- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 27, 2017

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A “Don’t Feed the Birds” campaign seems to be working at a duck pond at an Alaska park, resulting in much cleaner water.

Thom Eley with the Anchorage Waterways Council said recent tests show pond levels of fecal coliform, the bacteria from bird feces, have dropped dramatically.

He recently measured 32 colonies of fecal bacteria per 100 milliliters of water in the pond at the midtown Anchorage park near the city library, according to the tests. The level a year ago was 8,100 colonies per 100 milliliters of water, KTVA-TV reported (https://bit.ly/2sd9bE8 ) Monday.

“I thought it was a fluke at first, so we tested again and basically got the same numbers,” Eley said.

Eley believes a campaign that included signs on city buses, bank restoration around the pond and new fencing have made a difference. The numbers of ducks and geese at the pond have decreased because people are not feeding the birds as much as they did before.

“I’m sure we will never have 100 percent compliance, but I think it’s made a difference and I think our waterways in town are so important to our way of life that you hate to see any of them in a bad way,” he said.

People still should not play or swim in the water, Eley said.

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