Closure Lifted At Santa Ana River

Staff Reports

Jurupa Valley – On August 8, the City of Jurupa Valley announced that Downey Park and all access to the Santa Ana River were closed under the direction of the County Environmental Health and Disease Control Department. The closure took place due to a possible outbreak of the Shigella Bacteria in the riverbed.

“This bacteria has caused an estimated 600,000 deaths worldwide annually,” according to the City of Jurupa Valley. “This disease is more common in young children and complications from Shigella could include blood poisoning infections in the human body.” As of August 8, six patients in Riverside County tested positive for this bacteria.

The County staff conducted testing of the Santa Ana River in order to confirm if there was an existence of this bacteria.

After consulting with the Regional Water Quality Control Board and the Public Health Department, the Department of Environmental Health recommended that to the City of Jurupa Valley lift the temporary closure of access to the Santa Ana River, effective Thursday, August 15.  

However, the Riverside County Department of Environmental Health issued the following statement:

“The public should be wary that natural waterways do not have the same level of cleanliness as a public swimming pool which has filtration and disinfection safeguards.  Rivers are not regularly tested for the presence of bacteria, as they are naturally flowing bodies of water and testing only provides a snapshot in time. The public should be careful not to ingest the water, thoroughly wash hands after contact, and not leave behind trash or use the river area as a restroom.”

For more information, contact the City of Jurupa Valley Code Enforcement Department at (951) 332‐6464 or email: (Irwin Salas, Senior Code Enforcement Officer)

If assistance with small or large animal rescues is needed, contact the Western Riverside County Animal Shelter 951-358-7387 during regular business hours. In an after‐hours emergency, call 951-358-7387. In the event of a life‐threatening emergency, always call 9‐1‐1.