‘Slide the City’ approved for Salt Lake, must meet health guidelines

Posted at 1:14 PM, Jun 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-16 15:22:53-04

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - A giant water slide will return to the streets of Salt Lake City this summer.

The Salt Lake County Board of Health approved the "Slide the City" event again but with several conditions this year.

It was a close vote, 7 to 5, to give the slide a green light.

Health officials said they have several concerns including people getting hurt.

They cited injuries from similar recent events across the country.

In Pittsburgh another rider hit a girl and caused her to lose two teeth.

Four people in Florida went to the hospital for broken bones and chest pain after crashing into other riders.

But organizers said they have made significant changes since last year's event that should keep the riders safe.

Participants must now sign waivers that require them to wear helmets and mouth guards.

Also, riders may not stand up but go down the padded slide in a tube.

"It's no different than skiing down a slope or doing one of these mud races," Slide the City organizer David Wulf said. "There's just inherent risks and we try to mitigate that as much as possible and do the best we can with it."

One of the board's other big concerns is the water itself.

Authorities are questioning where the 6,000 to 9,000 gallons of recirculated water is going to come from and how it will be treated.

Also, where will the waste water be disposed?

"The board I think sent the message that they want to see a variance granted given that Slide the City can meet those requirements and they've indicated that they can," Salt Lake County Health Dept. Executive Director Gary Edwards Said.

The board can cancel the event if promoters don't follow through on the health guidelines.

Changes "Slide the City" must make include adding extra staff along the slide and providing changing rooms.

The slide promoters have offered to pay for a health inspector to oversee the water testing.

If all requirements are met, "Slide the City" should be up and running Aug. 22.

MORE: Click here for complete details on "Slide the City" in SLC