Audit - Parks' drinking water not regularly tested

Friday, May 28, 2004

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Just ahead of the summer's first holiday weekend, a state audit released Thursday found that drinking water at some Missouri state parks was not tested for bacteria as often as required. On a positive note, auditors found state parks clean and well-maintained. Parks division spokeswoman Sue Holst said parks have never had problems or illnesses because of their drinking water.

The number of water samples required for testing from each park is dependent upon the number visitors to the site. Missouri's park system includes 49 state parks and 34 historic sites, covering 139,000 acres, which together draw about 17 million visitors a year.

Of the parks visited by auditors, some did not check their chlorine levels as often as they should under park policy. The audit also said the department has not performed regular audits of parks' finances because of budget cuts.

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