Photo taken on Sept. 23 by YubaNet

September 23, 2019 – The South Yuba River from below the Town of Washington to Englebright, including Englebright Lake, continues to have a NO SWIM ADVISORY due to unknown sediments in the water. Recent repeat sampling by Nevada County Environmental Health shows decreasing levels of E.coli at the Highway 49 bridge on the South Yuba River, however the No Swim Advisory remains in place due to unknown sediments that may contain toxic metals or other unhealthy substances.

The color of the plume is not due to the E.coli originally found, and it is unknown if the E.coli is correlated with the plume. If you were in the affected water since Friday and are experiencing vomiting or diarrhea, please contact your primary care physician. Nevada County Public Health has noticed local health providers about the possibility of E.coli associated with Friday’s plume.

Environmental Health continues to conduct water tests at 8 different locations along the South Yuba River and at Lake Englebright daily, and plans to continue through this week. In addition to testing to toxic substances like E.coli, the County is testing for toxic metals such as arsenic, lead and mercury. With Nevada County’s history of mining, these metals are frequently found in the area and may be in the sediment flowing down the South Yuba River and into Englebright Lake. All tests have been expedited, however full test results for metals testing take about 3 to 4 days.

The cause is still under environmental evaluation. This morning, County officials met with the State Water Board’s Senior Engineer, Geologist, a storm water expert and representatives from their enforcement team. They have committed resources to finding out the cause of the plume, and agreed that the County took the correct immediate actions for public safety. The County continues to work with local, state and federal resources to identify the source and extent of the contamination as quickly as possible, including South Yuba River Citizen’s League (SYRCL), California State Parks, California Highway Patrol, the State Water Board, EPA, Nevada County Consolidated Fire District, and multiple County departments.

The County will continue to provide updates at In the meanwhile, we appreciate everyone’s cooperation following the No Swim Advisory in the South Yuba River and Englebright Lake. Individuals may also call 211 Connecting Point for more information by dialing 2-1-1 or calling 1 (844) 319-4119.