Non-harmful bacteria showed up in higher-than-desired levels in the Big Cottonwood Aqueduct, so the waterway has been shut down for special cleaning.

The Salt Lake public utilities department discovered elevated levels of Klebsiella terrigena in some parts of the water system during routine inspections, according to information provided by the city.The bacterium is often found in water distribution systems, and may have accumulated during the late fall and winter, when drought conditions reduced the amount of water moving through the Big Cottonwood conduit.

City, county and federal health agencies confirmed that the bacteria do not pose a health hazard.

City officials say water serving the city and county service areas is being routed through other aqueducts. There could be minor inconvenience to customers in the upper northeast bench areas if demand increases substantially.