GRAND JUNCTION, Colo (KKCO) -- Less than a week after announcing its closure, the City of Grand Junction has decided to reopen the Juniata Reservoir to the public.
Grand Junction City Manager Laurie Kadrich says she only made the decision to close off the popular fishing spot so it would not be placed on a statewide list of "impaired" waters, after fish in the reservoir tested positive for mercury.
However, she recently learned from state health officials that closing public access to the reservoir would not be enough to keep it off the list, and decided Thursday to reopen it.
"If [closing it] is not going to aid at all in mitigating the situation, then there's no need to close it to the public," said Kadrich. "Certainly we wouldn't want to inconvenience the public."
City officials say despite the heightened mercury levels in the fish, water from the reservoir is still safe to use and drink. They say the water is tested daily and no mercury has ever been found.
The Juniata Reservoir is the City of Grand Junction's most important water source. Officials say more than 26,000 city residents get their water from it.