SALT LAKE CITY -- The Seven Canyons Fountain in Liberty Park will not be opening this summer due to concerns about health and safety.
According to a press release from Salt Lake City, the 24-year-old fountain is in urgent need of updates to meet current Health Department safety standards.
Donors have helped the city invest in new pumps, filters and sanitation improvements, however, those have proven insufficient to meet the required safety codes.
The city states they will need an ultraviolet sanitation system to remove water-borne pathogens, and the area where children and infants play needs to be raised to eliminate drowning hazards. Other improvements include resurfacing fountain edges to prevent mud and organic material from getting into the system and clogging pumps and the sanitation system.
“The health and safety of our park patrons is of utmost importance”, City Parks Director Kristin Riker stated. “We are constantly monitoring potential hazards in our parks and keeping up with appropriate codes and guidelines.”
The fountain is popular with visitors, like Daniel Barton and his son Sebastian.
"It's pretty sad, it was a really unique water feature I think that the community enjoyed," he said. "People from all economic classes and statuses could all come together."
City officials estimate it would cost between one and two million dollars to make the necessary health and safety upgrades.
"That's a small amount when you look at how much people would be able to benefit from it," Barton said.
City officials say they have several meetings planned to discuss how to move forward.
Liberty Park still offers two recreational water features: the Liberty Park pool and the splash pad.
The Seven Canyons Fountain was donated by Mr. O.C. Tanner in 1993.