After Nearly Two Months, Boise's Esther Simplot Pond Reopens

Aug 17, 2017

After being closed down due to E. coli contamination June 21, Boise's Esther Simplot Pond is again welcoming bathers.
Credit Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

After being closed for the better part of summer, Boise officials are finally reopening Esther Simplot Pond. The move comes after E. coli levels in the pond went down and stayed consistently low.

Both Esther Simplot Pond and neighboring Quinn’s Pond were closed June 21 because of high levels of E. coli. Quinn’s Pond reopened soon after, but Esther Simplot couldn’t seem to shake the bacteria.

First, authorities permanently banned dogs because their poop – along with goose droppings – consistently came up in DNA tests as the primary sources of the bacteria. The city even went so far as to hire someone to scare away the geese.

As it turns out, poop might not have been the only driving factor keeping Esther Simplot Pond diseased. A nearby retention pond wasn’t draining properly. The stagnant water seeped into Esther Simplot Pond and tainted the water meant for swimming.

A release from the city says water has been pumped out of the retention pond and that the water in ponds meant for swimming was flushed.

While E.coli levels in Esther Simplot Pond have dropped and remained consistently low, officials are recommending bathers avoid ingesting the water and should wash their hands or shower soon after swimming.

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