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2:56 AM Mon, Nov. 19th

E. Coli reported in water at mountain park

Campers and outdoor enthusiasts should plan to bring their own supply of fresh water to Hualapai Mountain Park until further notice, unless they have the capability to boil water obtained at the park.

Ranger Shawn Blackburn said the Hualapai Mountain Park water system has violated the drinking water maximum contaminant of total and fecal coliform bacteria (E.

coli) for this month.

It is the first violation of its type at the park, he said.

Park personnel test water quality each month and submit a report to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, Blackburn said.

To counteract the unacceptable level of contaminant, 12 tablespoons of chlorine was added to the park's 25,000-gallon water tank on Friday, Blackburn said.

"Water comes in and goes out and we're still trying to determine the residual chlorine level before I know what is going on," Blackburn said.

"It's still mixing.

We're going to take our own water sample Monday to see how it looks," he said.

"We'll drive the sample to a lab in Bullhead City and should have the results back in 24 hours."

A press release from the park states:

"Fecal coliforms/E.

coli: The United States Environmental Protection Agency sets drinking water standards and has determined that the presence of fecal coliforms or E.

coli is a serious health concern.

Fecal coliforms and E.

coli are generally not harmful themselves, but their presence in drinking water is serious because they are associated with sewage or animal wastes.

"The presence of these bacteria in drinking water is generally a result of a problem with water treatment or the pipes which distribute the water, and indicates that the water may be contaminated with organisms that can cause disease.

Disease symptoms may include diarrhea, cramps, nausea, and possibly jaundice, and associated headache and fatigue.

"These symptoms, however, are not just associated with disease-causing organisms in drinking water, but also may be caused by a number of factors other than your drinking water.

EPA has set an enforceable drinking water standard for fecal coliforms and E.

coli to reduce the risk of these adverse health effects.

"Under this standard all drinking water samples must be free of these bacteria.

Drinking water which meets this standard is associated with little or none of this risk and should be considered safe.

"State and local health authorities recommend that consumers take the following precautions: Boil water or use an alternative source until further notice."

Appropriate warnings have been posted at about 30 locations around Hualapai Mountain Park where people can obtain drinking water, Blackburn said.