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JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- The Jeffersonville Aquatic Center remains closed after testing positive for fecal matter several times.
Managers suspect that geese nesting in a neighboring creek may be behind the contaminated water. Maintenance crews increased the chlorine to about five times the normal level to decontaminate the pool.
Now the next step is controlling the geese.
When Tyler Sariscsany signed up to work as a lifeguard at the Jeffersonville Aquatic Center this summer, he had no idea a flock of geese could cause the pool to close.
"I had no clue actually," Sariscsany said.
The Health Department shut down the Aquatic Center July 3 after three failed tests in six weeks. The latest showing coliform, the E. coli bacteria.
Aquatic Center Director Nikki Dillon says the problem could be geese.
"There's a retention pond behind the pool and a park across the street with a lot of Canadian geese and Mallards," Dillon said.
Those geese are blamed for leaving behind droppings in the pool when flying back and forth and for swimming in the pool overnight.
Dillon says her crews have shocked the pool repeatedly since the Health department forced it to close.
"We have kept the disinfectant in the pool at a super chlorinated level for the last four days and backwashed every eight hours in an attempt to clear it from the pool or the filters -- wherever it decided to take place," Dillon said.
The Aquatic Center also installed strobe lights in the pool designed to scare the birds.
Dillon says the surrounding neighborhood periodically sounds a siren that sounds like an owl, a natural enemy of geese. And the pool also uses a coyote decoy to help keep the geese away.
While WDRB was interviewing Dillon, the lab called with good news: the latest water sample was negative for coliform and E. coli. If a second sample comes back safe Wednesday, the health department says the pool should re-open around noon. There are no reports of anyone getting sick from the contamination. Dillon estimates the pool lost 10 to 20 thousand dollars being closed the last five days.