Environmental Management

Carla Hass

(530) 621-4609

(PLACERVILLE, CA) - El Dorado County officials continue to warn the public to avoid all contact with stormwater drainage in the vicinity of the El Dorado Trial near the end of Stage Court due to a high pH level. This includes avoiding drinking, fishing, swimming and wading in, or having any contact whatsoever with the water. Officials further warn that consumption of any stormwater should be avoided. Stormwater may not meet California drinking water quality standards and may contain trace amounts of pesticides, metals, oils and other elements not suitable for drinking.

Since January 2016, the County has issued press releases advising the public to avoid contact with stormwater in the vicinity of the El Dorado Trail near the end of Stage Court due to high alkaline levels which have been determined to be caused by water that contains calcium hydroxide (i.e., made up of calcium and hydroxide ions). Permanent fencing was installed in November 2016 at the area along the El Dorado Trail to deter access to the high pH water.

During and after heavy rainfall, the pH in a limited area of this water has historically tested above 12.5, which is highly alkaline; however, because calcium hydroxide is not very soluble, the water presents a low health risk despite its high pH. The County advises that casual contact with this water is not likely to produce harmful effects; rather, it would take extended or repeated exposures to irritate the skin. Eyes are more sensitive and would be irritated sooner.


For additional information regarding the status of investigations related to all properties affected by the former Diamond Lime Plant please contact Walter Floyd, CVRWQCB, at (916) 464-4651, or visit the State Water Resources Control Board GeoTracker database at

# # #