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Water line mix-up cause of Syracuse water woes, city officials say

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Posted at 9:45 PM, Jun 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-08 23:45:35-04

SYRACUSE, Utah -- A water line mix-up seven years ago bubbled to the surface in Syracuse when the water tested positive for both E. coli and coliform, Friday.

Since then, city officials have learned the issue started years earlier on property where the Intermountain Syracuse Clinic now sits.

“It was kind of a problem that’d been sitting there for seven years that just now surfaced,” said Brody Bovero, Syracuse’s city manager.

Courtesy Tori Kimbell

Courtesy Tori Kimbell

According to Bovero, in 2008 a developer made an error when connecting the water lines on the property of the clinic.  The secondary water line on the land was connected to one of two culinary water lines along 2000 West, which means for years it was culinary water spraying the property grounds.

The reason no one noticed until now is because the line on the clinic’s property was capped on the end, meaning it did not flow anywhere else. It was not until a housing development opened last week that anyone else tried to use the water line.  The housing complex believed the clinic’s line was secondary, as it was said to be, and then mixed in their irrigation water with the culinary water flowing next door.

“Everyone was surprised. It had been sitting dormant,” Bovero said. “It wasn’t effecting anybody in a negative way for seven years and then here we are.”

An application for the project shows the developer at the time was the current Intermountain Healthcare Corporate Real Estate Director. However, a spokesman for Intermountain told FOX 13 that it was a today subcontractor that was in charge of the water lines, not them.

“We’re not going to speculate right now. There’s so many variables, again, it was seven years ago,” explained Bovero. “We have to rely on what was documented to find out what actually happened.”

The city plans to investigate what happened once they’ve addressed all water contamination issues.  In the last couple days, water tests show no traces of E. coli, however, coliform still remained in two samples.

They expect lift the boil order by Wednesday.