Murky, Yellow Yuba River Clears Up after Swimmers Told to Stay Away

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YUBA COUNTY — Officials just lifted a “no swim” advisory along the middle fork of the Yuba River.

Yuba County was warning swimmers to stay out of the water after seeing a yellow, murky plume Saturday near the Colgate Powerhouse.

It looked a lot like water in Nevada County, which tested positive for dangerously high levels of E. coli Saturday. By Monday, Nevada County officials said they did not know if the plume seen in the South Yuba River was due to the E. coli present in the water. They have since started testing for toxic metals.

When Yuba County Officials went out to test the water Sunday, it was perfectly clear.

“You always watch when a river changes colors. Is it too much algae? Is there too much other products getting into it? And frankly, what’s causing it? We are investigating to go upstream trying to find out the source of this,” said Yuba County spokesman Russ Brown.

They believe there may have been a small mining operation that stirred up sediment causing the discoloration.

By Sunday afternoon, officials said the water was safe to swim in.

A “no swim” advisory is still in place for areas of the South Fork of the Yuba River in Nevada County.


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