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Thurston County, Washington

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UPDATED - Swim Advisory posted at Kennydell Park 

NOTE - Kenneydell Park has been reopened as of 07/26/2023 following two follow up fecal coliform tests being at satisfactory values and within acceptable water quality parameters. 

CONTACT:    Renae Miller, Public Information Specialist, Thurston County Public Health and Social Services, (360) 463-0362 or 

OLYMPIA – Thurston County Public Health and Social Services is advising no swimming at Kenneydell Beach, located at Kenneydell Park on Black Lake.

Recent water testing showed elevated levels of fecal coliform in the water. Warning signs have been posted at the public beach entrance. Health officials recommend that people and pets stay out of the water. 

High fecal coliform levels were present in samples collected on July 18, 2023, at the public swimming beach at Kenneydell Park. Staff received laboratory results on July 20, informed Park staff to post warning signs, and collected another set of samples. While this set of samples shows improving water quality, the closure cannot be lifted until a second set of samples is collected and meets standards; this sampling will occur on Monday, July 24, 2023.  

Fecal coliform are bacteria that live in the digestive tract of warm-blooded animals such as people, livestock, pets, and wildlife, and indicate contamination by sewage or feces. People swimming or playing in water can be exposed to the bacteria when it enters the body through small cuts, abrasions, or by drinking the water. Thurston County PHSS Environmental Health staff will continue working to identify the source of the pollution. The advisory will continue until water quality improves.  

“With the forecast for sunny warm weather, I’m sure lots of people hoped to hit the beach at Kenneydell this weekend,” said Stuart Whitford, Program Manager with the Thurston County Public Health and Social Services Environmental Health Division. “Folks should find another place to swim and wade until water quality improves and the advisory is lifted.”

For more information on protecting yourself, your family, and your pets from common swimming and water-borne illnesses, visit the county health department's web page at Water Recreation | Thurston County (

For updated information about Kenneydell Park, as well as information about other county parks, visit the Thurston County Parks and Recreation Services web pages at Parks & Trails | Thurston County (


Public Health and Social Services
Press Release
Closures, Health

Questions and inquiries regarding News Release content should be directed to the Thurston County Public Information Officer:  

Meghan Porter

Anna Rhoads