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Dirty dog pond leads to a lawsuit

Taylorsville city is suing a Colorado corporation after some features they designed for Millrace Park could possibly violate federal and state regulations.

In 2000, city officials contracted Washington Infrastructure Services Inc. to perform engineering services for the construction of a new city park located near 5400 South and 1150 West. One of the features included in the design was an off-leash dog area with a water feature that dogs could play in. The pond is filled with culinary water and is designed to drain into the storm drain system, which then empties into the Jordan River.

Beginning this year, Taylorsville received reports from state and local health agencies stating they had "detected high levels of bacteria, dissolved solids, surfactants and anaerobic microbes in the Jordan River and that the possible source of such contamination was the dog pond," court documents state.

According to the lawsuit filed Friday in 3rd District Court, the Salt Lake Valley Health Department told the city that discharging the pond into the river may be a violation of the federal Clean Water Act or other state and local environmental and health regulations, and could cost them up to $10,000 per day in penalties.

Since these findings, Taylorsville city has opted not to refill the pond until the issue can be resolved. Possible solutions to the problem include retrofitting the pond with a filtration/chlorination system.

The city is asking that Washington Infrastructure Services, Inc. provide services to bring the pond, and its drainage system, into compliance with regulations, according to the lawsuit.