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July 7, 2014

Jeffersonville pool tests positive for E. coli

Pool closed since Friday

JEFFERSONVILLE — The Jeffersonville Aquatic Center was closed during one of the summer’s busiest weekends because of a positive E. coli test.

Jeffersonville Parks and Recreation Director Paul Northam said the pool tested positive for the bacteria  Thursday afternoon and the city shut down the pool for cleaning over the weekend.

“We shocked it and backwashed it and shocked it and shocked it and backwashed it,” Northam said.

Pool officials tested the water early Monday morning and expect to see a negative result Monday night or Tuesday morning, meaning the pool could be open soon.

Northam said the likely culprit of the feces-borne bacteria are ducks and geese that landed in the pool.

The aquatic center had anywhere from 10 to 20 birds before the pool season began.

“We have had issues in the past with ducks but none to the extent that we’ve had this year,” Northam said.

The pool took measures to displace the ducks before opening in May, including installing laser lights that flash periodically at night, and stationing a fake coyote.

Northam said that he believes the positive E. coli test — a test that is taken once a week — is an isolated incident because the measures to repel the water fowl seem to be working.

“We’re going to continue doing what we’re doing and hope it continues to work,” he said.

There’s no way to know if the E. coli came from humans or animals, but Northam said testing positive for E. coli is fairly common for public swimming pools across the country.

The closing during Fourth of July weekend probably hit the aquatic center financially, Northam said.

“It was a beautiful weekend,” he said.

Clarksville Aquatic Center Manager Dylan Fisher said that they had a busy Fourth of July weekend but wasn’t sure how many visitors were from Jeffersonville.

Clarksville also has dealt with bird-related problems — the town expects to spend as much as $100,000 to remove geese droppings around the municipal government building, which is not near the pool.

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Jamie Collins, Scottsburg, works on lesson plans in her classroom at Scribner Middle School on Monday afternoon. Collins was the recipient of a $100 gift card to the Your Educational Supply Store from the New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp. Education Foundation. All first-time teachers in the school system received a gift card to help them set up their classrooms.

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