Stephen Ellison

Warnings Issued About Bacteria in Berkeley's Aquatic Park

People who use Aquatic Park in Berkeley want answers after signs went up Sunday advising people to avoid any contact with the water due to high levels of bacteria.

Health alert signs were posted Friday, warning people to avoid all water contact because recent tests showed elevated levels of bacteria.

The signs say anyone who has contact with the water should immediately shower.

Elaine Baden is president of the Berkeley Paddling and Rowing Club, which has about 150 members, but usage has dropped off, she said.

"We have stink, discoloration, lack of clarity. We have E.coli. We now have another bacterial infection," Baden said. "It's maybe two or three people a day that are taking the risk to be on the water because they feel they won’t be immersed in it, they wont be drinking it, they won’t be getting in the water."

Baden said she has stayed off the water that appears murky. She wants the city to do more.

"We would like them to figure out where it's coming from," she said.

A Berkeley city spokesperson said they’ve increased testing and monitoring to see if bacteria levels decline. There could be a number of possibilities, perhaps rain pushing bacteria through storm drains.

The city is working on a solution.

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