E. coli bacteria levels high at Butcher Jones Beach swimming area

The Tonto National Forest is advising recreational users of Butcher Jones Beach that routine water quality samples indicate the presence of E. coli bacteria at levels higher than recommended for swimming by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, according to a press release from Carrie E. Templin, public affairs officer for the Tonto National Forest.

This site is 31 miles northeast of Mesa. From Mesa, take State Highway 87 for 27 miles. Turn south (right) on Bush Highway/Forest Road (FR) 204 and travel 2 miles to FR 166, and then turn left. Follow FR 166 for 2 miles to the site, according to http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/tonto/recreation/picnickinginfo/recarea/?recid=35415&actid=70.

“Swim at your own risk” advisory signs have been placed at Butcher Jones and will remain in place until water-quality monitoring shows that E. coli bacteria levels are within recommended limits, according to the release.

E. coli levels are used as indicators of the presence of fecal material in recreational waters and the possible presence of disease-causing bacteria, viruses and protozoans.  Such pathogens may pose health risks to people swimming in a water body, according to the release.

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