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County posts warning signs at Klineline Pond after tests reveal elevated levels of E. coli bacteria

More tests will determine the next steps of action

VANCOUVER — Clark County Public Health has posted warning signs at Klineline Pond after routine testing showed elevated levels of E. coli bacteria, which can cause serious gastrointestinal illness when water is accidentally swallowed.

Test results for one of five water samples collected at Klineline Pond on Monday showed elevated levels of E. coli bacteria. The other samples had bacteria levels within acceptable water quality standards.

Public Health collected additional samples this afternoon. The results of those tests will determine the next steps, which could include lifting the warning or closing the beach to swimmers.

“One of the best ways to reduce the spread of E.coli in swimming areas is to ensure that children who are not potty trained stay out of the water,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer. “Swim diapers are not reliable, and we discourage their use.”

Salmon Creek Regional Park and the splash pad, which uses municipal water, will remain open to the public. Water within the restrooms and shelters is not affected by the pond water and remains safe to drink.

Park visitors may continue to catch and consume fish caught in the pond but should thoroughly clean all fish and equipment. Fish should be cooked and not eaten raw.

Public Health routinely monitors water quality at three designated swim beaches throughout the summer: Klineline Pond, Vancouver Lake and Battle Ground Lake. Test results and information about current advisories are posted on the Public Health public beaches website.

Information about E. coli

E. coli is a common kind of bacteria that lives in the intestines of animals and people. The presence of E. coli in Klineline Pond water indicates that the water may contain bacteria found in animal or human feces. Some of these bacteria are capable of causing severe gastrointestinal illness.

Depending on the cause, people with gastrointestinal infections may experience fever, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea beginning several hours to several days or longer after exposure. Some infections may cause bloody diarrhea.

People who experience bloody diarrhea or persistent gastrointestinal symptoms should call their physician or other health care provider.

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