Sandy city recommends residents flush water systems after high levels of lead, copper and fluoride detected in drinking water

Update, Feb. 16: City officials announced Saturday that “[t]o ensure absolute safety” residents living in the affected area should not drink tap water or use it for cooking until lab results confirm that lead and copper concentrations have returned to a safe level.

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The Utah Department of Environmental Quality has detected elevated amounts of lead and copper in samples of Sandy’s drinking water in the aftermath of last week’s storm, according to a tweet from the department.

The contaminated water affects approximately 450 residents, the department said. Those households — between 10600th South and 11400 South and 2000 East and 700 East — and are being notified.

Water was tested last week after a storm and related power outage and initially came back showing elevated levels of fluoride in homes in the area of 11026 South to 11125 South and 1850 East to 1950 East. The fluoride levels were flushed and corrected that same afternoon, according to a statement from the city.

Results from that same test came back Friday showing the high levels of lead and copper.

Marie Owens, director of DEQ’s Division of Drinking Water said at a news conference that the high levels of lead and copper were likely caused by the fluoride.

“In an abundance of caution, Sandy City is asking citizens to flush their water system if they haven’t done so already. A full flush includes running all hot water taps for 30 minutes, followed by 30 minutes of running all cold water taps,” city officials said in a statement.

The statement said city officials are “confident your water is safe to drink if you have flushed your system”

City officials said residents should watch for symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea. Those experiencing symptoms should see a health care provider or contact Utah Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.