Thurston County health officials are posting swimming advisory signs at the beach at the Burfoot Park as a precaution after recent testing showed elevated levels of bacteria in the water. The beach is not closed, but health officials are recommending that people and pets stay out of the water.
"We want park visitors to be aware of the situation and use their best judgment about whether they go in the water or stay dry," said Art Starry, Director of the county's Environmental Health Division. "The health risk at Burfoot Beach is relatively low for most people, but there is a slightly higher risk of illness for young children
and people with compromised immune systems, so we're reaching out to make sure people can make informed decisions."
Health officials also recommend that nearby beachfront property owners avoid contact with the water until tests show that bacteria levels have dropped.
All other facilities and areas at Burfoot Park are unaffected and are open to the public, including the trails, picnic areas and playground.
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 www.co.thurston.wa.us/health/ehadm/swimming/illness_hazards.html
For more information about wastewater treatment and how the Washington State Department of Ecology protects and monitors Washington's waterways, visit www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/wastewater/index.html
You can also get updates from the Washington State Department of Ecology blog called "ECOconnect" at http://ecologywa.blogspot.com