Olympia - Thurston County health officials are advising no swimming at the Kenneydell Beach located at Kenneydell Park after recent water testing showed elevated levels of fecal coliform in the water. Warning signs have been posted at the public beach entrance. While the beach is not closed, health officials recommend that people and pets stay out of the water.
High fecal coliform levels were present in samples taken on August 29th and 31st at the public beach at Kenneydell Park. The average fecal coliform concentration exceeded 200 organisms per 100/ml for a set of samples taken on a single day. State water quality standards indicate that water contact should not take place when the average fecal coliform concentration exceeds 200 organisms per 100/ml for a set of samples taken on a single day.
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. County 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 Art Starry director of the Thurston County 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.
For updated information about the Kenneydell Park, as well as information about other county parks, visit the Thurston County Parks and Recreation Services