VANCOUVER -- Public health and parks department officials reopened Klineline Pond to swimmers Saturday after it closed following a routine water testing showed elevated levels of E. coli bacteria Thursday.

E. coli can cause serious illness if contaminated water is accidentally ingested.

The spray feature and restrooms remained open at Salmon Creek Regional Park. They were safe to use, because they have a separate source of water, said spokeswoman Holley Gilbert of the Clark County Office of Public Information and Outreach.

Clark County Health Officer Dr. Alan Melnick said the best way to reduce the spread of E. coli is to keep children out of the water until they're potty-trained. He said swim diapers are unreliable.

The pond will stay closed until daily tests show E. coli levels within the recommended guidelines.

Anyone having contact with water in Klineline Pond should wash hands with soap and warm water, Gilbert said. Park visitors may continue to fish in the pond, but should thoroughly clean all fish and equipment. Fish should be cooked before they are eaten.

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