Watershed partnership gets grant to reduce E. coli levels in San Francisco River

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PHOENIX, AZ, July 27, 2010 -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality officials announced today that a $100,246 grant has been awarded to the Gila Watershed Partnership of Arizona to reduce E. coli levels in the San Francisco River in eastern Arizona.

The grant money will be used to install the third of four wells away from the river to provide water for livestock owned by the Kaler Ranch. The Kaler family has legal rights for its cattle to drink water within the river bottom of the San Francisco but has agreed to remove the cattle year round from the riparian area once the cattle have sufficient water from the alternative drinking water sources.

The levels of E. coli in the river will be reduced as the grazing habits of cattle disperse in the surrounding land area, which is managed by the State Land Department, Bureau of Land Management and private sources.

"This money will continue the already excellent work done in preventing pollution in the Upper Gila watershed,'' said ADEQ Director Benjamin H. Grumbles.

Two Water Quality Improvement Grants, totaling just more than $335,000, were awarded to the Kaler Ranch in 2005 and 2006 for erosion control.

ADEQ's program is funded through a partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Water Act.

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