Concerns about water supply contamination are surfacing in the wake of reports that Caltrans workers have been illegally dumping animal carcasses in the mountains above Saratoga, California. According to a followup story in the Mercury News, many of the animal carcasses and skeletons had rolled into Saratoga Creek, which winds down to Saratoga Springs — a popular retreat and picnic site for corporations and youth groups — a mile or two below and further down into Saratoga.
Residents have been saying that the Saratoga Creek is cloudy and foamy. John Cherbone, Saratoga’s public works director, said the creek has tested for high levels of fecal matter in the past. Cherbone said, “At this point, we don’t know if carcasses of dead animals or whatever have any connection to what we’ve been looking at. But we’ll certainly be looking at that moving forward.”
John Tang, a spokesman for the San Jose Water Co., which supplies water to more than 1 million people, said in the story, said the water company uses a filter plant for the Saratoga Creek water, which uses micro-filtration technology. He also said the water goes through a “host” of pre- and post-treatment tests.
CBS-5 investigative reporter Anna Werner broke the story late last week. Werner, who received a tip from a Caltrans worker, visited the site with officials from the Humane Society Silicon Valley, then informed Caltrans of her findings.
A Caltrans spokeswoman said no cats and dogs were dumped there but a dog leash and the carcass of a 60-pound husky-shepherd mix was found at the site.
Beth Ward, vice president of animal and customer care at the Humane Society Silicon Valley, said that animals under ten pounds can be treated like household garbage — tossed in trash cans or at the landfill. Anything heavier is typically buried in a cemetery or taken to a rendering plant. “You can’t just go and bury your pet in the back yard. I know people do,” she said, but precautions are needed to protect the groundwater.
Source: Mercury News