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Denver Investigation Searches for Splash Pad E. Coli

Andy Berg

A recent investigation of Denver-area splash pads found dangerous E. Coli bacteria lurking in one local facility.

Fox31 partnered with a local lab to collect water from some of Denver’s most popular splash pads at Union Station, City Park, Central Park, Montbello Recreation Center and the Denver Art Museum.

While Denver Parks and Recreation says its splash pads are cleaned everyday, and systems that measure pH and chlorine levels are monitored, the department does not test regularly for bacteria. 

“We have various test kits that allow us to actually collect samples on site at the time of our inspection,” Danica Lee with Denver’s Department of Public Health and Environment, told Fox.

Out of the five splash pads the Problem Solvers visited, just one tested positive for E. coli — City Park — just west of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

“We’re certainly evaluating the information that [FOX31] provided to us last week and trying to take a broader look to understand -— do we need to make some adjustments here to make sure that the public is always well protected?” Lee said.

The splash pad where the E. Coli was found was immediately shut down, and staff cleaned the area and re-tested the water. The city says its test also found E. coli, but not at alarming levels. There was less than 1 per 100 milliliters of E. coli, according to officials.

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