Require More Action to stop Chatham contamination from entering the creek

ISSUE

Felicita Creek is a local treasure and valuable natural resource but suffers from pollution impacts from wastes from the Chatham Barrel Yard.

SUMMARY

Felicita Creek is a beautiful natural stream that drains a small watershed in SW Escondido, flows through Felicita County Park and into Lake Hodges, an emergency drinking water storage reservoir. Felicita Creek is enjoyed and used by the public and children play in its waters frequently. Wildlife rely on and fish from the creek and it is an important wildlife corridor for birds and mammals. It is a creek that enriches many peoples’ lives.

Sadly, it is plagued by several sources of contamination. Many pollutants, above regulatory standards, have been measured in the Creek. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from the Chatham Barrel Yard Superfund Site, nitrates, sulfates, total coliform, aluminum, and TDS have all been measured in the surface water of the creek. The contaminated groundwater plumes from the Chatham Barrel Yard are a constant source of contamination of the creek and levels exceed remedial objectives.  

Felicita Creek is a beautiful natural stream that drains a small watershed in SW Escondido, flows through Felicita County Park and into Lake Hodges, an emergency drinking water storage reservoir. Felicita Creek is enjoyed and used by the public and children play in its waters frequently. Wildlife rely on and fish from the creek and it is an important wildlife corridor for birds and mammals. It is a creek that enriches many peoples’ lives.

Escondido Neigbors United Position and Recommendations:

ENU believes that Felicita Creek is a creek worth saving.

1. County and regulatory agencies should take necessary action to achieve cleanup and remediation of all sources of contamination that impact Felicita Creek before new land uses are planned.

2. Once cleanup has been achieved, the site should be re-planned to include a significant Park expansion that will fully protect the important riparian habitat, increase usable open space and recreational areas for the public, and improve water quality conditions downstream of the site for the Creek and residents.

3. The MS4 co-permittees, led by the County, should establish task force to develop an Action Plan to address all conditions in the creek including Chatham Barrel Yard pollution, agricultural and urban runoff, and other sources of contamination.

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES:

Department of Toxic Substances Control

California Water Quality Control Board (Water Board)


TERMS TO KNOW

  • DTSC-  Department of Toxic Substances Control
  • WQIP- Water Quality Improvement Plan a multi-agency to identify problems and solutions for improving water quality in San Diego region required by the new MS4 permit for stormwater.
  • REC-1 Beneficial use includes uses of water for recreational activities involving body contact with water, where ingestion of water is reasonable possible. These uses include, but are not limited to swimming, wading, fishing, and others.  Felicita Creek has a REC-1 designation in the Basin Plan.
  • MUN- include uses of water for community, military, or individual water supply systems, including, but not limited to drinking water supply.
  • MS4- Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System water discharge permit

    Please see our Acronyms page.


An earlier issue ENU was involved in was the Water Quality Improvement Plan.  Please find info about that below. 

CURRENT WQIP STATUS

The WQIP was adopted.  Felicita Creek was recommended by the Water Board for listing on the 303 (d) list for VOC pollution. 

KEY WQIP DOCUMENTS