Park City to hold informational meeting on the future of Empire Creek

PARK CITY, Utah — Park City will give residents a look into Empire Creek’s future at an upcoming informational meeting.

This informal gathering will take place on Tuesday, April 18 from 5-6:30 p.m. in the Community Room at the Park City Library, and is an opportunity for community members to meet with the Park City’s water department and learn more about Empire Creek’s past and future.

The event will begin with a 30-minute presentation followed by a Q and A session.

Empire Creek, also known as “Poison Creek,” is a tributary of Silver Creek that runs in Empire Canyon before converging with Silver Creek near Heber Avenue and Deer Valley Drive. Empire Creek is not naturally occurring, but rather the result of storm events, snowmelt, and overflows from Judge Tunnel.

The water draining from Judge Tunnel, a historic mine tunnel, has levels of heavy metal concentrations unsafe for stream and drinking water.

“Until 2013, Judge Tunnel water overflow sporadically discharged into Empire Creek when the water was unsuitable to drink,” said the Engage Park City website. “This usually occurred during mine maintenance, occasional tunnel rockfall, and during spring runoff. In 2013, due to elevated metal concentrations, Park City stopped diverting Judge Tunnel for drinking water. As a result, the Judge Tunnel has been discharging into Empire Creek year-round ever since.”

Beginning this spring, the city plans to divert all water from the Judge Tunnel to be treated at the 3Kings Water Treatment Plant, rather than allowing it to flow into Empire Creek.

Find more information on Empire Creek here.

A map of Empire and Silver creeks. Photo: Courtesy of Park City

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