Fluoride Action Network

Fluoride spill advisory lifted for Parleys Creek

Source: The Salt Lake Tribune | September 3rd, 2007 | By Nathan C. Gonzalez
Location: United States, Utah
  • A A A
  • Officials on Sunday lifted an advisory telling people and pets to avoid Parleys Creek from Mountain Dell Reservoir to Tanner Park after 1,500 gallons of fluoride emptied into a nearby pond Friday morning.
    Salt Lake City utility officials believe a faulty gasket is to blame for the chemical leaking from a storage tank at the the Mountain Dell water treatment plant, said Stephanie Duer, a spokeswoman for the city’s Department of Public Utilities.
    An estimated 1,500 gallons of the chemical flowed into a pond near the Mountain Dell Reservoir, Duer said. Officials lined the pond with sandbags to ensure contaminated water would not be released. But Duer said the advisory was prompted by concern the spill might have contaminated Parleys Creek, which flows through Tanner Park, Sugar House Park and Hidden Hollow and drains into the Jordan River.
    The contaminated pond water was neutralized and returned into a sludge bed at the treatment plant, where the remaining water will evaporate.
    Duer said fluoride levels in the creek were monitored and "never reached levels that were dangerous or harmful."
    Fluoride is added to drinking water and other products, including toothpaste, to strengthen teeth. Officials said Friday the concentrated release of the chemical could cause skin irritation.
    The initial advisory was issued through Wednesday. The warning was issued in part due to the fluoride and in part due to water being released from the Mountain Dell Reservoir to flush the chemical from the creek, Duer said.
    There have been no reports of damage to wildlife, aquatic life, or surrounding environments due the the spill, according to Duer. A widespread fish kill occurred in Parleys Creek in June, when officials measured high levels of nitrates in the water, but did not discover where any type of dumping or spill might have occurred.