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Parts of country club remain closed

July 04, 2007|By JOSHUA BOWMAN

BEAVER CREEK - Beaver Creek Country Club's clubhouse and kitchen will remain closed until at least next week as the club's water system is modified, Washington County Health Department Spokesman Rod MacRae said Tuesday.

The modifications come two weeks after Beaver Creek Country Club was closed by the health department following a rash of gastrointestinal problems in people who had visited the club.

MacRae said while the water system "has not been conclusively implicated" in the outbreak, structural issues were found that need to be fixed. The club's well will be extended above ground, and a disinfection device and water softener will be added to the water system, MacRae said.

The health department closed parts of the club two weeks ago after receiving more than 80 calls from people experiencing nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, MacRae said.

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Many of those people recently had been to Beaver Creek Country Club, so the health department inspected the premises and found breaks and backups in the club's septic system, MacRae said. Patrick Steiner, the club's president and CEO, said the septic system was fixed the next day.

The kitchen and clubhouse were closed June 21. The pool was closed June 22 because the showers there are on the well water supply, but was reopened a day later after portable showers were brought in. Steiner said the pool water is hauled in and isn't from the well.

The golf course has been open throughout the closures.

MacRae said the health department took more than a dozen stool samples from people who were sick, but has not been able to determine the cause of the outbreak.

"It's possible that it was a food-borne organism. It could have been the water. We just don't know," MacRae said.

The health department has sent stool samples to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for further testing, MacRae said.

In the meantime, Steiner said the club is serving bottled water and packaged beverages and snacks to patrons, and is using ice purchased outside the facility.

Portable toilets and hand-washing stations have been set up outside the clubhouse, Steiner said.

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