Child's rash prompts rare closure of Wilton swimming pond, first selectwoman says

The swimming pond at Merwin Meadows has been closed temporarily due to further testing of the water after a resident made a post in a private Facebook group for community residents on Sunday night, according to First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice.

The swimming pond at Merwin Meadows has been closed temporarily due to further testing of the water after a resident made a post in a private Facebook group for community residents on Sunday night, according to First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice.

Patricia Gay /Hearst Connecticut Media /

WILTON — Swimming was prohibited Monday at Merwin Meadows Park as water samples were collected for testing in response to one resident’s complaint posted on Facebook over the weekend, the first selectwoman said.

First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice said a woman posted Sunday on the Wilton CT 411 Facebook page that her child developed a rash after being in the water on Friday.

“As often happens on that page, a lot of people responded to that post,” Vanderslice said.

The first selectwoman was tagged in the post and alerted Health Director Barrington A. Bogle and Parks and Recreation Director Steve Pierce to the situation.

Vanderslice said the town collects water samples at all of its “swimming holes” for routine testing. She said samples are collected at Merwin each Wednesday.

Vanderslice said the other location where samples are collected is the Riverbrook Regional YMCA on Danbury Road.

“I have been here since 1991,” Pierce said. “We have never closed a park for water quality issues. We test every week.”

Vanderslice said the last Merwin water samples came back clean. She said no water issues have been found since she took office in 2015.

In an effort to show a “conservative and proactive approach,” Vanderslice said, Bogle asked Pierce to close the swimming pond to the public on Monday.

Vanderslice said another water sample was collected and sent to be examined. She said the results are expected on Tuesday. The pond will remain closed for swimming until the results come back negative, officials said.

The first selectwoman said the town did not hear of any other complaints or reports of incidents at Merwin Meadows Park since Tropical Storm Elsa, which caused water issues in other parts of the state.