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Update: Valley Water investigating cause of dead fish at Lexington Reservoir

September 14, 2020
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Lexington Reservoir
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September 14, 2020 - Valley Water tested the water in the Sycamore area on the west side of Highway 17 where the dead fish were discovered last week. The testing revealed there is not a significant level of harmful blue-green algae. Our biologists estimate about 2,500 fish were impacted by high temperatures and a lack of oxygen in the shallow pond.

Although this is disturbing to see, these types of fish die-offs are not uncommon and sometimes happen because of various natural occurrences. Most of the dead fish have been identified as threadfin shad, a non-native bait fish. This fish species tends to be particularly susceptible to temperature fluctuations in water. There are no endangered fish in this area or in Lexington Reservoir.

This incident does not impact drinking water supplies. All of our drinking water meets or exceeds state and federal standards.

 

September 12, 2020On the night of Friday, Sept. 11, 2020, Valley Water was notified of dead fish being spotted along a shoreline at Lexington Reservoir. In response, a team of biologists was sent to Lexington Reservoir on Saturday morning.  Our initial investigation has found the issue is isolated to the Sycamore area on the west side of Highway 17 and has not spread to the main section of the reservoir. 

Although this is disturbing to see, these types of fish die-offs are not uncommon and sometimes happen because of various natural occurrences. Our biologists will test the water and investigate if the recent hot temperatures and ash from the wildfires are potential factors.

The water from Lexington Reservoir is used for groundwater recharge and goes through a natural and lengthy filtering system before reaching our aquifers. All of our drinking water meets or exceeds state and federal standards.


Valley Water manages an integrated water resources system that includes the supply of clean, safe water, flood protection and stewardship of streams on behalf of Santa Clara County's 2 million residents. The district effectively manages 10 dams and surface water reservoirs, three water treatment plants, an advanced recycled water purification center, a state-of-the-art water quality laboratory, nearly 400 acres of groundwater recharge ponds and more than 275 miles of streams. We provide wholesale water and groundwater management services to local municipalities and private water retailers who deliver drinking water directly to homes and businesses in Santa Clara County.