11615 Sterling Ave, Riverside, CA 92503    Phone: (951) 354-4220 / Fax: (951) 352-3422
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News Regarding Algae Bloom at Canyon Lake

Subsequent to the April Alum application, an algae bloom was observed in several coves.  As in the past, a press release was shared with the media indicating that the cause of the algae bloom in the coves was not the alum, and that the algae would likely dissipate over time. Below are a few articles that have been released regarding this event.


NEWS UPDATE AS OF 8/18/15: All coves in Canyon Lake are now clear of algae and are safe for swimming and recreation.


For more information on the Canyon Lake Alum Treatment Project, please visit: http://www.mywatersheds.com/the-watershed/canyon-lake-alum-treatment-project/.

RFP: Public Education and Outreach Support Services

The Lake Elsinore and San Jacinto Watersheds Authority (LESJWA) is requesting proposals from qualified firms for assisting LESJWA in the development and implementation of support services for a multi-year education and outreach program through community and media relations.

Closed: RFP Public Education and Outreach Support Service Docuement

One electronic copy of the response is to be submitted to LESJWA located at 11615 Sterling Avenue, Riverside, California 92503 by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 29, 2015.  The responses shall be addressed to the attention of Mark Norton, Water Resources and Planning Manager.  Thereafter, a review panel, composed of LESJWA staff will be conducted the first week of June with the final award scheduled for June 18, 2015.

Should you have further questions regarding this request for proposal, please feel free to contact Mark Norton at (951) 354-4221 or mnorton@sawpa.org.



1. Does the $20,000 annual budget include all the requested services listed in the RFP, or is the budget for specific tasks, like supporting the water summit and attending booths at community events.

Yes, all services described would need to be included within the $20,000 annual budget.

2. Is there a consultant currently providing the requested services to LESJWA? 

Yes, the current consultant that LESJWA has supporting its public education and outreach program is O’Reilly Public Relations.

Canyon Lake Alum Application Public Information and Outreach Meeting

When: September 18, 2014
Canyon Lake City Hall
Multipurpose Room
31516 Railroad Canyon Road
Canyon Lake, CA 92587

Click here for flyer

  • Welcome message from Canyon Lake Council Member Nancy Horton
  • Recap of water quality regulations and need for lake improvement
  • Review success from past two alum applications and schedule review
  • Pannel of experts to include:
    • Dr. Michael Anderson, University of California, Riverside
    • Jason Uhley, Riverside County Flood Control District
    • Mark Norton, Lake Elsinore and San Jacinto Watershed Authority
    • Terry McNabb, Aquatechnex

For more information, please contact Mark Norton at (951) 354-4221 or mnorton@sawpa.org.

LESJWA Summit Presentations

1. San Jacinto Watershed Fly Through

2. Mark Norton  – LESJWA

3. Kurt Berchtold – Pollution Control Planning for Lake Elsinore and Canyon Lake

4. Jason Uhley – MS4 Permits and TMDLs: Costs and Savings through TMDL Task Force

5. Pat Boldt – Agricultural and Dairy Operator Nutrient Reduction in the San Jacinto Watershed

6. Nemesciano Ochoa – Drought Impacts on Local Lakes and Watershed

7. Tim Moore – What’s Next?


Canyon Lake Alum Application Public Information and Outreach Meeting

Canyon Lake Flyer 1-14

Alum Treatment Project

According to the Lake Elsinore & San Jacinto Watershed Authority (LESJWA), preliminary test results indicate that alum treatments conducted between September 23 and 27 in Canyon Lake have successfully improved the lake’s overall water quality by reducing phosphorous levels that can cause algae blooms and fish kills. The testing was conducted by MWH, a global consulting firm with over 150 years of experience in the water industry, in coordination with California State University, San Bernardino. Testing showed a significant decrease in the levels of phosphorous in different parts of the lake, including an 84 percent decrease in the Main Lake, and a 97 percent decrease in the East Bay.“The initial test results have confirmed that the alum applications are working as intended,” said LESJWA Chair, Nancy Horton. “We are very encouraged by the results in both the Main Lake and East Bay, and we expect future treatments to further decrease phosphorous levels, improve water clarity, and help eliminate future algae growth.”Additional testing is scheduled to take place later this month and a full analysis of the alum treatments is anticipated to be completed in December 2013. Four more alum treatments are scheduled for February 2014, September 2014, February 2015, and September 2015. The project is being paid for by the Lake Elsinore and Canyon Lake Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Task Force composed of cities, the County of Riverside, agriculture and dairy coalitions, and other organizations in the San Jacinto River Watershed.Additional funding also is anticipated through a $500,000 grant secured by LESJWA and through Proposition 84 funds from the California Department of Water Resources. The project is a joint effort of the City of Canyon Lake, Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District, LESJWA, the TMDL Task Force, and the Canyon Lake Property Owners Association.LESJWA is a joint powers authority entrusted with $15 million in state and local funds to improve water quality and wildlife habitats in Lake Elsinore, Canyon Lake and the surrounding San Jacinto watershed. – The Friday Flyer


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Canyon Lake Alum Application Public Information and Outreach Meeting

Canyon Lake Alum Application Community Meeting Flyer

Click here to view flyer and receive further information


Residents Learn about Lake Water Treatment

Last Wednesday, 50 to 60 people, of whom approximately 25 were Canyon Lake residents, had the opportunity to listen, learn, and ask questions about the upcoming plan to improve the lake’s water quality.

The workshop was presented by the Lake Elsinore & San Jacinto Watershed Authority (LESJWA), Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District (EVMWD), the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Task Force, and the City of Canyon Lake.

Jason Uhley of the Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, gave a Powerpoint presentation that described the planned course of action. This was the same presentation that was partly responsible for a grant of $500,000 that was awarded to LESJWA from the grant committee of the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority for alum applications in Canyon Lake, as well as continuing possible redesign for the Hypolimnetic Oxygenation System.

The presentation explained that, over the years, the amount of green algae in the lake has been increasing. The primary reason for the increase is the presence of phosphorus and other nutrients in runoff that enters the lake from the surrounding watershed and from gutters and drain pipes in Canyon Lake that dump straight into the lake.

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Water Quality Improvements Underway

Work is underway on improving water quality at Canyon Lake in order to comply with water quality standards. $500,000 has been secured from the CA Dept of Water Resources by LESJWA to help support this goal. CEQA is underway and a final lake improvement project should be announced in April 2013.

By Mark Norton P.E.

LESJWA Authority Administrator

The mission of the Lake Elsinore and San Jacinto Watersheds Authority (LESJWA) is to improve water quality and wildlife habitats in Canyon Lake, Lake Elsinore, and the surrounding San Jacinto Watershed. It’s a mission not only to benefit local residents, but to also meet strict federal and state regulations for water quality.

Part of the challenge in maintaining the water quality in Canyon Lake is the natural flow of storm-water runoff that carries high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus into the lake. These substances promote excessive algae growth in the lake, which ultimately can lead to fish kills and damage to wildlife.

In 1972, the Environmental Protection Agency set specific guidelines to monitor these nitrogen and phosphorus levels, establishing what are known as Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs). In this area, there is a TMDL Task Force of 20 agencies and organizations, including water districts, cities, and county departments, all responsible for making sure that both Lake Elsinore and Canyon Lake stay healthy and remain at safe levels.

In order to help Canyon Lake meet TMDL water quality goals, the TMDL Task Force has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the California Department of Water Resources to begin treatment measures to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus in the Main Lake and the East Bay of Canyon Lake.



Floating islands in Lake Elsinore to help eat up algae and clean water


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