Although campgrounds  across the country have water systems that are often too small to get the maintenance  attention of larger utilities, inspecting and cleaning the tanks should be done on a regular basis.

Over time sediment builds up in the bottom of most water storage tanks, this can be a fertile breeding ground for bacteria, protazoa and even viruses.   E. coli contamination was discovered in the water at two Ogden, Utah-area campgrounds that has sickened several young girls at Camp Shawnee. The health department has asked that users of the campgrounds bring their own supply of bottled water with them to use for drinking, cooking, cleaning and personal hygiene purposes.

The Standard-Examiner newspaper in Ogden Utah reported that that many of the young girls were taken to local area hospitals. Specifically, Emily Buck, the daughter of Jenny Pratt, had to be hospitalized for two days.

According to the health department’s announcement:

Water samples taken from the Shawnee and Ben Lomond campgrounds in Weber County’s North Fork Canyon, showed the presence chloroform and E. coli bacteria. Officials believe the bacteria sickened at least 11 members of a group of young girls who camped at the Shawnee Campground, Aug. 2-5.

Source: Food Poison Journal a blog posted by  CLAIRE MITCHELL on 8/16/11