SOURCE: California Water Service Group

California Water Service Group

February 23, 2017 19:03 ET

California Water Service Partners With California Fish & Game and Cal Fire to Save Endangered Species During Oroville Spillway Emergency

OROVILLE, CA--(Marketwired - Feb 23, 2017) - When recent storms and increased outflow from the Oroville Dam spillway raised the turbidity of the water at the Feather River Fish Hatchery, the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) needed immediate assistance to save about 1 million steelhead eggs that could not be relocated. Local water utility California Water Service (Cal Water) partnered with the DFW and Cal Fire to ensure that the eggs, listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, would survive the storms and water flow.

Cal Water worked quickly with the State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) to ensure it would remain in compliance with environmental regulations while diverting water for the emergency protection of these species. Upon receiving State Board approval, Cal Water was able to begin flowing water from a fire hydrant and through Cal Fire's hose into the hatchery to protect the eggs from the more turbid water coming from the Oroville spillway and Feather River.

"Part of our commitment is to be a responsible steward of the environment," said District Manager Toni Ruggle. "So, when the Department of Fish and Wildlife contacted us with this urgent need to save the threatened steelhead eggs at the hatchery, we didn't hesitate to do whatever we could to help."

Cal Water worked with the hatchery to ensure the fresh water went through a granular-activated carbon filtration system to remove the chlorine before the water was routed to the steelhead eggs, some of which were already hatching. Water in Cal Water's distribution system is chlorinated to make it safe for human consumption; however, that chlorine can impact fish.

Cal Water serves about 10,400 people through 3,600 service connections in Oroville and about 2 million people through 480,300 service connections in California. The company, which has provided water service in the area since 1927, was ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Water Utilities in the West" in 2016 by J.D. Power in its inaugural Water Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study. Additional information may be obtained online at

1905 High Street, Oroville, CA 95965

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Toni Ruggle
    (530) 533-4034

    Yvonne Kingman
    (310) 257-1434