OLYMPIA – Thurston County Public Health and Social Services is 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 people and pets stay out of the water.
"With the forecast for sunny, hot 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."
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. High fecal coliform levels were present in samples taken on Tuesday, June 22, at the public beach at Kenneydell Park, with the average fecal coliform concentration exceeding 200 organisms per 100/ml; one sample measured over 1,000 organisms per 100/ml.
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.
For more information on protecting yourself, your family, and your pets from common swimming and water-borne illnesses, visit: https://www.thurstoncountywa.gov/phss/Pages/algae-illness.aspx.
For updated information about Kenneydell Park, as well as information about other swimming areas, visit: https://www.thurstoncountywa.gov/phss/Pages/algae-swimming.aspx.