Greenlee County Engineer Phillip Ronnerud speaks with construction workers at the newly completed restroom area along the San Francisco River.

GREENLEE—This month marks another milestone in the ecological recovery of the San Francisco River, thanks to the efforts of a local organization.

The Gila Watershed Partnership completed the installation of a third public restroom facility along the river this month. It’s one of several efforts the group and its partners have undertaken in order to reduce the level of E. coli bacteria present in the San Francisco River. “The third restroom was installed to provide increased access for rivergoers to restroom facilities,” GWP Director Melanie Tluczek told the Copper Era. “The San Francisco River is a beautiful place and a community asset, and this will allow people to enjoy the river while having nearby facilities so they can help keep it clean.”

The GWP has stepped up its public education efforts on the river in recent months in order to get the word out on keeping the river clean. During a public presentation in August, GWP Science and Outreach Manager Kara Barron spoke with the public about the condition of the river, ongoing cleanup efforts and its vigilance in monitoring pollution levels. “I’ve been out there six times this year, and so far the levels (of E. coli) haven’t gone above safe,” Barron said at the time.

Efforts like the restroom installation are thanks to the cooperation and financial support of partners. “With support from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), Greenlee County, the Town of Clifton and numerous individuals, this is truly a community effort,” Tluczek said.

The new facility is located 1.3 miles north of Potter’s Ranch Road.

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