STARBUCK, Wash. – The Walla Walla District of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers temporarily closed the swimming area and beach at Lyons Ferry Park today after routine testing showed elevated levels of E. coli bacteria.
Additional water samples will be taken Monday to be tested again for fecal coliforms that pose a potential hazard to human health. The swimming area and beach will remain closed until tests show that E. coli levels do not exceed state and federal levels considered safe for people. Boating and fishing continues to be allowed in nearby areas. Fish caught in waters near the swim beach should be thoroughly cleaned and fully cooked before eating.
As a precaution, warning signs have been posted at Lyons Ferry Park.
“The Corps routinely samples water at designated swim beaches,” said Darren Opp, assistant natural resources manager at the Corps’ office in Clarkston, Wash. “This E. coli contamination likely developed because of waterfowl feces, combined with high seasonal temperatures and the lack of strong flowing water through the swimming area. We’ll reopen the swim beach when testing tells us it’s safe for people.”
For additional information, call the Corps' Lower Granite Natural Resources Management Office in Clarkston, Wash., at 509-751-0240.
Release no. 14-056