BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                              Senator Wieckowski, Chair
                                 2015 - 2016 Regular
          Bill No:           SB 143
          |Author:    |Stone                                                |
          |Version:   |1/27/2015            |Hearing      |4/15/2015        |
          |           |                     |Date:        |                 |
          |Urgency:   |No                   |Fiscal:      |No               |
          |Consultant:|Rachel Machi Wagoner                                 |
          |           |                                                     |
          Subject:  Diamond Valley Reservoir:  recreational use


          Existing law:
          1. Declares state policy that multiple uses should be made of  
             all public water in the state consistent with public health  
             and safety and prohibits recreational use in which there is  
             bodily contact with water in a reservoir in which water is  
             stored for domestic use.  Statutory exceptions to this  
             prohibition have been granted for specified reservoirs (San  
             Diego County reservoirs, Modesto Reservoir, Nacimiento  
             Reservoir, Sly Park Reservoir and Canyon Lake Reservoir).   
             These reservoirs must meet specific standards and criteria  
             set in statute. (Health and Safety Code 115825 et seq.).

          2. Under the federal Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water  
             Treatment Rule (LT2 rule), supplements existing regulations  
             by targeting additional Cryptosporidium treatment  
             requirements to higher risk systems.  This rule also contains  
             provisions to reduce risks from uncovered finished water  
             reservoirs and to ensure that systems maintain microbial  
             protection when they take steps to decrease the formation of  
             disinfection byproducts that result from chemical water  

          This bill:  

          Exempts from this prohibition Diamond Valley Reservoir (also  


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          referred to as Diamond Valley Lake) in Riverside County from the  
          bodily contact prohibition and specifically allows bodily  
          contact with the water by any participant under certain  


          Diamond Lake Reservoir.  Diamond Valley Lake is southern  
          California's largest drinking water storage reservoir, completed  
          in 2000.  It is an 800,000 acre foot reservoir that nearly  
          doubles southern California's surface storage capacity, and  
          helps secure six months of emergency storage southwest of the  
          San Andres fault.  The reservoir was built and is owned and  
          operated by the Metropolitan Water District (MWD).  
          1. Purpose of Bill.  

             According to the author, SB 143 will add new economic  
             stimulus, jobs and expanded recreational opportunities for  
             the residents of Riverside County.

             The author states that the MWD manages Diamond Valley Lake,  
             and maintains several recreational activities including  
             hiking trails around the lake.  While the activities in place  
             do add to the recreational options for Western Riverside  
             County, they are only a fraction of what was originally  
             promised to the residents.  Because MWD does not allow bodily  
             contact at Diamond Valley Lake, visitors are not allowed to  
             swim, jet-ski, or use certain types of boats or kayaks.  

             The author asserts that SB 143 would simply allow residents  
             and visitors to fully enjoy Diamond Valley Lake, by allowing  
             for bodily contact.  The language within SB 143 clearly  
             states that bodily contact cannot happen until the proper  
             water treatment options for coagulation, flocculation,  
             sedimentation, filtration, and disinfection are in place, in  
             order to protect the vital water supply.
           2. Bodily Contact in Drinking Water.  

             Over 65% of the population of the United States receives  
             drinking water from surface water sources.  Many of these  


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             surface water systems rely on protected sources, off limits  
             for human activity to ensure safe water supply.  California  
             law prohibits bodily contact in drinking water reservoirs  
             because human activity on and near water adds an element of  
             risk to the consumers of the water.  Short of sewage  
             discharge, human body contact with the water is the most  
             threatening human activity for several reasons:

                 A.       Enteric pathogens, including bacteria, viruses  
                   and protozoa may be shed into water during recreation  
                   from residual fecal material and from accidental fecal  
                   release.  Inputs resulting from human contact will  
                   increase pathogen concentrations in the reservoir and  
                   thus may increase health risks to downstream consumers  
                   receiving this water.

                 B.       A single person sheds billions of fecal bacteria  
                   in a single day and water treatment plants are  
                   engineered to remove 99 to 99.99% of pathogenic  
                   organisms, not 100%;

                 C.       Unlike chemical contaminants, pathogenic  
                   organisms that survive the treatment process can  
                   multiply in the water distribution system and, more  
                   importantly, in the bodies of water, leading to  
                   infection, illness and death of water consumers; 

                 D.       Birds and wild animals also introduce potential  
                   pathogens to the water, but pathogens from humans are  
                   more likely to ultimately be infectious to other humans  
                   than are pathogens originating from birds or animals.

          1. Exemptions of California Reservoirs.   
             Over the last 20 years, there has been legislation exempting  
             specific reservoirs (in the case of San Diego - the County)  
             from the bodily contact prohibition.  These exceptions are  
             the County of San Diego, Sly Park Reservoir, Modesto  
             Reservoir, Naciemento Reservoir, Canyon Lake Reservoir and  
             Bear Lake Reservoir.  These reservoirs have unique  
             circumstances relating to treatment, location, population  
             served and climate that have decreased the risk associated  
             with bodily contact in the reservoir.  


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              Additionally, in all cases the water system operating the  
             reservoir and providing treatment to the drinking water are  
             responsible (and have accepted responsibility) for ensuring  
             that drinking water meets drinking water standards and public  
             health is protected.  

