Boise & Garden City

Boise re-opens Esther Simplot Park ponds as E. coli levels fall

Geese poop targeted with dogs and remote controls

Geese poop has been a major cause of E. coli found in Boise park ponds. Here's how goose overpopulation is being addressed.
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Geese poop has been a major cause of E. coli found in Boise park ponds. Here's how goose overpopulation is being addressed.

Tests of pond water at the ponds in Esther Simplot Park have shown E. coli levels consistently below what’s considered safe for public exposure, Boise Parks and Recreation announced Thursday.

In response, Parks and Recreation director Doug Holloway has re-opened the ponds for swimming and other recreational uses.

They had been closed since June 21 due to concern over high levels of E. coli, a bacteria that is harmful to humans and is an indicator of other harmful bacteria.

Holloway also closed Quinn’s Pond, located just south of Esther Simplot Park, on June 21, but he re-opened it June 30 as tests showed marked declines in the bacteria.

Holloway said lab tests identified goose and dog feces as the primary sources of E. coli in the ponds.

A stormwater retention basin that wasn’t draining properly also contributed to the problem in the Esther Simplot Park ponds. The city recently drained that basin to stop bacteria in it from seeping into the park.

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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