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Westside Digest : Venice : Virus Eradication Revised

July 01, 1993

City officials will use sunlight, not chemicals, to rid the drained Venice Canals of surviving duck virus over the next two weeks.

Clark Robins, an engineer in the Los Angeles Department of Public Works, said the agency dropped plans to spray a chemical disinfectant after the manufacturer said it might be ineffective outdoors. The chemical, called Environ, is normally used indoors.

The canals were drained over the past week and Robins said they will stay dry through July 15 to let sunlight kill any remaining viruses, which spread in part through the birds' droppings. Sidewalks and other surfaces will be hosed down.

Draining the canals will also give workers a chance to wrap up the 18-month canal reconstruction .

The canals will be refilled and flushed regularly, Robins said.

State wildlife officials killed about 350 Venice-area ducks two weeks ago after finding an outbreak of duck virus enteritis, a herpes strain fatal to birds.

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