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Ponds Still Closed; How Does the City Plan on Lowering E. Coli Levels?


With no signs of a Boise River Float season in sight and highs near 100º for the long 4th of July weekend, people are crossing their fingers that the E. coli levels in the ponds at Esther Simplot Park and Quinn’s Pond start to fall soon.

Last Wednesday, Boise Parks and Recreation walked the beaches at the popular swimming and paddle boarding destination putting u p signs to stay out of the water.  A water test by Boise Public Works came back showing E. coli levels that could be dangerous to swimmer’s health, closing the pond until further notice.  A week later, the levels are lower but they haven’t been steadily safe during the daily testing.

So, what is the city doing to try to drop the levels of E. coli? Crews are taking advantage of the Boise River.  They’ve been trying to flush the pond water with fresh water from the raging river.

The exact cause of the contamination hasn’t been determined yet, but high E. Coli levels are normally an indicator of feces in the water.  That could be from children swimming without a much needed swim diaper, a person swimming while they had diarrhea, dogs, geese, etc. According to KTVB, samples of the water have been sent off to Florida for DNA testing to see of the contamination came from an animal or person.

At this time, Central District Health has received three reports of people who swam in the contaminated water feeling sick with the symptoms of E. Coli like diarrhea and nausea.

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