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Park City road reopens after toxic chemical spill

Posted at 11:30 AM, Mar 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-01 14:32:04-05

PARK CITY, Utah — Park City Fire District officials have reopened a road that had been closed Thursday night, blocking access to and from homes for some residents.

The fire agency reported Bitner Rd. had to be closed due to accidental spillage of 20,000 pounds of calcium oxide, also known as “quicklime,” which is a powdery chemical substance used in a variety of industries.

Due to the spill, residents in the Canyon Creek Club and Blackhawk Station areas were unable to travel to or from their homes.

As of Friday morning, crews are still working on the cleanup process, but the majority of the quicklime has been removed and the road has been deemed safe for travel.

A spokesman for the Summit County Health Department said the spill occurred along most of the length of Bitner Rd.

The Summit County Health Department offered the following information for those who may have been exposed to the chemical:

Lime residue from the agricultural lime spill on Bitner Road presents no immediate or serious hazards to the public or environmental health. The Summit County Health Department has worked to ensure residents may safely travel through the area during cleanup. However, a number of precautions should be taken to reduce the risk of skin irritation to residents and pets and to reduce the risk of damageto clothing and vehicles. At this time, the pH of the lime mixture is similar to that of soapy water.

– Lime residue can cause mild irritation when it comes into contact with skin or eyes and should be wiped or rinsed off.
– Lime residue may stain footwear and clothing and should be removed by normal washing as soon as possible.
– Lime residue will not eat through the soles of shoes but should be wiped off to prevent residue from being tracked indoors and into vehicles.
– Shoes should be left outside until the can be cleaned with soap and water.
– Do not allow pets to drink from any puddles in the area.
– If a pet walks through an area with lime residue, wipe off their feet with soap and water when possible.
– Vehicles that collect lime residue can be washed off through regular means.
– Driveways may be rinsed to remove/dilute lime residue. When possible, residents should prevent lime from entering storm drains. Lime residue presents no threat to grass, plants or trees.