          2. Pathogens of particular concern with bodily contact.   
             Microorganisms such as viruses, giardia and cryptosporidium  
             are of special concern when there is bodily contact with  
             drinking water supplies because traditional disinfection  
             methods are not as effective at treating or inactivating  

              MWD has studied water quality issues associated with body  
             contact recreation at its Diamond Valley Lake.  MWD  
             information indicates that "Cryptosporidium is the pathogenic  
             organism of greatest concern mainly because it is extremely  
             resistant to conventional methods of disinfection such as  
             chlorination, is difficult to detect through monitoring, and  
             causes cryptosporidiosis."  Cryptosporidiosis is a disease of  
             the intestinal tract and has been known to cause disease in  
             humans since 1976.  Cryptosporidium lives in a protective  
             shell that is referred to as an oocyst, and allows it to  
             survive various environmental conditions and be resistant to  
             disinfection.  Sources of contamination at recreational  
             waters are the individuals using those waters for recreation  
             when constituents of residual fecal matter may be washed off  
             the body on contact with water.  Infants, young children, and  
             others may also contribute more significantly to  
             contamination by accidental fecal releases.

             MWD studies have shown an increased risk to consumers with  
             body contact recreation, ranging from 20 to 140 times higher  
             than the current cryptosporidium risk of 1 infection per  
             about 28,000 people.

             Waterborne cryptosporidium outbreaks have occurred in both  
             large and small communities.  A large outbreak occurred in  
             Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1993, affecting an estimated 403,000  
             people.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and  
             Prevention, infection with cryptosporidium may have  
             contributed to premature deaths of immunosuppressed  
             individuals in these outbreaks.


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           3. Added Community Benefit.   
             It appears to be clear that the Diamond Valley Reservoir was  
             not ideally built, nor do adequate treatment, climate or  
             remote location circumstances exist to authorize an exemption  
             from the bodily contact statute.   
             However, in a Los Angeles Times article from May 17, 1995,  
             when this reservoir was being proposed, it seems that it was  
             communicated to the community that a wide array of  
             recreational activities would be made available.  

              "When completed in four years, it will include an  
             Olympic-size pool, nearly 500 camp sites, slips for more than  
             250 boats, launching facilities to quickly handle up to 900  
             boats, 80 miles of hiking and biking trails and a commercial  
             water park.  In addition to the reservoir, the 20-square-mile  
             project will include two other man-made lakes open to  
             fishing, sailing, swimming and hunting."

             Allowing bodily contact in this reservoir would  
             inappropriately risk the public health of nearly 2 million  
             people in Southern California.  However, the question arises,  
             has MWD kept its commitment for other recreational areas to  
             this community?  

            Related/Prior Legislation
          SB 14 (Gaines) Chapter 172, Statutes of 2013, exempts Bear Lake  
          Reservoir (Alpine County) from the state prohibition on bodily  
          contact recreation use in a reservoir used for domestic water  
          uses and establishes standards to be met, including water  
          treatment, monitoring, and reporting requirements.  

          SB 1063 (Gaines, 2012) would have exempted Bear Lake Reservoir  
          (Alpine County) from the state prohibition on bodily contact  
          recreation use in a reservoir used for domestic water uses and  
          establishes standards to be met, including water treatment,  
          monitoring, and reporting requirements.  SB 1063 was vetoed by  
          Governor Brown.

          SB 1251(Morrow, 2004) would have exempted Diamond Valley  
          Reservoir (also referred to as Diamond Valley Lake) in Riverside  


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          County from the bodily contact prohibition and specifically  
          allows bodily contact with the water by any participant under  
          certain conditions.)
          SOURCE:               Senator Stone  

          None on file  

          Association of California Water Agencies
          Burbank Water and Power
          California Municipal Utilities Association
          Calleguas Municipal Water District
          Central Basin Water Association
          City of Torrance
          Clean Water Action
          Cucamonga Valley Water District
          Eastern Municipal Water District
          Foothill Municipal Water District
          Inland Empire Utilities Agency
          Las Virgenes Municipal Water District
          Mesa Water District
          Municipal Water District of Orange County
          Pasadena Water and Power
          San Diego County Water Authority
          The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
          Three Valleys Municipal Water District
          Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District  
           Walnut Valley Water District
          Western Municipal Water District


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          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT:    None on file
          ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION:    MWD states that "during the course  
          of considering appropriate recreational activities at Diamond  
          Valley Lake, before the reservoir was placed into service,  
          Metropolitan conducted a comprehensive scientific evaluation of  
          the public health implications of allowing body-contact  
          recreation at Diamond Valley Lake.  The assessment back then,  
          and most recently, demonstrates there is ample scientific  
          evidence documenting the degradation of water quality in lakes  
          and reservoirs permitting body-contact recreation.  Body-contact  
          recreation will add disease causing microorganisms to the water  
          which would increase the risk of waterborne disease to  
          downstream consumers.  Additional supplemental disinfection at  
          water treatment facilities near Diamond Valley Lake would be  
          required to maintain baseline public health risk levels.  By  
          excluding body-contact recreation at Diamond Valley Lake, as was  
          decided by Metropolitan's Board in 1998, Metropolitan has  
          provided a high-quality boating experience while protecting the  
          public health of downstream water consumers."
                                      -- END --