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Pond in SLC park back open after testing shows no mercury contamination

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Posted at 7:39 PM, Sep 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-13 21:57:00-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The pond at Fairmont Park reopened Monday after testing found no mercury contamination after all.

Initial testing last week showed the presence of mercury in the pond. The Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities called it "potential contamination" at the time and advised residents to stay away from the pond until confirmation testing returned with a more accurate result.

Then on Saturday, the department announced that further tests showed no evidence of contamination.

Saturday's announcement said the city conducted an additional round of testing, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also performed a round of "comprehensive testing." These test results indicated no evidence of mercury contamination, but the city is waiting to reopen the pond until the EPA's additional round of test results return.

On Monday, the city reopened the pond.

“We are pleased with the positive outcome of the extensive investigation of the Fairmont Park pond,” SLC Mayor Erin Mendenhall said in a press release issued Monday. “Our top priority is always Salt Lake City is residents’ health and safety [sic]. In this situation, our teams and protocols worked exactly as they should. We acted quickly and resolutely in protecting public and environmental health.”

More details about the testing process, as well as photos, can be found on the EPA's website.