Officials address health concerns about River Prairie creek

Altoona (WQOW) — The Eau Claire City-County Health Department monitors Lake Eau Claire and Lake Altoona to make sure the water is safe, but a popular spot for your kids to play isn’t being tested.

We’re referencing Altoona’s River Prairie creek, that flows through the park, where kids run through the water to cool off.

“If I thought it was unsafe, I wouldn’t have kids in here. We would sign it that it’s not safe,” said Altoona City Administrator, Mike Golat.

Golat also told News 18 the creek is not regulated by the health department, but there are measures in place to keep the water clean. Golat said there is a UV and sand filtration system, and since it’s city drinking water, not lake water, it should start off cleaner. However, while health department officials wouldn’t comment on this creek directly, they said any body of water should be approached with caution.

“If you were to ingest the water there’s a strong risk of bacterial contamination, there’s also parasitic risks,” said Matt Steinbach, of the City-County Health Department. “Other ways in which you’d contract issues would be is if you had an open wound, where bacteria could swim in.”

Both Golat and Steinbach told News 18, right now the creek is not regulated because it’s a man-made feature, it doesn’t fit into any category the health department normally monitors. However, they are discussing some details on where to start to make sure everyone stays safe in the River Prairie creek.

Samantha Wensel

Samantha Wensel

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