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April 29, 2013

Tanker Spill on Highway 38 Raises
Water Quality Concerns

Original Article Posted in The Press Enterprise

On Friday, April 26th, a tanker truck carrying gasoline and diesel fuel overturned on Highway 38 in San Bernardino County, on its way from Upland to Big Bear Lake. The tank overturned, spilling approximately 5,000 gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel into Cold Creek. Cold Creek is a tributary that feeds into the Santa Ana River and collects behind Seven Oaks Dam. Hazardous materials crews worked to contain the fuel spill and stabilize the fuel that remained in the tanker. A three mile stretch of Highway 38 is expected to remain closed for at least another week until the clean-up and investigation can be completed. Here's a link to the overall map of the Santa Ana River Watershed, as shown on the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority website:  http://www.sawpa.net/.

Warnings were issued to downstream users of the Santa Ana River. Three agencies turned off their intakes for the Santa Ana River, and used other sources to meet the water supply for their customers. The three agencies are East Valley Water District, the City of Redlands and Bear Valley Mutual Water Company.

What does this mean for Corona?

The spill on Highway 38 occurred approximately 50 miles away from Corona. While certain reaches of the Santa Ana River do wind through Corona, the affected area will not affect water sources used to supply the City of Corona's water.

The City of Corona has three main supplies for its drinking water:  groundwater, the Colorado River and the State Water Project (SWP) which brings water to Southern California from the Sacramento Delta by way of the California aqueduct. The largest supply used is groundwater. The main groundwater basin used by the City of Corona is the Temescal Basin, with small amounts coming from the Coldwater and Bunker Hill basins. These basins are not connected to the reach of the Santa Ana River affected by the spill.

The City of Corona's water meets all Federal and State requirements for water quality. Water is monitored and tested on a regular basis to guarantee it is safe when it is delivered to your tap. Visit our website at www.CoronaDWP.org to view the most recent annual water quality report, and look in the mail for information on the upcoming water quality report. If you are interested in a behind the scenes look at how your water is treated and delivered to your tap, contact us at (951) 736-2234 to sign up for one of our quarterly facility tours.

While Corona's supplies are not affected by this event, it does underscore the importance of keeping local waterways clean. Putting litter in its place, proper storing and disposing of household hazardous waste, disposing of prescription drugs safely, and putting fats, oils and grease in their proper place all help to ensure that our local water supplies remain clean.

For more information on the Santa Ana Watershed and keeping our waterways clean, visit these websites: