BOISE, Idaho — The official start of spring is just days away and if you plan on visiting Boise ponds with your four-legged friends, you should know, dogs are not allowed at some ponds.
A city code recently banned people from bringing their dogs to certain ponds in the area, stemming from past E. Coli outbreaks at Quinn' s and Esther Simplot Ponds.
“We actually start testing weekly during the month of April and through September and those tests came back and show that the number one cause was from dogs and number two was geese,” Doug Holloway, the Boise parks and recreation director, said. “So, we felt like for the safety concerns of those who use the water that we needed to make the decision to not allow dogs in the water or in the park because any kind of run-off from irrigation could still end up in the water.”
The City is also working on other projects that could keep park ponds cleaner and safer.
Holloway says right now the agency is working with the Public Works Department to install a 24-inch pipe that will bring water from the Boise River into Quinn's Pond.
That water will then be circulated into a side channel that connects Quinn's pond with Esther Simplot Park Pond 1, which is connected to Esther Simplot Park Pond 2.
“From a modeling perspective, from a local engineering firm, they've determined that if we do that, it will assist in moving some of that bacteria, so it doesn’t sit stagnant in the water,” Holloway said. “We're also adding some aerators that will be installed sometime in May and those also will churn the water in all three ponds and keep the water moving.”
That movement is also supposed to keep algae blooms from forming.
“The construction is just finishing up probably in the next week or so, we obviously won’t know the true effect of the remedy until the summertime,” he said.
The ban also impacts anyone who wishes to take their dogs to Veteran’s Park pond.
“Phase two of White River Park, when that opens, from the river you can go into Veterans, into Esther and then Quinn’s and in order to make that portage successful we need to make sure it's safe and we'll be testing veterans weekly as well,” Holloway said.
Boise Parks and Recreation plan to add new signage to all three ponds within the next few weeks so that the public can be aware of where they can and can’t take their dogs.
Dog Island, an off-leash dog park, is currently in the works at Ann Morrison Park. It’s expected to be completed by early May.
Dog owners may also take their pets to these places:
- Optimist Youth Sports Complex during the winter and summer
- A new dog and military reserve (scheduled to open this summer)
- Pine Grove Park Dog Park
- Sterling Dog Park
- Molenaar Park on Maple Grove (Dog portion under construction)