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Swim area re-opens at Clay County Recreation park

By Commissioner Rob Peck

Press Release

The Clay County Swim Area at the Clay County Recreation Park re-opened Sunday, Aug. 14 at 2 p.m.

Testing done last week by Mountain True West, a third party not contracted by the county, showed elevated E. coli levels at the park. Out of an abundance of caution, Clay County Leadership made the decision Friday evening to close the swim area until further testing could be performed and the validity of the tests confirmed.

We received word earlier today that Saturday’s test samples from the swim area were well below allowable levels. In fact, additional samples tested by Mountain True on Saturday at Gibson Cove and Pavilion 2 showed zero E. coli.

It should be noted that staff only became aware of this issue via social media, but acted reasonably and responsibly in the best interest of our citizens and visitors alike.

The cause of the elevated samples was the result of goose fecal matter In close proximity to the collection site. County leadership has asked Mountain True for a copy of their testing protocols and procedures as well as their testing facility so we can establish consistency in testing between third parties and the county itself.

We want to ensure there is better communication in the future and we avoid undue concern and accusations without everyone having full knowledge of the facts. County staff is always on call.

We will continue to work hard to provide a beautiful and safe swim beach. Anomalies such as the tests from last week may occur from time to time due to migratory birds, heavy rains and other sources outside of our control. It won’t be due to a lack of effort from our staff to maintain our facilities.

Additional testing will occur this week via the Clay County Health Department. In the meantime, we hope you continue to enjoy all the beautiful recreational opportunities Clay County affords.

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