The swing sets and slides of Paul E. Fuller playground in Pennsylvania remain still and empty, as public officials from Meyersdale Borough figure out how to clean up a pestering contamination from a chicken manure spill.
The fowl poop has been flowing into the playground ever since a dump truck tipped over on Aug. 23 and accidentally spilled its load on an adjacent hill. When it rains, water flows from the top of the hill directly into the playground located below.
Officials are concerned that the run-off may contain Salmonella, Campylobacteria, and other infectious agents commonly found in chicken manure. Birds in general can carry up to 60 types of infectious diseases — like E. coli, histoplasmosis, West Nile virus — along with parasites like bed bugs.
Although the site of the accident was treated with lime, the issue has lingered.
“My nose tells me there's a problem out there,” Councilman Roger Miller told the Daily American. Bacteria counts have remained high despite the lime treatment, and some kids have snuck onto the playground even after it was taped off.
Following a board meeting and in the face of a possible public health dilemma, the council unanimously voted to close the playground indefinitely until its safety can be assured.