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Popular Boise swimming spots closed after tests show elevated E. coli levels

E. coli found in local swimming ponds

Both Esther Simplot ponds and Quinn’s Pond, which are adjacent to each other, showed bacterial cultures above state water quality standards for recreational use during a test last week.
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Both Esther Simplot ponds and Quinn’s Pond, which are adjacent to each other, showed bacterial cultures above state water quality standards for recreational use during a test last week.

Two popular Boise swimming spots have been closed after tests found elevated levels of the bacteria E. coli, according to a Boise Parks and Recreation press release.

Both Esther Simplot ponds and Quinn’s Pond, which are adjacent to each other, showed bacterial cultures above state water quality standards for recreational use during a test last week.

Parks and Rec, which tests the area’s waters weekly between April and September, said the ponds will remain closed until bacteria concentration tests show results below state water quality standards for recreation. Parks and Rec has placed signs at beaches to notify visitors about the closures, according to the release.

It’s not yet clear when the beaches will reopen. Updates will be posted on the Boise Parks and Recreation website. Officials will offer more information in a 4 p.m. update, which the Statesman will cover.

Because of the elevated bacteria test results, public works staff are testing the pond water daily to monitor bacteria levels. They’re also working to identify the source of the bacteria to address the problem. Parks and Rec says that could take up to a week or more.

Central District Health Department told the city it was not received any reports thus far about people getting sick after swimming at either location.

According to the Mayo Clinic, sickness from E. coli usually manifests three to four days after exposure. Symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and severe abdominal cramping.

Idaho natives Built to Spill are set to open a summer concert series at Esther Simplot Park on Friday. Concert organizers said the water closures won’t affect their plans for outdoor musical offerings.

The city reminds folks that, once the parks reopen, they should still heed these safety tips:

  • Don’t ingest the water
  • Wash your hands after use
  • Be sure to shower after swimming.
  • Pick up after your dog when using Boise parks
  • Keep your pets out of the water
  • Don’t feed geese or ducks
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