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Sandy City water contamination

February 20, 2019

A water contamination in Sandy Utah strikes close to home for Utahns as Sandy city officials have advised people within certain areas of the city to not drink water or use it for cooking until further notice.

What Happened

The contamination stems from an inadvertent release of undiluted fluoride on February 6. It is speculated that the undiluted high concentrations of fluoride was pumped into the system for about 36 to 48 hours. This unintended release has led to high levels of lead, copper and fluoride in parts of the city’s water systems. 

The contaminated water has sickened a 3 month-old baby and several other people. One Utah family reported that their 3 year-old daughter tested “high” for levels of lead at their pediatrician’s office. 

Did Sandy Officials Know About The Water Contamination?

It has been reported that the Utah Division of Drinking Water had suggested to Sandy city officials all last week to quickly test and complete results that would indicate the quantity of lead or copper contamination on February 6. The delay and failure to adequately notify the public lead the division to cite the city, along with an additional citation for exceeding safe fluoride levels.

Marie Owens, Director of the Division of Drinking Water, has been reported as saying that the impacted area has expanded twice in size since the initial discovery and now includes up to six schools, care centers and a recreation. It is estimated that more than 450 households are impacted.

The delay and incompletion of water sampling led the city to declare the water safe to drink on February 11, causing uninformed citizens to continue consuming contaminated water. These inconsistencies have led some Sandy City community members to question the city’s control of the situation. 

Whats Being Done

In response to the Sandy City water contamination, Governor Gary Herbert released the following statement.

“I am deeply concerned about the health of those families who have been affected by this contamination. This is why I have directed our Utah Departments of Environmental Quality, Health and Public Safety to work closely with Sandy City and the Salt Lake County Health Department to ensure that every precaution is taken to protect the safety and health of our citizens.”

While recent samples taken from sites show the level of copper and lead has dropped, residents are still strongly encouraged to not drink or cook the water until notified. Boiling water actually increases metal concentrations. 

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, there are no safe levels of lead for children. Lead is absorbed at a faster rate in children and can cause damage to children’s nervous systems, brains and other organs. Lead poisoning may also lead to additional health, learning and behavioral problems. 

How Often Does This Happen?

Contaminations like the Sandy City water contamination happen more than you might think, this water scare in Sandy occurs just several months before the 5-year anniversary of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Although Flint’s water system was contaminated in early 2014, recent reports show that as of January 2019, the water in Flint is still unsafe to drink. The Flint water crisis is widely known for its insufficient water treatment, exposing over 100,000 residents.

How Can I Protect Myself and My Family From Contaminated Tap Water?

With a whole home water filtration system from Superior Water & Air you can rest assured that your tap water is free from contaminates and hard minerals. We offer a variety of water purifiers, water softeners, and water refiners to get you the purest drink straight from the tap.

Can I Drink Tap Water In Sandy, Utah

The only way to know for sure is to schedule an in-home water analysis, one of our water treatment specialists will come to your home and test your water for contaminants.

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