SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Salt Lake City officials have announced the closure of Fairmont Park pond due to Mercury found during testing.
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall and Salt Lake City Director of Public Utilities Laura Briefer held a press conference Wednesday updating the public on what was found. They reassured the public that they don’t think there’s a risk of immediate danger at this time.
Out of an abundance of caution the city closed the pond and alerted neighbors. They ask that everyone, including children and pets avoid the pond until more testing is done. ABC4 News has learned the park will remain open and activities there will continue as planned.
Officials said a couple of weeks ago, community members found sheen on the water. When they went to figure out the cause, they said it was too difficult to tell. Officials used Envirocare to remove the water that was impacted by the sheen. When they tested that water, that is when they found the mercury.
Officials also told ABC4 News they received reports of dead ducks in the pond but they’re not sure if the two are related.
“This is not connected to Salt Lake City’s drinking water system at all. In fact, it’s not used for irrigation either, so the risk of exposure…we believe…is quite small but again we want to make sure we cover our bases,” Salt Lake City Director of Public Utilities Laura Briefer said.
Briefer said the concentrations that were detected in the water aren’t high in terms of exposure risk. The City is already working with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Utah Department of Health to identify any risks and figure out what the next steps should be.
The city is completing confirmation testing on the pond and expects to have an update by Thursday afternoon.