Boise City officials have reopened Pond No. 1 at Esther Simplot Park, following the recent discovery of cyanobacteria (or blue-green algae) there. “Test results showed the algae was not toxic-producing and therefore not harmful to humans or animals,” said Boise City Parks and Recreation spokesperson Bonnie Shelton.
“City staff members caught the algae bloom early and were able to treat it effectively to eliminate it. Test results show the blue-green algae bloom was not producing toxins,” she stated.
Pond No. 1 is the larger of the two ponds at Esther Simplot Park. It includes the children’s beach area, which is again open for public use.
Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway said, “We are currently working closely with the city’s Public Works team on a long-term water quality plan to help reduce algae growth in the future.”
To mitigate algae growth in the pond, the city will continue natural treatments of the water. These treatments will also be applied at Quinn’s Pond and Esther Simplot Park Pond No. 2. Several water aerators will also be added to all three ponds in the area to circulate the water and reduce algae growth.
“The city is using two pumps in Esther Simplot Park Pond No. 1 to re-circulate the water,” Shelton said.
Blue-green algae that produce toxins are not uncommon in local ponds during the summer heat. This type of toxin-producing algae can be harmful to people and pets.
The City of Boise monitors water quality at Esther Simplot Pond and Quinn’s Pond to protect human health. Because temperatures are projected to remain high in the coming days, the potential for algae blooms to develop in the ponds also remains high. “City of Boise Public Works staff will continue to monitor the ponds and complete water quality tests on a daily basis throughout the summer,” said Shelton.
The Boise Parks and Recreation Department asks that visitors continue to obey all posted signs and park rules at Esther Simplot Park and nearby Quinn’s Pond. Dogs are not allowed at Quinn’s Pond or Esther Simplot Park, including in the ponds and the previously designated dog off-leash area.