BOISE -- One of the ponds at Esther Simplot Park Pond was shut down Wednesday after water samples tested positive for a species of algae that can be fatal if swallowed.
The pond - officially named Esther Simplot Park Pond No. 2 - is the smaller of the two ponds inside the park and has no beach area. It is located west of the main pond, and gets much less recreational use, according to city officials.
The main pond at Esther Simplot Park and Quinn's Pond were not affected, according to the city, and they will remain open.
The toxic algae blooms found in Pond No. 2 can be harmful to both humans and animals. Visitors to Esther Simplot Park should avoid swimming or wading in the pond, and keep children and pets away from the water. Although dogs are already not allowed in the ponds at Esther Simplot Park, the city warned against letting pets drink from the contaminated water.
Signs alerting people to the closure have been posted around the pond. The water is being chemically treated to eliminate the algae, which the city says was detected early, and the pond will remain closed until it is gone.
City officials noted that it is not uncommon for algae blooms to occur in local ponds during the summer heat. Water quality is monitored daily at Quinn's Pond and Esther Simplot Park ponds.
This is not the first time the City of Boise has had problems with the ponds in that area: Both the ponds at Esther Simplot Park and Quinn's Pond were shut down earlier this summer after E. coli bacteria in the water rose to unsafe levels.
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