Precautionary closure of Willow Creek pond following dog illness report

Basin Recreation tested the water this morning for blue-green algae, and results were negative

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah — Basin Recreation closed the Willow Creek dog pond yesterday after a social media post reported that a dog fell ill after swimming there. The pond closure was a precautionary measure while Basin Rec investigated potential water contamination. “We felt that until we had a chance to do that, that it would be safest to close the pond,” said Dana Jones, district director of Basin Recreation.


The Willow Creek pond serves as an irrigation holding pond and is not legally required to have its water quality monitored. However, Jones noted, “We do monitor it for blue-green algae.” Tests conducted this morning for blue-green algae came back negative.

Whitley Harrison, the dog owner who reported the illness, confirmed with TownLift that she took her dog to the pond on Thursday and Friday this past week. “Friday night, she became violently ill. Super weak, excessive vomit and diarrhea. Large amounts of blood in both her vomit and stool. She had no appetite and was refusing water. I took her to the emergency vet, and they ruled out Giardia.”

“They ran more tests and concluded that she has a severe pancreas infection from contaminated water. Other dog owners have reached out and confirmed that their dogs have gotten sick from swimming here in the past as well,” she wrote via Instagram.

Jones detailed the next steps, which include reviewing the management procedures for the pond and providing information to the public. “We are working to put together some information for the public on what we do and how we do it and how the pump circulates and things like that,” Jones stated.

The pond is expected to reopen later today, with Basin Recreation releasing information about their monitoring practices before doing so. Jones reassured the public, saying, “We don’t have any other reports of other sick dogs right now. So if people have concerns, feel free to reach out to us.”

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