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Delta, Utah

Delta, Utah
Location in Millard County and the state of Utah.
Location in Millard County and the state of Utah.
Country United States
State Utah
County Millard
Settled 1906
Named for Delta of the Sevier River
 • Total 3.2 sq mi (8.2 km2)
 • Land 3.2 sq mi (8.2 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 4,639 ft (1,414 m)
Population (2012)
 • Total 3,457
Time zone Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
ZIP code 84624
Area code(s) 435
FIPS code 49-18910[1]
GNIS feature ID 1427334[2]

Delta is a city in Millard County, Utah, United States. The population was 3,436 at the 2010 census.


  • History 1
    • Topaz Relocation Camp 1.1
    • Great Basin Museum 1.2
    • Gunnison Massacre Site 1.3
  • Geography 2
    • Sevier River and Lake 2.1
    • DMAD 2.2
    • Gunnison Bend Reservoir 2.3
  • Demographics 3
  • Economy 4
    • Intermountain Power Project (IPP) 4.1
    • Brush Wellman 4.2
    • Graymont Lime 4.3
    • Alfalfa 4.4
    • Dairy 4.5
    • LiquaDry 4.6
  • Science 5
    • Cosmic Ray Center 5.1
    • Fossils and minerals 5.2
  • Entertainment 6
    • Snow Goose Festival 6.1
    • Demolition Derby 6.2
    • Days of the Old West Rodeo 6.3
    • Annual celebrations 6.4
  • Climate 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Settlement of Delta began in 1907 on townlots that had been laid out in 1906.[3] The town was originally called Burtner.

Topaz Relocation Camp

During World War II, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, tens of thousands of Japanese-Americans were gathered up and placed in ten incarceration camps with the intention of protecting military installations from espionage. One of these camps, then titled Central Utah Relocation Center was located near Delta and filled with former residents of the San Francisco Bay Area.[4]

Great Basin Museum

A history of the area is kept and displayed at The Great Basin Museum.[5]

Gunnison Massacre Site

Two markers at the Gunnison site, 2008

John Williams Gunnison was leading a federal surveying team near the Sevier Lake. He was ambushed by the Pahvant Indians and killed.


Delta is located at (39.353145, −112.573656).[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.2 square miles (8.2 km2), all land.

Sevier River and Lake

The Sevier River flows near Delta. The Sevier River is generally used by irrigation before it reaches its eventual end, the dry Sevier Lake.


DMAD are the initials for the Deseret Melville Abraham and Delta water company.

Just upstream of Delta, the Sevier River is dammed to provide irrigation water, reservoir storage, and cooling water for IPP, Intermountain Power Project. This reservoir is referred to as the DMAD.

Agriculture is a major economic force in Delta and the Sevier valley.

Gunnison Bend Reservoir

Downstream of Delta, the Sevier River is dammed again for irrigation and reservoir storage. This reservoir is named Gunnison Bend Reservoir, in honor of John Williams Gunnison.


Christmas Parade in Delta (2007)

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 3,209 people, 1,006 households, and 780 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,018.3 people per square mile (393.3/km2). There were 1,106 housing units at an average density of 351.0 per square mile (135.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.61% White, 0.06% African American, 0.97% Native American, 0.12% Asian, 0.28% Pacific Islander, 3.15% from other races, and 0.81% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.10% of the population.

There were 1,006 households out of which 48.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.3% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.4% were non-families. 20.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.15 and the average family size was 3.71.

In the city the population was spread out with 38.7% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 24.3% from 25 to 44, 18.1% from 45 to 64, and 10.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 103.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $37,773, and the median income for a family was $43,952. Males had a median income of $37,340 versus $21,369 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,273. About 10.1% of families and 13.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.5% of those under age 18 and 5.4% of those age 65 or over.


Intermountain Power Project (IPP)

Intermountain Power Project as seen from the air, 2008

One of the main sources of income for Delta is a power plant operated by the Intermountain Power Agency, known as the Intermountain Power Project or I.P.P. It is also referred to as Intermountain Power Service Corporation or I.P.S.C. This coal-powered power plant supplies power for much of Los Angeles county in California. The plant was originally designed for four units, but only two have been built. Each unit produces 900 megawatts of electricity.

Brush Wellman

Brush Wellman is a mine and refining plant located at one of the few sources of concentrated beryllium in the world. The plant is a mill and finishing facility for beryllium, a high-strength, lightweight metal used in military, aerospace, and medical industries. The ore for the plant comes from Brush Wellman's mine, located in the Topaz-Spor Mountains, 50 miles west, which is North America's only developed source for the metal. The facility is located here due to the remoteness of the area, as beryllium dust is highly toxic, and the proximity of a large source of power: the Intermountain Power Project.

Graymont Lime

Graymont Lime has a plant in the Cricket Mountains, about 32.5 miles southwest of Delta. It is one of the 10 largest lime plants in the United States. It was previously owned by Continental Lime which was purchased by Graymont Lime.


Alfalfa hay is the main crop of the Delta area. Because of Delta's dry climate, the farmers are able to control the alfalfa hay's moisture when it is baled. This is very important to prohibit mold growth.


Delta is home to many dairy farmers who may ship the milk out of the county.



Cosmic Ray Center

Delta is home to the Lon and Mary Watson Cosmic Ray Center, the main staging area for the Telescope Array experiment.[9]

Fossils and minerals

A great attraction of Millard County's economy is the digging of fossils. Trilobite fossils are relatively common in the region west of Delta (part of the House Range's Wheeler Shale). A number of local companies maintain fossil dig areas where they allow visitors to dig their own fossils for a small fee.

Near Delta is a mountain called Topaz Mountain which derives its name from the topaz that is abundant in the area. Other minerals and rocks that are prevalent near Delta include obsidian, opal, and geodes.

Topaz Mountain


Snow Goose Festival

The Snow goose Festival occurs every winter as the geese migrating through Delta stop at Gunnison Bend Reservoir. For more information on the Snow Goose Festival, see

Demolition Derby

Each July 4, the Hinckley Lions Club sponsors a demolition derby at the Millard County Fairgrounds. The derby attracts crowds in excess of 3,000 people. It is one of the largest derbies in the United States with up to eleven rounds of competition including pickup trucks, figure 8 compact car competition, powder puff, a championship round and a wipe out round. Following the derby, there is a fireworks display sponsored by Delta City.

Days of the Old West Rodeo

A Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) Rodeo every year. See Days of the Old West PRCA Rodeo for more information.

Annual celebrations

Over the years Delta has created town-wide traditions by sponsoring the following activities (see Delta City Website):

  • 4th of July Celebration with parade down main street and patriotic program in the park
  • December Light parade during the holiday season
  • New year celebration


Delta experiences an arid/semi-arid climate with hot summers and cold winters. Due to Delta's altitude and aridity, temperatures drop quickly after sunset, especially in the summer. Winters are cold. Daytime highs in the winter are usually above freezing, but nighttime lows drop well below freezing, occasionally falling below zero. Delta's climate is similar to that of Salt Lake City, but much more arid.

Climate data for Delta, Utah.
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 64
Average high °F (°C) 38.5
Average low °F (°C) 13.5
Record low °F (°C) −25
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.56
Average snowfall inches (cm) 6.1
Source: The Western Regional Climate Center[10]


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names".  
  3. ^ Andrew Jenson. Encyclopedic History of the Church. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1941) p. 179
  4. ^
  5. ^ Great Basin Museum
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  9. ^ Cosmic Ray Visitor Center Opens
  10. ^ "Seasonal Temperature and Precipitation Information". Western Regional Climate Center. Retrieved March 24, 2013. 

External links

  • Official website
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