E. Coli Makes Bryce National Park Water Unsafe to Drink, County Says

Garfield County takes unusual step of calling out park, demanding a fix, and warning visitors


Utah’s Bryce National Park: beautiful. Bryce National Park water supply: contaminated with e. coli.

The water source for the park visitor facilities and cabins has tested positive once again for Escherichia coli bacteria, which has been much in the news lately for the historic outbreak due to contaminated lettuce. In Bryce, it’s caused by prairie dog poop. The critters have burrowed within feet of the park’s well.

Local Garfield County officials are throwing the park under the bus for not doing enough to deal with the e. coli, which has been found for the past seven years. They passed a resolution demanding the park deal with the problem, warned people not to drink park water, and also noted that towns outside the park have a separate water supply and that that water’s uncontaminated.

“Those wishing to travel to Bryce Canyon National Park should continue with their plans, as E. coli is not contagious; however, visitors should not drink the park’s water until the water concern is resolved. Visitors should instead bring bottled water or fill bottles up at one of the nearby towns, such as Bryce Canyon City, before entering the park.”

The resolution calls the e. coli an “immediate, direct and significant threat to the health and safety and welfare of Garfield County’s residents and visitors.”

Photo by Alexander C. Kafka

 

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