Grand reopening celebrates completion of cleanup efforts

Posted at 5:25 PM, May 24, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-24 19:25:26-04

WILLARD BAY, Utah -- Willard Bay is officially opened this Memorial Day, after a yearlong clean-up effort to rid its beaches of oil.

In March of 2013, 27,500 gallons of diesel fuel spilled along the reservoir.

“It's been closed for almost a year now, and it's nice to see it back open” said Tage Flint, general manager of Weber Basin Water Conservancy District.

When the Chevron pipeline spilled thousands of gallons of crude oil into the marshes along Willard Bay, it was a beaver's dam that kept it from reaching the larger reservoir.
Saturday, the park dedicated and re-opened the nature trail near Eagle's Beach, which is the area most affected by the spill.

“The cleanup process is over, there is still some growing of plants and things like that, it takes time to get all that back. The cleanup is early. It is safe to come out and open and accessible,” said James Morgan, park manager at Willard Bay State Park.

For several months during the cleanup, Willard Bay remained closed, but even after the major cleanup was over people were reluctant to get in the water.

“We've dealt with many questions about the quality of the water in the reservoir, is it safe for recreating? Is it safe to put into our water systems? Those kinds of things, and we've done testing over and over again to assure that is the case,” Flint said.