- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 1, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Eagle Mountain officials said Wednesday they will flush about 1.2 million gallons of water in a city reservoir that was broken into earlier this week even though tests revealed the water was not contaminated

Draining the water into a nearby wash will cost the city about $1,000 in lost revenues, said Eagle Mountain public works director Dave Norman. He said state officials agreed that it was a good precautionary measure. It will occur next week at the earliest, he said.

The reservoir is mainly used during the busy summer months and drained each fall anyway, he said. The water will drain into a wash that leads to Utah Lake, about 5-6 miles away, Norman said.

Residents had to forego showers and stockpile bottled water after a hiker discovered the break-in Monday, raising fears about the security of the water supply. On Tuesday night, city officials revealed tests confirmed there were no contaminants, and residents were allowed to go back to using the water.

The city is also planning on spending an unknown amount on additional security measures at the reservoir, a large, below-ground swimming pool with a concrete lid covered by dirt that sits in remote foothills above Eagle Mountain. The city of about 23,000 people about 40 miles south of Salt Lake City.

City officials plan to meet with private companies soon to evaluate options and pricing for sensors, video and alarms to avoid a future break-ins.

They have already begun sending staff to do daily checks at the facility and know for sure they want to buy a sensor for the metal hatch that sits above the ground and provides access to the reservoir, Norman said.

The Utah County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident but doesn’t have many clues to go on, said Sgt. Spencer Cannon. There were no fingerprints found or tire tracks near the reservoir, he said.

It appears somebody wiggled through a chain link fence around the reservoir and then broke through a locked gate on the metal hatch, Cannon said.

“We’re hoping whoever did it was just an unwise teenager and that maybe they’ll mention it to a friend or put it on Facebook or something,” Cannon said.

Tampering with a public water system is a federal offense that carries penalties of up to 20 years in prison and $1 million fine.

Eagle Mountain city officials will also meet soon to reassess how they alerted residents to the possible contamination and what can be done better if it happen again, Norman said.

Residents were alerted about the possible contamination on Monday by email and social media posts, and electronic message boards were posted around the city Monday night.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide