Elevated levels of a harmful bacteria in recently discovered in Utah Lake, Jordan River, and the Salt Lake County canal system, have prompted state and local agencies to restrict access to those bodies of water. The harmful bacteria is caused by an algal bloom originating in Utah Lake, and has migrating into the Jordan River and Salt Lake County canal system. State and local officials are monitoring waterways daily at various locations in at least two counties. Some of the basic questions and answers about this bloom are listed at the bottom of this update. The state of Utah today also published a link with answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs). Utah Department of Environmental Quality: FAQs Part 1 and FAQs Part 2 Salt Lake City drinking water is not impacted. For questions related to culinary water call 801-483-6900. Residents are strongly encouraged to avoid contact with water from these waterways, and to keep pets out of both the Jordan River and Liberty Park pond. Exposure can cause vomiting, nausea, and skin rashes. The toxins can cause neurological and liver damage if consumed. If you believe you have symptoms contact poison control at 1-800-222-1222. For pets/animals call SL County Animal Services at385-468-7387. It is difficult to know exactly how long this situation will last. Experts are monitoring the Jordan River and canal system and updates will be posted here.
Liberty Park Temporarily Closed for Safety
Out of an abundance of caution, Salt Lake City Parks and Public Lands is temporarily closing the pond at Liberty Park. The pond is partially fed by sources connected to the Jordan River water system. Though no visible signs of contamination have been found, the Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities has proactively taken water samples from the pond. The pond is serviced with “mixers” which continuously stir the water, which limits the possibility of algal contamination. The pond is being flushed with alternate sources of water and will be open for regular use when this is complete.
Note: No other water features in Liberty Park, including the Seven Canyons playground and the sprinkler system, are affected.
To receive updates on the status of the Jordan River and Utah Lake, be sure to choose the alert subscription for “Utah Lake” under “Utah County Alerts.” Utah County has added a tab for “Jordan River Alerts” for those in Utah and Salt Lake counties who would like ongoing information about the bloom.