WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Swimmers were unable to take a dip in the waters of Hampton Ponds State Park in Westfield on Thursday, due to unacceptably high levels of e-coli bacteria in the water. Now, the water is back down to acceptable levels of bacteria, but the beach was still closed Friday.
The Department of Conservation and Recreation determined from water testing Friday that its safe to swim, but not until Saturday. Friday, DCR treated the water to assure bacteria levels remain low. Would-be swimmers came away disappointed.
“I had no idea about the this whole e-coli. We were just going to swim a little bit, get our feet in the water,” Irina Grusetchi of West Springfield said.
Diane Muravskis of Westfield said that she was there to get “Just a tan, but it does get quite hot, so I go in for a dip sometimes.”
The waters at Hampton Ponds are tested frequently for possible contamination. The test that showed high levels of bacteria at Hampton Ponds was taken on Monday, while samples gathered on Wednesday showed that the bacteria levels were down.
The freshwater pond is often the victim of storm runoff and animal contamination, and wet weather makes the situation worse. Typically, bacteria levels are only found to be elevated for a short time.