Why is the Sugar House Park pond green?

Posted at 9:13 AM, Oct 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-13 11:14:45-04

SUGAR HOUSE, Utah -- The pond at Sugar House Park looks like an eye sore, and no longer a pond according to people there.

"It's gross and makes me want to enjoy any other part of the park but this part," said a mother with her little 7-month-old baby and friend sitting on a blanket at the park.

"Everyone knows how beautiful Sugar House Park is, but when you come here and see this... It's awful," said Holly Marsh.

There are multiple signs up around the park that warn about the toxic algae and growing avian botulism that made a dog so sick last summer it almost died.

"Since it’s smelly and dogs are getting sick I think it’s worth cleaning it up," said another park-goer, Sammi Alan.

Salt Lake County Parks and Rec spokesperson Callie Birdsall explained her department had to shut off the irrigation two weeks earlier than usual causing the algae to grow and spread faster and more visibly.

"Salt Lake City actually needed to provide secondary water to the residents during the algae blooms in the Utah Lake so they needed the water supply to get further down the stream so they had to activate the pumps, which hasn’t been done in five to six years and that’s why the water is a little lower," said Birdsall.

The city drains the pond every year but it needs to be dredged.

"Dredging this pond is, it’s scraping this pond so that’s six to eight-feet it would take off the bottom of this pond," said Birdsall.

The last time it was dredged she said was back in 1991 or 1992, and it should be dredged every ten to fifteen years. She said it will cost the county $500,000 to do it.

"It creates a more healthier environment for children and animals," said Birdsall.

The dredging process is listed as part of Proposition A on the November ballot.

"It definitely needs to happen, it’s been needing to happen a really long time," said Birdsall.