LOCAL NEWS

Mysterious, Foamy Blobs Found Floating Around Utah State Capitol

Dec 6, 2019, 6:03 PM | Updated: 6:43 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Hundreds of white, fluffy blobs that were seen north of the Utah State Capitol and concerning some Utahns ended up being soap from a nearby refinery, according to officials.

Early Friday morning, KSL viewers sent in pictures and reported the blobs floating along Beck Street and Victory Road.

“It’s interesting, the way it’s floating like cotton balls,” said Mike Duncan, who lives across from the Marathon Petroleum refinery on Beck Street and manages the self- storage facility there. “Never seen it before.”

From the pictures, somebody suggested it was a spittlebug or even snow mold.

One of the white blobs seen around Salt Lake City on Friday.

When KSL’s crew first arrived on the scene around 9 a.m. Friday, blobs of bubbles were floating in the wind like balloons. Duncan first noticed the blobs last night and thought they were plastic bags blowing around.

“I got up this morning, and there was foam everywhere. We had pieces this big on the roof,” he said, opening his arms wide. Even after he touched the globs of bubbles, he wasn’t sure what it was.

“No smell came from it,” he said. “Usually, if it’s really toxic you would think it would have something.”

The blobs of foam were strewn across Warm Springs Park and started to disintegrate like dish soap bubbles when touched.

“The foam blobs are pretty much soap, just like you would see in your sink when you do your dishes,” said Marathon Petroleum Manager of State Government Affairs Brad Shafer.

The bubbles are not dangerous to us or the environment, he said, adding they had wafted from cooling towers at the refinery.

White blobs of soap were seen floating around some Salt Lake City neighborhoods Friday morning.

Marathon lets off steam from water used in cooling processes at the refinery.

“In that process, we use a detergent and something happened last night that just created foam that got up in the breeze and has floated around,” Shafer said.

When the refinery noticed the foam, members of their environmental team went out and took a closer look. Shafer said they corrected the problem later Friday morning.

“We put in some anti-foaming agent that will keep it from farming,” he said.

Marathon believed that will eliminate the problem.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

(FILE) Inside the new Utah State Prison located in Salt Lake City. (KSL-TV)...
Lauren Steinbrecher

Utah State prisons on lockdown after three assaults against officers

Two Utah State prison facilities were placed on lockdown Sunday evening after three corrections officers were injured in the last two weeks. 
1 day ago
Handcuffs in a jail cell FILE PHOTO (Ravell Call/Deseret News)...
Pat Reavy

7 arrested in drug trafficking investigation in Utah and Salt Lake counties

Utah County law enforcers served search warrants on four homes simultaneously last week, resulting in the arrests of seven people and the seizure of multiple pounds of meth and heroin.
1 day ago
First responders on the scene of the motorcyclist who fell about 50 feet. (Washington County Sherif...
Michael Houck

Rescue crews save woman stuck in remote area and motorcyclist who fell 50 feet

Washington County officials responded to two different search & rescue operations on Sunday.
1 day ago
FILE PHOTO...
Michael Houck

Backcountry skier dies after slipping, falling near Lisa Falls

A man is dead after tumbling a "significant distance" while backcountry skiing in Little Cottonwood Canyon on Saturday.
1 day ago
USU student Max Shulga during Saturday night's game....
Shelby Lofton

Utah State community responds to ‘Russia’ chants directed at Ukrainian player

Some USU students say that the Colorado State University students crossed a line that goes beyond simple trash talk during a game.
1 day ago
The collapsed awning at the Wing Pointe Apartments (Heber City Police Department)...
Michael Houck

Snow collapses awning at a Heber apartment complex

Six cars were trapped under a collapsed awning after the Sunday afternoon snowfall. 
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Mysterious, Foamy Blobs Found Floating Around Utah State Capitol