Prexy’s pond: myth busted

The myth of Prexy’s Pond has been debunked: it is biologically safe to swim in compared to other lakes, but it is still not allowed.

Jerry Raguse, the Grounds Service Supervisor, has been keeping an eye on the pond all summer, adding water when needed and using a net to remove unnecessary objects. Prexy’s contains similar bacteria from natural lakes and “natural flora that any pond in this part of the country would have,” Raguse said.

According to Dr. Michelle Marko of the Biology and Environmental Studies department, Prexy’s does contain harmful bacteria, as would be expected giving its use by waterfowl. This is no different from any other body of water.

“Prexy’s was not designed for recreational use and is not maintained as a swimming pool,” she said. “I do not advise swimming in Prexy’s, unless you are a duck.”

Marko stated students in the microbiology classes at Concordia have tested the water in the past.

“Some of the microbiology courses have tested Prexy’s for E.coli,” she said. “It is present.” Even though small amounts of E.coli have been found, that doesn’t differ from other natural water sources, Marko claimed.

Although its composition may be similar to lakes, swimming in Prexy’s is highly disapproved of among the faculty and staff who work to keep it clean, according to Marko.

“[Prexy’s] has a very mucky bottom, which can be very dangerous,” she said. “I suspect the slope of the bottom is not designed for human use.”

According to Marko, its main function is to look pleasing, improving the appearance of the college, and provide temporary residence to passing ducks. “Prexy’s pond is a valuable resource for this campus. It is an attractive water feature but should not be confused with a natural lake. We do use it for water sampling in several biology classes.”

Recently, students have been entering the pond for reasons such as misplaced frisbee discs or risky dares, but Patrick McGuire, a third-year student, was nominated this summer to do the ALS Ice Bucket challenge in the pond.

“I could tell right away … there is definitely a little more ick-factor to it,” McGuire said. His feet sunk in a few inches once he touched the murky bottom, which is part of the reason Prexy’s can be dangerous to swim in.

It has the same compounds of any other body of water in this area of the world, but since it is human-made it causes other factors to play a bigger part, Marko. The bottom of the is composed mostly of mud. When it is mixed and bothered by someone jumping in, the stirred waters creates a mess for the maintenance of the fountain and causes it to not function properly.

“I had to hop in [Prexy’s] Freshman year to grab a frisbee,” Patrick said, “and both times … I’ve had to take a nice long shower to really get clean.”


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