Tuesday, 10 October 2006 01:33

EBMUD Places New Restrictions On Grazing Leases

East Bay Municipal Utility DistrictThe East Bay Municipal Utilities District, or East Bay MUD, has announced they are placing new restrictions on their Pardee grazing leases as an interim measure to address new federal water quality reporting requirements related to cryptosporidium, a disease-causing organism that many animals can carry. EBMUD announced the new rules regarding "crypto" concerns while the water utility company collects more data on the impacts grazing has on the water quality in and around the Pardee Reservoir. Cryptosporidium is a parasite commonly found in lakes and rivers, especially when the water is contaminated with sewage and animal wastes.
CryptosporidiumCryptosporidium is very resistant to disinfection, and even a well-operated water treatment system cannot ensure that drinking water will be completely free of this parasite. The theory behind such water quality reporting data is that surface run off water collected in reservoirs may be contaminated due to the presence of cow manure on the ground. The manure is then washed into the water supply in flows of surface ground water. Local ranchers have expressed concern regarding these new limitations and in response EBMUD has negotiated a compromise on these important grazing lands that allows local ranchers to continue their grazing, while allowing the water supplier to conduct the tests and limitations on the bacteria required by the federal law. Concerns are still apparent over what EBMUD might decide to do in the long run regarding these leases. East Bay MUD water is currently filtered for Cryptosporidium, but filtration cannot guarantee 100% removal and now the new Federal Water standards for Cryptosporidium increase penalties and fines.