BOISE -- Quinn's Pond was reopened Friday after the City of Boise testers determined the level of E. coli in the water had once again fallen below state water quality standards, making the water safe for swimming and wading.
Levels of bacteria in Esther Simplot ponds are still too high, however, and those ponds will remain closed. Those ponds will also reopen once E. coli levels go down, according to the city. Signs have been posted around the Esther Simplot ponds, and people are "highly encouraged" to stay out of the water.
The popular ponds were closed June 21 after weekly testing revealed the unsafe levels of E. coli in the water. City officials say DNA testing revealed that dog feces were the main source of the E. coli bacteria. Goose feces was listed as a contributing factor.
Dogs will no longer be allowed in either Quinn's Pond, Esther Simplot Park or the Esther Simplot ponds, starting immediately. City leaders say an exception will be made between Nov. 1. and Feb. 28, when the bacteria does not thrive.
New signs will be put up in the area, warning people to keep their dogs out.
Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway said that the health and safety of the community necessitated banning dogs from the ponds.
“These are very popular parks and people understandably love to take their pets when they visit,” he said in a statement. “However, the high use by people and their pets along with the warm temperatures has created significant public health concerns. Please heed these continued closures for the sake of your own and your loved one’s health.”
City officials are also ramping up efforts to keep geese out of the ponds.
Symptoms of E. coli infections include abdominal cramping; severe watery or bloody diarrhea, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and fever. The infection can be fatal in rare cases.
Animal Control officers will increase their patrols at Quinn's Pond to make sure people are abiding by the rules. Those who do not will be cited, according to the city.
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