BOISE -- Quinn's Pond and all ponds at Esther Simplot Park have been shut down, effective immediately, after city employees found elevated levels of the E. coli bacteria in the water.

The high bacteria levels were discovered during Boise Public Works routine weekly testing. The most recent test showed E. coli levels exceeding water quality standards.

The ponds will be closed until the bacteria concentrations fall below state water quality standards for recreational use. Signs will be posted warning visitors to stay out of the water.

Quinn's Pond has long been a destination for swimmers, floaters and paddleboarders, but the ponds exploded in popularity after Esther Simplot Park was completed in November. The park and ponds routinely draws hundreds of visitors on the weekends.

Everyone is asked to stay out of the water until the ponds are deemed safe. The process is expected to take a week or more.

E. coli infections range in severity from very mild to potentially life-threatening, according to the CDC. Symptoms include stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. The Central District Health Department has not gotten any reports of people getting sick after swimming at Esther Simplot Park or Quinn’s Pond, according to the city.

After the ponds are cleared and reopen, the public is urged protect themselves by showering after getting in the pond water, keeping pets out of the water and picking up their waste, and refraining from feeding the ducks and geese.

Updates to the pond closure will be posted on the Boise Parks and Recreation website.