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Dumping at river loud but not bright

WEST VALLEY CITY -- A 30-year-old businessman was caught Tuesday night disposing chemicals into the Jordan River that caused explosions and small fires, police say.

An officer was responding to a call at a nearby industrial park when he heard three or four explosions at the Jordan River Park, 1037 W. 2320 South about 11 p.m., said West Valley Police Lt. Lance Call.The officer said he heard and felt the explosions four blocks away and saw a low-lying cloud of smoke from the explosions. Call said the officer saw the man get into his vehicle and drive away. The officer pulled him over and the man told him about his company, Powerball Technologies. The man told police he was disposing of his leftover sodium hydride from a paint can used to make his product, Call said.

Powerball Technologies, located at 2095 W. 2200 S. in West Valley City, consists of a powerball production center along with a powerball tank manufacturing and testing facility, according to its Website.

Powerballs are pingpong-size polyethylene coated sodium hydride pellets that react with water to produce hydrogen.

Call said police served a search warrant at the man's business to see if he had any criminal intentions with his product.

"It was nothing more than an industrial situation with no criminal intent," Call said. "He wasn't showing good judgment in disposing of the extra product."

Call said the West Valley City Fire Department will also inspect the business for proper handling of the product.

The man was not arrested. Call said investigators will meet to determine if additional action will be taken.