In response to a hepatitis A outbreak that was incubated in unsanitary conditions among the homeless, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a public health emergency last week to contain an epidemic that has killed 19 people this year in California. … Access to adequate sanitation is presumably a component of the state’s human right to water law, which was passed in 2012.
Raw sewage is pouring into the rivers and reservoirs of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. People without running water bathe and wash their clothes in contaminated streams, and some islanders have been drinking water from condemned wells.
At least one San Diego leader wants water researchers to start testing city waterways for hepatitis A. Councilman David Alvarez on Thursday penned a letter to the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project requesting that the environmental research group start testing as many as a half-dozen area waterways for the deadly liver infection.
The San Diego River saw a huge increase of pollution from human feces last winter, according to documents obtained from regional water quality regulators. The flood of human waste came as storms drenched the region, washing pollution from the urban environment into watersheds and potentially flushing sewage from leaky pipes through groundwater into rivers and creeks.
Tuesday, they voted to join a growing legal effort that includes Imperial Beach, Chula Vista, the Port of San Diego and the city of San Diego to force the federal government to better block sewage from flowing into the U.S. from Mexico and fouling beaches.
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to join the growing legal campaign to force the federal government to do more to stop sewage from spilling over the border from Tijuana that routinely fouls South Bay beaches. “Enough is enough,” Supervisor Greg Cox, whose district includes border region with Mexico, said in a statement.
From the San Jose Mercury News, in a commentary by Richard Santos:
In the midst of exceptional drought conditions, a new, locally controlled, drought-proof water source for Silicon Valley could not have come at a better time. The Santa Clara Valley Water District, in partnership with the cities of San Jose and Santa Clara, is celebrating the completion of the Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center.
The most radical “green” features of the City of San Jose’s new Environmental Innovation Center are concealed behind two doors marked “Women” and “Men.” There, plopped between the other conventional stalls, are two “composting toilets,” the first ever installed in a California office building.
Sixty million gallons of wastewater are pulled from sewer pipes and into the Fresno municipal wastewater treatment plant every day. … The plant managers plan to treat to a higher level and disinfect the water so it can be used to irrigate schoolyards, golf courses, and cemeteries.
“The Ross Valley Sanitary District has known for a long time that its sewer system is old and failing. … In addition, the district has been slapped with costly fines by the state San Francisco Bay Water Regional Quality Control Board, the agency assigned to stem pollution.”
“The California State Water Resources Control Board says the new rules were created in response to Governor Jerry Brown’s drought declaration in January. The board says now there are more streamlined rules around the production and use of recycled water for irrigation.”
“Concerned about plans to develop a former sewer treatment site and the capacity of the current treatment plant, Marin residents urged the Ross Valley Sanitary District on Wednesday to oppose Larkspur’s draft housing and business development proposal.”