Boise & Garden City

City of Boise: No sign of swimmer's itch at Quinn's Pond

The sun rises over the Boise Foothills and Quinn's Pond, located just north of the Boise River and west of Whitewater Park Boulevard in Boise, on July 16th.
The sun rises over the Boise Foothills and Quinn's Pond, located just north of the Boise River and west of Whitewater Park Boulevard in Boise, on July 16th. bmanny@idahostatesman.com

Boise's Parks and Recreation and Public Works departments haven't specifically tested Quinn's Pond for swimmer's itch this year, but they haven't received any reports of it, either, representatives of both agencies said.

Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway said his team tests Quinn's Pond every week from April through October. Public Works sends those samples to a lab at the city's wastewater treatment plant, where technicians test them for E. coli. Besides being dangerous itself, E. coli often indicates the presence of other dangerous bacteria, Public Works spokesman Colin Hickman said.

Since the weekly tests of Quinn's Pond began in 2014, Hickman said, E. coli levels have never exceeded the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality's standards.

Recently, Quinn's Pond users have complained about swimmer's itch, an allergic reaction to microscopic parasites that are targeting birds or mammals.

Like Hickman, Holloway said he had heard no such reports.

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