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Sugar House Park pond to be drained early amid Utah drought

Geese walk around as a dead duck floats in the pond at Sugar House Park in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012. The pond will be drained early this year due to low water levels that could breed bacteria, authorities said.

Geese walk around as a dead duck floats in the pond at Sugar House Park in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012. The pond will be drained early this year due to low water levels that could breed bacteria, authorities said. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)



SALT LAKE CITY — The pond at Sugar House Park will be drained early due to low water levels that could breed bacteria, authorities said Monday.

The pond is usually drained in the fall, but Parleys Creek, which feeds into the pond, is now totally dry and the pond's water level is low, according to a news release from Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation.

The low water level and hot weather have led to bacteria outbreaks of avian botulism in previous years, officials said. There is no current threat to human or pet health at the pond, according to the release.

Parks officials say the pond was dredged in 2018 in an attempt to increase the water depth in order to prevent avian botulism.

The pond is scheduled to be drained this week, according to Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation spokesman Clayton Scrivner.

Nearly all of Utah is in at least extreme drought this year as snowpack levels were far lower than normal over the winter, according to federal drought monitors. Almost two-thirds of the state is in exceptional drought, the most severe drought rating issued by the federal government.

As of last week, 26 of Utah's 44 largest reservoirs were at 55% capacity or lower, according to state officials.

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