Sandy public utility director placed on paid administrative leave during investigation of tainted water

Posted at 5:54 PM, Feb 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-21 00:10:18-05

SANDY, Utah — The director of Sandy City’s public utilities announced on Wednesday that he will step away during an investigation of an incident that left drinking water tainted for hundreds of homes.

“I support bringing in an independent investigator to conduct a full analysis of the recent incidents. Due to the distraction of the media, I feel my ability to direct the public utilities department is being hampered, so I will be stepping away while the investigation is being conducted,” said Tom Ward, director of Sandy’s public utilities.

Sandy Mayor Kurt Bradburn said he supports Ward’s decision.

On February 6, a resident alerted the city to foul-tasting water, and testing showed elevated levels of manganese, aluminum, iron, arsenic, copper, lead and fluoride

The city said the issue started after a snowstorm hit Sandy. The storm caused a power outage. When the power came back on, their fluoride pump malfunctioned, allowing higher than normal levels of fluoride to flow into the water supply for about a day and a half.

A no-drink order was lifted on Sunday, and the city announced its plans to investigate the incident on Tuesday.