California Releases List of Substandard Water Bodies

Nov. 10, 2006

The State Water Resources Control Board of California has released its most up to date list of state water bodies that do not meet federally mandated Clean Water Act quality standards. The release stated that a number of local waterways showed traces of coliform bacteria and other chemical pollutants.

According to The Signal, problem areas include the Santa Clara River, which showed traces of coliform bacteria in four different points of the river, including portions that run through the Santa Clarita Valley and intersect with Bouquet Canyon Road. The detection of this bacteria warrants tests for fecal coliform and E. coli.

The report includes bays, estuaries, portions of the ocean, lakes, streams and rivers across the state. More than 150 sites were identified as being overly contaminated.

The presence of coliform bacteria within any drinking water supply probably would not cause illness, but it does indicate that disease-causing organisms, or pathogens, might be in the water system.

The contamination probably came from the feces of humans or animals living in the area and are generally considered harmless.

However, if environmentally based contaminants can enter the water system, there is the fear that additional pathogens could also enter. Therefore, it is important to locate the source of the contaminant.

Dan Masnada, general manager of the Castaic Lake Water Agency, told The Signal that the problem stems from animals in Santa Clara that live near the river. He also stated that the Santa Clarita Valley drinking water supply was not in any danger.

Other local water bodies on the list that did not meet Clean Water Act standards include Lake Hughes, Elizabeth Lake, Munz Lake, Piru Creek and Mint Canyon Creek.

Source: The Signal

Image courtesy Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ).
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