A dam constructed last year by the Springdale Consolidated Irrigation Co. has come under fire from former Mayor Bob Ralston as being unsafe and hazardous.
Ralston contends the reservoir was built on a site used as a dump for 70 years by the town and by Zion National Park.Ralston, seeking election to his old job, says possible hazardous waste may include DDT, lead paint and PCBs from electric transformers.
State Water Resources Board spokesman Dennis Strong said the agency did not know until after construction that the site may have been a landfill.
In comments published Thursday in The Daily Spectrum, he said that the agency was told about the possibility just six weeks ago.
However, Ken Gardner of ARIX Engineering in Salt Lake City, the firm hired by the irrigation company to design the dam, said he knew a dump was at the site, "but it was excavated prior to construction."
Strong said the matter has been referred to the Health Department's Bureau of Water Pollution Control.
As for hazardous wastes, irrigation company board member Ardell De Mille, a former national park employee, said none were dumped at the site.