BAKER CITY, Ore. -- Baker City officials have shut off another source of city water as a result of a positive test for cryptosporidium, the parasite that sickened many residents.
The Baker City Herald reports that the discovery this week of cryptosporidium in water from a mountain stream named Elk Creek adds to the mystery over the contamination. The parasite causes severe diarrhea. One official estimates 300 to 400 people were ill.
Animal feces are the usual source of cryptosporidium. When the illness started in late July, the city suspected water from a lake where mountain goats congregate and stopped using it.
Much of the city's water comes from diversions from streams such as Elk Creek. City officials say they're increasingly concerned about adequate supplies and have asked water users to be sparing.