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sugar house pond with duck
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Sugar House Park pond drained due to drought

Duck considers a dip in the pond at Sugar House Park (Photo: Mike Anderson, KSL TV)

SALT LAKE CITY — Drainage of the pond at Sugar House Park started Monday because of the low level caused by the excessive drought in Utah. 

Drought’s latest victim: Sugar House Park pond 

The pond is normally supplied with new water by Parley’s Creek, but that stream is already dry. Without the source of water to keep the pond fresh and healthy, park officials worry about the spread of bacteria dangerous to ducks and other birds. 

“As the pond evaporates and there becomes less water in it, the concentration of waterfowl remains the same,” says Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation Associate Director Patrick Leary. “And it creates a situation that can be unhealthy for the birds.” 

Leary says an outbreak of avian botulism at Sugar House Park killed several birds a few years ago. 

Other water bodies not an option

Unfortunately, the park cannot pull water from other reservoirs up Parley’s Canyon because of the drought and the need to conserve. Leary says they normally drain the pond much later in the year. 

“We would have water flow in the spring and we usually keep the pond full until the early fall [or] first hard frost, and then we drain it at that point,” says Leary. 

Draining the pond should take a day or two.