March 15, 2016
Dog Restrictions in Corner Canyon
DRAPER, Utah. – The Draper City Council will be considering modifying existing dog restrictions in Corner Canyon in order to protect the watershed which supplies drinking water to Draper residents. A meeting will be held Tuesday, March 15, at 7:00 pm and the City Council will be taking citizen comments.
Draper City purchased land in Corner Canyon 11 years ago, with the condition to protect the watershed. Corner Canyon is the only culinary watershed area in the Salt Lake Valley that still allows dogs. While WaterPro has been cooperative in accommodating the dogs on leash for many years, they have concerns about decreased water quality in the canyon. Some of the people who bring their dogs to the canyon have not cleaned up their dog’s waste, which has resulted in the coliform bacteria being measured at two times the acceptable level. Coliform bacteria has been reported at 1200 parts per million in Corner Canyon, while other canyons in the area have a level of only 50 ppm.
Both Draper City and WaterPro have been working together for many years to control bacteria levels in the water coming out of the canyon, the largest source of which has been proven to be dog waste. The city has put up signage, sent out messages to residents in newsletters and social media, and used volunteer trail ambassadors to encourage compliance. So far, various efforts to educate and enforce dogs on leash and cleaning up after your pet have not been completely effective and the bacteria levels are causing a health issue.
WaterPro has worked with city staff and the Parks & Trail Committee (comprised of citizen volunteers) to come up with a plan that will allow dogs on leash along the Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST) and below. WaterPro has agreed to open up dog access along the BST trail north into Sandy City. Dogs will also be allowed (on leash only) on the Potato Hill trail up to the tunnel, and west and south of Traverse Ridge Road, since these areas are not located in the watershed area. This boundary will keep dogs below the culinary water intakes.
Also, as part of Draper’s new Open Space Master Plan, the city is considering a new area dedicated for dogs to be off-leash. Knowing that there may have to be restricted access in Corner Canyon in the future, as an alternative option for dog owners the city built a new dog park which will be opening in April of this year.