After several infections, Georgetown places new warning signs at Blue Hole Park about bacteria

Health

GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — The City of Georgetown just installed new signs at its popular Blue Hole Park to catch the attention of swimmers and warn them about bacteria risks in the water.

The move comes after KXAN reported that several people contracted bacterial and viral infections after swimming at different spots along the San Gabriel River, including the popular swimming hole in Georgetown.

Georgetown City Communications Manager Keith Hutchinson said the city tested the water at Blue Hole twice in the last week. Water tested a week ago showed high levels of bacteria. The City followed up with another test on Monday and said the levels had dropped a little.

“The key thing is levels can fluctuate on any given day,” said Hutchinson. “A sample pulled might not give you a full picture.”

The City of Georgetown and the Williamson County and Cities Health District decided Tuesday to add new signs at Blue Hole to make sure people understand the health risks associated with bacteria in natural water bodies.

The new signs which were added ahead of the Fourth of July holiday weekend, address the risks of swallowing natural river water and exposure to broken skin. They have been placed at the entrance to the park and along the river.

Karly Campbell wants to see water testing done and warning signs also posted at another popular swimming spot upstream along the San Gabriel River which is also called the Blue Hole, but it’s in Liberty Hill near County Road 279 near Bagdad Road.

“I just want to know, and I want other people to know — families, everybody to know — that this place is safe,” said Campbell.

The 17-year-old is still dealing with a staph infection she believes she got from wading in the water there on Memorial Day. Two days later her legs started itching. Campbell said she went from one doctor to another just to figure out what it was.

Staph infection on Karly Campbell’s leg after trip to Blue Hole in Liberty Hill
(Courtesy of Karly Campbell)

More than a month later after various rounds of medication she is still trying to get rid of it. Campbell’s mother filed a complaint with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

When KXAN asked the City of Liberty Hill if it has any plans to test the water at the swimming spot, they said it is private property and that the decision would be up to the county or county health department.

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