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Beaver Creek Country Club partly closed

June 22, 2007|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

BEAVER CREEK - The Washington County Health Department closed part of Beaver Creek Country Club on Thursday because of a sewage problem and the possibility that it caused people to get sick.

The health department received more than 80 calls over the last several days from people having gastrointestinal problems, such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, department spokesman Rod MacRae said Friday.

Many of those people recently had been to Beaver Creek Country Club, so the health department inspected the premises, MacRae said.

While there, department officials saw that the septic system "had breaks in the line and some backing up," he said.

Patrick Steiner, the country club's president and CEO, said Friday that the septic line has been fixed. The club is awaiting tests on its water supply to find out if it was contaminated.

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Kitchen and food service at the country club remains closed because of the uncertainty about the water.

Steiner said that prevented the club from hosting two wedding receptions - one Friday and one today. On short notice, the club found other catering accommodations in the area for both receptions, he said.

The pool was closed Friday, but will reopen today, Steiner said.

A notice posted on the club's Web site says the pool had to close because the showers there are on the well water supply. Instead, the club has arranged for a temporary shower system using other water.

Steiner said the pool water is hauled in and isn't from the well water. It's chlorinated, he noted.

The golf course has remained open. Portable bathrooms and hand cleansing stations are being used. Beverages are being sold using ice purchased elsewhere.

MacRae said the Health Department collected about 12 to 15 stool samples from people who were sick and sent samples to a state lab for tests.

Until the results come back, there's no proof that the illnesses were connected to the club's septic system problem, he said.

Steiner said he only knows of about 25 to 30 patrons who got sick at the club, along with some employees, including himself.

A small percentage of the roughly 200 people who attended a Washington County Board of Education leadership conference a week ago got sick, he said.

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