Boy develops cholera after swallowing infected pond water

CLOVIS, N.M. (KRQE) - A New Mexico boy is very sick after swallowing water in a pond at a city park. The water tested positive for cholera.

The Hillcrest Park pond in Clovis is no longer a place for visitors, but people in Clovis think the city should have done something sooner.

"We have barricades around it so we can't have any folks swimming," said Tom Phelps, Clovis City Manager.

On the Fourth of July, Gevion Lewis was swimming in the pond and nearly drowned. He was underwater for a few minutes and swallowed a lot of water.

Wednesday, the 12-year-old is still in the hospital from being infected by the cholera bacteria that was discovered in the pond.

"They just never maintain it, they never protect it, they never do nothing. There's just always debris, all the trees fell in there. A kid drowned there and now they started taking care of it," said Jean Snell, park visitor.

"It's really dirty water. You can just tell there's so much trash in there and it hasn't been cleaned in a while, you can tell," said Suzette Adams, park visitor.

Now there are signs around the pond that say not to swim in the water because it comes from the city's waste water treatment plant.

"We pipe that after it's been treated. We pipe it to that pond and we use it for irrigating the Hillcrest Park," said Phelps.

The pond is currently blocked off to the public and the city is draining it.

"We will treat it with chlorine. After the pond is empty, then we will fill it back up with the reclaimed water," Phelps explained.

The city believes the bacteria came from ducks and took hold in the pond while the sprinkler system in the park was out for a couple of weeks. Officials say without water being circulated from the pond, it became stagnant.


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