Integrated Pest Management Program
The goal of the District’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program is to employ a comprehensive set of procedures that optimally combines chemical, biological, and mechanical control alternatives for pest control in a manner that:
- Maximizes protection of all surface waters;
- Minimizes pesticide use and requires use of “least toxic” pesticides or methods of pest control;
- Manages pests effectively using environmentally safe and cost effective practices.
Environmentally safe practices are those that ensure the adequate protection of the public and District employees, are protective of potable water sources, other aquatic and terrestrial resources, and public and private property.
Notice of Aquatic Vegetation Management
The State Water Resources Control Board’s Statewide General National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit for Residual Aquatic Pesticide Discharges to Waters of the United States from Algae and Aquatic Weed Control Applications regulates the application of products to manage aquatic vegetation.
Under the permit’s Public Notice Requirements, the Contra Costa Water District has the following obligation:
“Every calendar year, prior to the first application of aquatic pesticides, the discharger shall notify potentially affected governmental agencies.”
This letter serves to meet a portion of the Public Notice Requirements of the permit.
In accordance with the provisions of the permit, we will be applying the U.S. EPA registered products to manage aquatic vegetation listed in the table to the right.
These products will be used to control aquatic species such as, water hyacinth, Egeria densa, and various other algae. If left uncontrolled, these aquatic vegetation impact water treatment processes and can also impact operations by clogging pumps and filters.
We only apply products when absolutely necessary. The District is continually evaluating and using more environmentally friendly alternatives under its Integrated Pest Management Program. Through these alternatives, we have been able to reduce use of aquatic pesticides by nearly 40 percent.
Aquatic Vegetation Management Products
|hydrogen dioxide and peroxyacetic acid
Our treatments historically occur from the spring to early winter. However, climatic and source water conditions greatly influence aquatic vegetation growth. As such, there have been times where the District has applied products outside of this historical time frame.
The District's treatment area consists of the untreated water conveyance and storage system. This system consists of the 48-mile Contra Costa Canal, and the Los Vaqueros, Contra Loma, Mallard, and Martinez Reservoirs.
We have a solid track record in the safe use of these products. The District is committed to effectively operating under the provisions of the permit without detriment to your agency, its operations, or the environment.
Currently, the only use restriction during treatment activities is in the use of copper-containing products, which may affect water treatment plant operations using ozone disinfection. Our practice is to notify water treatment plants using ozone disinfection in advance of its treatment activities. There are also restrictions and provisions that apply to treatments in the unlined portion of the Contra Costa Canal. These provisions are in place to comply with the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Bureau of Reclamation and the Disirict work with the oversight agencies to proceed with treatments in this portion of the canal in compliance with the ESA.
We have been responsibly applying and monitoring for the effects and presence of aquatic pesticides for over 35 years. The District will continue to do so under the provisions of the permit and in compliance with the ESA.
If you have any questions or comments, please call our Environmental Compliance Officer at 925-688-8023.