October 2, 2019 – As the investigation into the South Yuba River plume continues, Environmental Health has received new test results confirming that the South Yuba River and Englebright Reservoir are safe for recreational use. The test results from all eight of the water sample locations show that there are no toxic metals or high levels of E.coli in the Yuba River and Englebright Reservoir.
“It does not appear that there was any cannabis cultivation or active mining on the Kilham Road property at this time,” said Nevada County Community Development Agency Director Sean Powers. “The investigation is complex and will take time.”
Nevada County Code Compliance continues to investigate and work with the property owner on the alleged code violations. The property owner has been compliant and Code Compliance does not currently believe that the alleged violations are connected to the plume.
“The County takes this issue very seriously,” said County Executive Officer Alison Lehman. “Multiple local and state agencies are working diligently to identify the plume source and take any preventative actions needed.”
Officials have also been looking at adjacent parcels, including Bureau of Land Management public lands, to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the area and rule out other possible sources. Officials do know that mining has historically occurred in this area, with several exposed cliffs typically associated with hydraulic mining easily visible.
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“As advocates for the Yuba River, we appreciate the County keeping us updated while they investigate the cause the plume,” said South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) Executive Director Melinda Booth. “While it appears that this is an isolated incident, SYRCL plans to conduct additional monitoring for E.coli throughout the year. We hope this will give us insight into the initially high levels of E.coli in this incident and what is happening in our watershed year-round.”
The investigation is a formal process and will take time. Weekly updates will continue to be posted at www.MyNevadaCounty.com/YubaRiverAdvisory as more information becomes available. The County recognizes that the South Yuba River is a valued community resource and appreciates everyone’s patience as progress continues.