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Fish & Wildlife Service Confirms Cholera Killed Ducks in RWC Pond

The popular bird-watching pond on Radio Road that was home to the ducks, is being drained. Authorities expect strong odors to emanate from the infected pond.

SBSA’s Popular Bird-Watching Pond to Be Drained after Apparent Attack of Avian Cholera Kills 150 Ducks Photo: South Bayside System Authority SBSA’s Popular Bird-Watching Pond to Be Drained after Apparent Attack of Avian Cholera Kills 150 Ducks Photo:
SBSA’s Popular Bird-Watching Pond to Be Drained after Apparent Attack of Avian Cholera Kills 150 Ducks Photo: South Bayside System Authority SBSA’s Popular Bird-Watching Pond to Be Drained after Apparent Attack of Avian Cholera Kills 150 Ducks Photo:
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service today confirmed Monday the cause of death of 200 ducks as avian cholera. Drainage of the South Bayside System Authority's popular bird-watching pond on Radio Road in Redwood City is underway. 

Draining the pond, known as a landscape impoundment, is proceeding, but with it comes another potential big problem - odors. With several inches of bird excrement on the bottom of the area and the water removed, officials expect there will be odors. On top of that, the weather in the area is expected to be record setting warm this week - which potentially could greatly "enhance" the odors. Depending on wind direction, the odors could impact Redwood Shores neighbors. The wastewater facility is at 1400 Radio Road in southeast Redwood Shores.

"To mitigate what we can, we have heavy equipment ordered and coming in to try and keep the area as fresh as possible, but it is going to smell," SBSA Manager Dan Child said.

The pond was created in 1998 on the west side of the treatment plant to eliminate dust from the dry barren dirt in the area. The pond is kept fresh by a flow of recycled water from the treatment facility to replace water lost by evaporation and by allowing a certain amount to overflow back to the treatment plant. Peak water flow to the pond in the hot season can reach over 100,000 gallons per day of water from the recycled water system.

It will take a few months for the drained pond to dry out before it can be refilled, Child said. It is too early to be more definitive with a timeline.

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