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Sugar House Park will drain duck pond due to drought

Posted at 6:22 AM, Jul 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-20 15:18:31-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Sugarhouse Park's duck pond is an attraction for visitors to the relaxing oasis within the city, but it is now yet another casualty of the extreme drought.

It will be drained today, almost four months earlier than normal because of drought conditions.

Parley’s Creek that feeds the pond is now dry, and public utility officials are not going to let any more water out of the dams in Parleys Canyon for conservation reasons.

That’s causing accelerated pond evaporation, which leads to a significantly increased risk of avian botulism.

Parks and rec officials say they hate to do it, especially this early, but it’s the right thing to do for the ducks and geese.

“Birds are mobile, they will move on to another water source but as the water levels go down and the concentration of birds stays there, it just creates an environment for disease and that’s not something we want to see here,“ said Patrick Leary, Associate Director of Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation.

“We want people to understand why we are doing it, we understand it’s a feature of the park that people love and we love and it’s just an unfortunate series of events that has brought us here this year.”

Crews will be posting signs in English and in Spanish throughout the park today explaining what’s going to be done and why.