021)
  • Utah Lake State Park (May 2023)
  • Sand Hollow State Park (October 2023)
  • Lake Powell — Bullfrog Marina (May 2024)
  • Willard Bay State Park (May 2024)

“Tens of thousands of people visit our state parks for boating activities each year,” said Utah State Parks Associate Director Devan Chavez. “These dip tanks help improve visitor experience by decreasing wait times while also helping protect the water systems in and around these recreational areas.”


“We are thrilled that this system has been successful and are excited to partner with the DWR to make the dip tank available at additional sites across Utah,” said Atwood. “This all stemmed from our love of Lake Powell, and we are pleased that our system has made it easier for everyone to enjoy these boating areas by more efficiently preventing the spread of quagga mussels.”

All five dip tanks, including the new ones at Bullfrog and Willard Bay, will be operational by Memorial Day weekend and remain open until Labor Day weekend. A sixth dip tank is set to be installed at Flaming Gorge Reservoir's Lucerne Valley Marina by the end of the summer.

Why Quagga Mussels Are Harmful:

  • They clog water lines, even those with large diameters.
  • In water delivery systems, their removal can cost millions annually, potentially increasing utility bills.
  • They deplete plankton from the water, harming fish species.
  • They can damage boat engines by fouling the cooling systems.
  • Dead mussels produce a foul odor, and their sharp shells can cut feet on beaches.

For more information on boater requirements and preventing the spread of quagga mussels and other aquatic invasive species, visit the STD of the Sea website.

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