FAIRMOUNT TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE / WYOU-TV) – For anyone planning to be outdoors this weekend, it might be best to pack some extra water bottles, especially if you are heading to Ricketts Glen State Park.
“We always drink bottled water here, so we would bring water no matter what,” says Ashley Lere, a park visitor from Lopez, PA.
The public water system has been placed under a “Do Not Drink Notice” since mid-June due to elevated levels of manganese in the water. This means the water flowing from the faucets is not safe for consumption or cooking.
However, bathroom facilities and showers are still operating as normal, but some visitors will opt not to use it.
“Even just using it for bathing, you wash your face, it gets into your nostrils, and into your mouth, it’s just bad,” says visitor Beth Smith.
Lere went onto say, ” Sometimes we do shower here after the kids are done swimming, but when I saw that sign last week, we didn’t actually. So, I’d probably rather go home and shower.”
Eyewitness News spoke with the park manager, Scott Wilson, about the water ban. He told us they are now getting the materials in to start fixing the filtration plants and should be up and running within the next few weeks.
The park also alerts every reservation that comes here for camping, that way they can bring their own water.
Wilson says manganese is a naturally occurring mineral, but when it reaches high levels after frequent testing, the park must enact the drinking ban.
If the water is consumed in large quantities, people can be at a high risk.