First Children’s Pool Closure

Natural Resources and Culture Committee (hereinafter “Natural Resources received an informational report from the City Manager about the “Closure of Children’s Pool.” The report noted that the Pool had been closed to “water contact since September 4, 1997 due to continuously high fecal coliform counts.” Obvious forms of contamination had been ruled out and it was believed that the source was harbor seal feces. This had not yet been confirmed, but laboratory tests were being conducted.  The City Manager then discussed the City’s lack of understanding of the reasons for “this unusual contamination level.” The City did know that “[h]arbor seal populations have steadily increased off the west coast over recent years. This is evidenced at Children’s Pool by an increased number of seals using the area.” The City noted that a potential cause of the increase in the number of harbor seals at the Children’s Pool was the nearby Reserve, which was three years into its five-year trial. Another potential cause was that “for the last year and a half, [City] lifeguards have erected barriers between seals hauled-out on the sand at Children’s pool and the public.”