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WATERLINE SHUT DOWN DUE TO CONTAMINATION

SHARE WATERLINE SHUT DOWN DUE TO CONTAMINATION

For the second time in three years, one of Riverton's culinary water sources has been shut down because of bacterial contamination.

City administrator William Way announced the action Friday after tests revealed the presence of fecal coliforms, or E. coli, in water from the Bear Canyon spring in Draper.The waterline supplies about 1 percent of the city's water, serving the area from 12100 South to 12700 South and from 1100 West to 1500 West. Way said the lines were cut off and the system flushed as soon as the problem was discovered late Wednesday.

The system was flushed a second time on Thursday, and subsequent tests showed a substantial reduction in the contamination, Way said.

However, because some of the contaminated water might be left in household lines, residents in the affected area were encouraged to purge their systems by running all water taps for at least five minutes.

According to Way, no one in the area has reported any symptoms associated with E. coli, which include diarrhea, cramps, nausea and possibly jaundice, headaches and fatigue.

"Fecal coliforms and E. coli are generally not harmful themselves, but their presence in drinking water is serious because they usually are associated with sewage or animal wastes," he said.

The Bear Canyon supply was shut down in early December 1991 after a similar contamination was discovered. The recurrence this year is leading officials to consider some long-term solutions.

Most of the city's water comes from protected and treated supplies from the Water Conservancy District and wells. Coming from an open source - a spring - the Bear Canyon system is more vulnerable to contamination from natural sources.

"Staff is evaluating the impact of the water supply on the city and ways to protect that supply and could have a recommendation for the City Council as early as next week," Way said.

One option is to simply eliminate Bear Canyon as a source of water, he said. "Since it provides less than 1 percent of our needs, that's a very real possibility," Way said.