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Drinking water meets standards

City Hall’s drinking water in 2007 met federal standards for contaminants like arsenic, the Public Works Department says in a new report.

The department recently sent a brochure to a little more than 5,000 people who receive water bills. Jerry Gibbs, the Public Works director, says people drinking water delivered through the municipal system should be "confident in our water."

"We always thought quality was the key issue with water," Gibbs says.

Some of the highlights of the report include:

Antimony was found at between zero and 6 parts per million. Standards call for a maximum of 6 parts per million. Gibbs says water from the Spiro Tunnel water source contains antimony at levels exceeding the 6 parts per million standard, but Spiro Tunnel water is blended to reduce the antimony concentration.

The amount of arsenic ranges between 1.2 and 6.8 parts per billion, less than the 10 parts per billion standard.

Lead was found at levels between zero and 9 parts per billion. The standard calls for lead to be less than 15 parts per billion.

Fluoride was found at levels between zero and .2 parts per million, with the standard being 4 parts per million.

Other contaminants listed as being within allowed limits include lead, thallium, barium and cadmium.

City Hall previously had trouble with arsenic and antimony levels. The drinking-water system partly relies on underground sources, where the contaminants enter the water. Officials have long deemed water quality a priority.

State drinking-water officials require City Hall publish the report. The Public Works Department expected to post the report on its section of the local government’s Web site, http://www.parkcity.org.

For more information, call the Water Department at 615-5335.

Old Town designs discussed

The Park City Planning Commission recently continued its discussions about Old Town house designs, taking testimony from a few people who have closely followed the discussions.

The Planning Commissioners were not scheduled to make decisions about a set of proposed updates to guidelines in the historic district, however. Testimony was weighted toward people who design houses in the neighborhood.

Some speakers criticized City Hall for deciding to update the rules.

David Belz, who is building the Parkwood Place development near the Town Lift, wondered whether input will matter to officials. He said it is a "foregone conclusion" that the local government will change the guidelines and said City Hall has not publicized the discussions well enough.

Other testimony included that houses built decades ago were shabbily constructed and that City Hall should be careful if it tries to further restrict the size of houses in Old Town. One speaker asked what is wrong with the current guidelines.

Paul de Groot, who designs houses in Old Town, said officials want to preserve buildings in the neighborhood even though what became Old Town was years ago a "slum" and a "shanty town."

The proposed updated guidelines have stirred architects, house designers and Old Town residents, but there has been little interest from outside the neighborhood. The proposal includes wide-ranging changes to the guidelines, including tighter regulations on additions to houses.

The next meeting about the guidelines is slated on Aug. 7, when the Park City Council, Planning Commissioners and members of the Historic Preservation Board are scheduled to discuss them during a rare gathering of the three panels.

Compiled by Jay Hamburger


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