SANDY — Salt Lake County Health officials say two weeks of testing involving more than 700 residents showed only one individual with elevated levels of lead in a blood sample in the aftermath of a fluoride contamination event in early February.
The free testing was offered from Feb. 23-March 8 to affected residents in a portion of Sandy where fluoride concentrate entered the drinking water system due to a pump malfunction Feb. 6 after a power outage.
According to a press release from the Salt Lake County Health Department, the one individual who tested above the Centers for Disease Control action level is an adult over the age of 65 with other possible exposures to lead; their blood lead level was 5.1 micrograms per deciliter.
“We extend our thanks to Intermountain Healthcare for providing this service to these residents,” said Gary Edwards, the health department’s executive director. “We are grateful that these results confirm for those screened that any potential exposure to elevated levels of lead in this incident was indeed brief enough to not cause elevated blood lead levels.”
The city was issued violations from the Utah Division of Drinking Water in connection with the event, including inadequate public notification and excess fluoride in drinking water.
It will also have to undergo increased sampling for lead and other heavy materials, submit an illness report the state and complete an analysis of any corrosion that may have happened to that portion of the drinking water system.
Sandy officials hired an independent attorney to conduct an investigation of how it handled the water situation and issued a request for proposals to probe the handling of communications and emergency response.