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Park City Water Quality Study Published

KPCW/Leslie Thatcher

The Park City water quality department has recently had its research published on how to prevent a situation that Sandy City recently went through – when heavy metals were released throughout the city’s drinking water. 

On two separate occasions, residents living in Thaynes Canyon and Iron Canyon experienced a situation very similar to what happened recently in Sandy City – their drinking water became unpotable due to heavy metal contamination.

The Park City water department learned a lot form those two incidents, now more than 10 years ago and Water Quality Manager Michelle DeHaan says she’s now confident something like that won’t happen again.

“Our mission here is to ensure safe drinking water for the community and when that occurred in 2007 and 2010, the city  took it very seriously and really invested in technology and high quality professional staff that understand water quality. And what we figured out is that we know the water quality in our system, and we understand it - we know how to monitor for it, and we have done a very good job in ensuring that this  does not happen again.”

The city has instituted a two-prong approach to control the potential for another metals release in its water distribution system…

“One is that we have a very active flushing program and the goal of that is to remove any loose metal scale from the distribution system like iron is an example. And then the other practice that we have is our corrosion control practice that's been published recently - including data from our system - where if we have high chlorine residual levels, or higher than what some water systems might have but moderate, and then considering a lot of water systems throughout the United States, then we can actually have those formed metal scales remain on the pipe walls. And that's a very important strategy that we have been able to measure and prove that is working for our system.

--OK so it stays on the wall until we go out and do the one way flushing of it? That's exactly right.”

City manager Diane Foster says it’s important to her that the council be kept abreast of the steps the water department is taking to ensure water quality.

 “The reason Michelle is on the agenda this week is because transparency around water quality is so important to  the community. We don't have any issues right now, but this is telling about why we don't have any issues and the good steps that are team is taking.”

The water quality report will be presented at the city council’s meeting during work session Thursday 5:15p.m.