Sandy City public utilities director to step aside for duration of water investigation

Local News

SANDY (ABC4 News) – Sandy City announced personnel changes amid its recent water contamination issues.

The city’s public utilities director, Tom Ward, will be put on paid administrative leave as an investigation continues into recent incidents.

City drinking water developed elevated levels of lead, copper, and fluoride after a pump malfunction earlier this month. 

“As the director of the public utilities and a water provider, my first responsibility is public health. My second responsibility to the City of Sandy is the confidence in your water supply. I am confident that my staff and I have restored public health and the drinking water in Sandy is safe. To support public confidence, however, I support bringing in an independent investigator to conduct a full analysis of the recent incidents.

Due to the distraction of the media, I fell my ability to direct the public utilities department is being hampered, so I’ll be stepping away while the investigation is being conducted. I have the utmost trust in the mayor and the city staff will continue to provide excellent service to Sandy residents,” said Ward during a news conference at Sandy City Hall Wednesday.

Sandy City Mayor Kurt Bradburn followed Ward with a brief statement of his own.

“As the mayor of Sandy, I support Tom’s decision to step away at this time. It’s important that we allow the fact-gathering process to play out, and the best way to do that is through an independent investigation. Tom will be put on paid administrative leave until we get a better understanding of exactly what happened. My commitment to all of our residents, as it has been from the beginning, is to take whatever steps necessary to ensure that we regain their trust and confidence moving forward,” said Bradburn. 

Sandy City Council voted unanimously Tuesday evening to move forward with an investigation into the recent water issues. An outside entity will fully investigate the technical aspects, health effects, communication from city officials to the public and emergency response.

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