The Calaveras County Water District (CCWD) recently detected a harmful algal bloom in an effluent pond on Sandalwood Drive in Forest Meadows, according to a CCWD press release.
To protect public health in Forest Meadows, the district constructed a barrier fence around the effluent storage pond and posted signs warning residents to avoid contact with the water. CCWD urges residents to take the following precautionary measures when in the area of the pond, per the State Water Board’s recommendations:
-Heed all instructions on posted advisories, if present
-Avoid algae and scum in the water and on the shore
-Keep an eye on children and do not let them enter the water
-Do not let pets and other animals go into or drink the water, or eat scum/algal accumulations on the shore
-Don’t drink the water or use it for cooking
-If you catch a fish, throw away guts and clean fillets with tap water or bottled water before cooking
The district has conducted testing for HABs in all water supply sources for its drinking water systems, however, the results indicated that none were present.
“The prevalence of HABs is a relatively new development in the area, and the District is working with the Calaveras County Department of Environmental Health and the State Water Board to better understand the causes and respond appropriately,” the release reads. “CCWD is releasing this information to correct to the press release it sent out on Sept. 5, 2019, and apologizes for any confusion caused by initial reports regarding the Forest Meadows effluent storage pond.”
Over the past few months, HABs have been identified in Calaveras County and throughout California by the State Water Resources Control Board, including in New Melones and New Hogan reservoirs. In light of these concerns, CCWD tested the raw water sources for its water treatment plants and no HABs were present. Even if HABs were present, the advanced technology at the district’s water treatment plants is highly likely to remove harmful algae from the water supply, however, it is not 100% effective and the science is still evolving in this area. Accordingly, the district will continue to closely monitor the water supply and work with local and state experts to ensure public health is protected.
CCWD took water samples at the following locations:
-White Pines Lake at the Community Park
-Hunter Reservoir in Avery
-CCWD tunnel tap off of the Collierville tunnel in Avery
-San Antonio Creek in Sheep Ranch
-Lake Tulloch on Black Creek Arm at the Copper Cove HOA Kiva boat docks
-Middle Fork of the Mokelumne River at pump station on Charles Ave. in West Point
-Bear Creek at Robinville Drive in West Point
-Regulating Reservoir off of Winton Road in West Point
-New Hogan Reservoir in Valley Springs