Utah report details how tainted water was released to homes

February 6, 2020 GMT

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A new report detailed how pipes in some Utah homes were flooded with water tainted by excess fluoride.

The analysis released Thursday outlined how a fluoridation pump malfunction occurred in Sandy in February 2019, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.

The 181-page investigative review was mandated by the Utah Division of Drinking Water and the Salt Lake County Health Department.

Residents reported gastrointestinal problems and pain after drinking the water.

Fluoride is beneficial in small doses but unsafe levels can cause a number of health issues, experts said.

The private firm that compiled the report identified the main causes as a faulty safety flow switch and a pump set to manual during a computer hardware upgrade.

Officials originally concluded the pump malfunctioned because of a power outage.

There were also errors in communication with residents, the report said.

The report provided the city with “valuable insight into the causes of the fluoride overfeed event and identifies improvements,” Sandy Public Utilities Director Tom Ward said in a statement.

“Sandy City is systematically implementing these recommendations and will continue to work diligently with county and state regulators to ensure Sandy drinking water is safe,” Ward said.