Who can resist taking a refreshing dip into a pool of crystal blue water on a hot day? But what if that pool of water is Echo Park Lake? Despite the presence of “No Swimming” and “No Diving” signs, many kids and adults have been spotted standing, splashing and swimming in the lake and its aquamarine waters, courtesy of a temporary dye job, since it reopened on Saturday.
The sight of swimmers in Echo Park Lake has worried some people for a variety of reasons, ranging from the safety of swimmers (there are no lifeguards present) to the safety of ducks. A boat ramp in the northwest corner of the lake has made it easy to wade into the water near the replanted Lotus Bed, where Walter Martinez on Monday saw kids and adults in the water. One pair of men were seen standing on a submerged wall near the lotus blossoms.
“I grew up in Echo Park, and I’m ecstatic about the lake reopening, but I don’t [think] people should be going into the water because it’s not that kind of lake, especially when the ducks and other avian life return,” said Martinez. “I don’t want to be a grouch about it. I understand that people are trying to have fun and enjoy themselves, but there are signs around the lake about swimming and going into the water for a reason.”
Recreation and Parks Department spokeswoman Andrea Epstein repeated the rules that some Echo Park Lake visitors have ignored “No swimming or diving permitted!”
The dying of the water, part of a treatment to control algae and provide nutrients for aquatic plants, has also raised questions about the safety of the water. “I think people are overly enthused,” Echo Park neighborhood council president Ari Bessendorf told Echo Park Patch, “but the lake is not for swimming.”