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Dung Rains on Sevier County Home, Leaving Health Officials Mystified
Thursday, March 15, 2001
    Dime-sized dollops of dung rained from the sky over Sevier County this week, spattering a home and leaving health officials knee-deep in befuddlement over its origin.
    The mess dropped Monday over a home on the outskirts of Richfield, covering two sides of the house and showering over the back yard and a hot tub, which was covered.
    The homeowners were gone at the time, and discovered the mess just before 6 p.m. By then the spots appeared to be at least three hours old.
    Health officials tested the splotches and found coliform bacteria, including E. coli, verifying the mess was fecal matter from an unknown source. The homeowner was advised to wash the mess away with disinfectant.
    "It could be very risky. Feces can carry viruses and other things that cause serious health problems," said Guy Dansie, environmental scientist with the Central Utah Public Health Department.
    No one can say for sure where the mess originated.
    When similar gooey globs hit homes in Salt Lake County in spring 1999, homeowners blamed aircraft for dumping septic tanks in flight. But the mess was devoid of tell-tale blue chemicals used in jetliner toilets, and officials from the Federal Aviation Administration maintain that aircraft do not have the ability to void their tanks while flying.
    Monday's muck appeared to have come straight down from the sky, Dansie said.
    "There was a spatter mark every three or four inches. It was quite a mess."
    -- Kevin Cantera
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