CLARKSTON, Wash. – The Walla Walla District of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is removing public advisories to not swim in or drink shoreline river water near the Chestnut Recreation Area in Clarkston, Washington. Laboratory results received today from water samples taken Monday, showed no indication of high levels of fecal bacteria in shoreline river water.
Initial water-testing results received August 16, revealed fecal bacteria counts of 512 per each 100 milliliters of sample. That figure exceeds the 126 per 100 ml., that is deemed safe for swimming areas by Washington state health officials. Corps staff posted signs advising visitors of the potential health risk.
Test results from water samples taken August 21, at four shoreline locations all indicated safe levels of bacteria -- 2.0, 4.5, 2.0 and 350 per each 100 milliliters of sampled water. District natural resource management officials routinely sample shoreline river water at developed water access points including the Chestnut Recreation Area. Corps park rangers noted the increased temperatures and waterfowl feces were the likely causes of the elevated bacteria levels.
Public recreation areas, parks and levee systems are not natural habitat for geese. Park rangers strongly discourage visitors from feeding geese and other wildlife. Without sufficient numbers of natural predators in the area, the urban geese population continues to grow. The increased amount of animal fecal matter along the shoreline can pose a public health risk.
For additional information, call the Corps' Lower Granite Natural Resources Management Office in Clarkston, Wash., at 509-751-0240.
Release no. 17-093