WEST JORDAN — A foul-smelling surprise in West Jordan may not have been what it appeared.
The Salt Lake County Health Department investigated several reports of what appeared to be human waste — perhaps from a plane — scattered across driveways and cars in West Jordan over the week.
Bethany Bowker, a West Jordan resident, was one of the first to raise the alarm when she noticed feces scattered across her driveway on Tuesday.
Bowker told media she believed it was human waste from an airplane, and that it had happened before.
Her home is south of Salt Lake City International Airport.
But Nicholas Rupp, spokesman for the Salt Lake County Health Department, said the feces, while unpleasant, is unlikely to be of human origin.
"If it had been on an airplane, everything would have been bright blue because the chemical toilets they use in airplanes are colored an electric blue," Rupp said. "So if the material isn't blue, it's not from an airplane."
Rupp said that inspectors visited the home of another West Jordan resident earlier in the week who had also reported large amounts of what appeared to be human feces scattered across her driveway.
None of the fecal matter was blue, and the inspector noticed that seeds and grains were embedded in the waste, indicative of bird feces, Rupp said.
In a statement, the regional FAA office said it "periodically" receives reports of blue wastewater falling on a house.
“If the person can tell us (the FAA) exactly when and where it happened, we can try to run radar replays to see if an aircraft flew overhead around that time. We don’t provide any advice on how to clean up blue ice," the statement said.
Rupp said that if people find blue waste around their yard or home, they should contact the local health department or fire department through the non-emergency line to get it disposed of properly.
Those who find themselves the target of bird poop should treat it like any other animal feces and rinse it off at a car wash and avoid touching it, he said.