Municipal water deemed OK to drink
November 23, 2010
City Hall said midday Monday the municipal water was OK to drink in neighborhoods that had been under an advisory not to do so since Nov. 8, a step that came as skiers and Thanksgiving vacationers were descending on Park City.
Kathy Lundborg, the water manager, said people could also safely use the water to bathe. Lundborg said tests conducted on the water on Monday showed the contaminants had dropped sharply from the height of the problems.
Lundborg said thallium levels in the Iron Mountain neighborhood remained above drinking-water standards. The level, though, was below the figure that would trigger a short-term health advisory. That means people who drink the water will not suffer health effects, she said. Lundborg said crews will continue to cleanse the system in that neighborhood.
Mercury, arsenic and manganese had also been found in the municipal water in November.
"I’m confident it’s fixed for now. We’re going to keep monitoring," Lundborg said.
Jugs of water, which City Hall distributed to people in the affected neighborhoods during the episode, are no longer available.
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Public Works Department crews have cleaned the water pipes in the neighborhoods under the advisory daily since Nov. 7 by sending fast-moving water through them in a process known as flushing. The process is meant to dislodge contaminants that might have built up on the surface of the water lines. The crews have been seen releasing water from hydrants during the flushes.
Lundborg said City Hall will continue to investigate what caused the contaminants to enter the water. She said officials suspect the cause is related to a shift in the water sources that occurred at about the same time as the water became discolored.
She said officials stopped using water from the Spiro Tunnel source as Park City Mountain Resort turned on its snow-making system. At that time, the Public Works Department switched to the Thiriot Springs water source.
Lundborg said the Judge Tunnel water source was in use early in the week.
The advisory affected a stretch of neighborhoods along the S.R. 224 entryway, roughly between the McPolin Farm and Park City Mountain Resort.