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Horseshoe Lake park closed to swimmers

The Kitsap County Health District has closed the swimming area at Horseshoe Lake County Park after recent water tests revealed unsafe levels of bacteria.

According to a press release, water samples collected at the park, located about five miles south of Port Orchard off of Sidney Road SW., on Aug. 25 and 26 showed levels of E. coli bacteria above the safe level in the swimming area at the park.

Warning signs have been posted at the swimming area.

Since there is an increased risk of getting sick, the public is advised to avoid all contact with the water in this area until further notice.

The risk is greatest for young children, the elderly, or anyone with a compromised immune system.

Additional samples will be collected next week. The beach will be reopened when samples show the concentration of E. coli bacteria has dropped to safe levels.

According to the Kitsap County Health District’s Web site, lake swimming beaches and public fishing access areas are monitored at a minimum of twice a month for levels of E. coli bacteria.

Most lakes are sampled twice each month from May to September. However, due to a history of more frequent water quality problems, weekly monitoring is conducted at Island, Kitsap, Horseshoe and Long Lake.

For all other county lakes, a “swimmer’s itch” advisory is in effect. To avoid swimmer’s itch, apply a waterproof sunscreen before entering the water, shower and/or towel off vigorously immediately after leaving the water, and avoid areas with heavy concentrations of aquatic weeds and waterfowl.

For more information, contact the Health District’s Water Quality Program at 337-5245, weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

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