.

Fish & Wildlife Service Confirms Cholera Killed Ducks in RWC Pond

The popular bird-watching pond on Radio Road that was home to the ducks, is being drained. Authorities expect strong odors to emanate from the infected pond.

SBSA’s Popular Bird-Watching Pond to Be Drained after Apparent Attack of Avian Cholera Kills 150 Ducks Photo: South Bayside System Authority SBSA’s Popular Bird-Watching Pond to Be Drained after Apparent Attack of Avian Cholera Kills 150 Ducks Photo:
SBSA’s Popular Bird-Watching Pond to Be Drained after Apparent Attack of Avian Cholera Kills 150 Ducks Photo: South Bayside System Authority SBSA’s Popular Bird-Watching Pond to Be Drained after Apparent Attack of Avian Cholera Kills 150 Ducks Photo:
[Editor's Note: The following information was received by Patch from the South Bayside System Authority (SBSA) and is reprinted here.]

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service today confirmed Monday the cause of death of 200 ducks as avian cholera. Drainage of the South Bayside System Authority's popular bird-watching pond on Radio Road in Redwood City is underway. 

Draining the pond, known as a landscape impoundment, is proceeding, but with it comes another potential big problem - odors. With several inches of bird excrement on the bottom of the area and the water removed, officials expect there will be odors. On top of that, the weather in the area is expected to be record setting warm this week - which potentially could greatly "enhance" the odors. Depending on wind direction, the odors could impact Redwood Shores neighbors. The wastewater facility is at 1400 Radio Road in southeast Redwood Shores.

"To mitigate what we can, we have heavy equipment ordered and coming in to try and keep the area as fresh as possible, but it is going to smell," SBSA Manager Dan Child said.

The pond was created in 1998 on the west side of the treatment plant to eliminate dust from the dry barren dirt in the area. The pond is kept fresh by a flow of recycled water from the treatment facility to replace water lost by evaporation and by allowing a certain amount to overflow back to the treatment plant. Peak water flow to the pond in the hot season can reach over 100,000 gallons per day of water from the recycled water system.

It will take a few months for the drained pond to dry out before it can be refilled, Child said. It is too early to be more definitive with a timeline.
Susan Pellizzer January 14, 2014 at 12:32 PM
Wow, this is a serious problem that we have in our wetlands. My research shows that the bacteria can survive in the soil up to four months. Since controlling this bacteria can prove to be a huge task, shouldn't there be some consideration to not refill that pond at all? It is believed this disease can be spread by rodents injested the affected carcuses of birds. It is spread by the bacterial also being introduced into drinking water, in birds, bird to bird contact. If these birds are flying overhead and drop feces into residential areas where pets are present I would think be of concern to land management. Hypothetically it could be spread to pets if feces ended up in their drinking water outside. If the odor is going to be as big of an issue as mentioned in this article, shouldn't we take more time to investigate these areas of concerns before jumping right back into refilling the pond with overflow recylced water from the waste plant so it does not happen again. The soil will have to be treated extensively to eradicate the bacteria. If more of our city leaders resided in the Shores are, I think this glossed over problem would get a great deal more attention then it currently has.
LocalRez January 14, 2014 at 03:30 PM
Couldn't agree more Susan. I feel this situation needs more investigation. Interesting enough the Hayward water treatment plant also had an issue with Avian Cholera some time ago. Curious why is this happening by water treatment plants? I agree the contaminants could be spread for quite some time and possibly by the actions being taken. As much interest as there is about the health of the bay, it seems draining the pond into the bay and surrounding marshlands might not be good idea. Maybe it should be treated first to kill the bacteria? I'd rather they err on the side of caution than find out later they spread it elsewhere. At a minimum, all the dead birds in the surrounding area need to be picked up and destroyed. I read this bacteria does not "generally" affect humans but they do cite poultry so if you have chickens you might want to do some more research. Also duck hunters are active now in the area and should also be advised about this outbreak.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »