State environmental officials are trying to determine if minute amounts of oil are entering the world-famous hot pools in Lava Hot Springs.

Karen Keller, Lava Hot Springs Foundation executive director, said Idaho Department of Health and Welfare personnel are taking water samples to determine if rust-colored rings around the pool are being caused by petroleum contamination.Officials suspected a problem when patrons began complaining of a petroleum odor at the pools a few weeks ago.

Walt Poole, water specialist with the Idaho Division of Environmental Quality, said initial tests revealed no detectable levels of petroleum, but more samples are being taken.