Cinnamon Pond closed for possible health risk |

Cinnamon Pond closed for possible health risk

Staff report

Cinnamon Pond at the Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area was closed late Friday by Nevada Department of Wildlife Director Terry Crawfoth due to potential health risks caused by the presence of improperly treated sewage effluent.

According to a Nevada Department of Wildlife report, recent sewage effluent from the City of Yerington was found to be improperly treated and could cause concern for the health of hunters using the area.

The report alleges releases of improperly treated effluent occurred in October and July.

Two inspections by the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection July 3 and 14 allegedly found the wastewater treatment facility in violation of permitting requirements citing inadequate aeration, a nonoperational chlorination system and discharge of sanitary waste into Cinnamon Pond.

The city was again found to be in violation of its groundwater discharge permit on a follow-up inspection Oct. 15 where investigator allegedly found decomposed toilet paper, sanitary items and floating debris had again been discharged into the wildlife area.

An order by the environmental protection department requires the city to complete engineering designs for an automatic treatment system by Nov. 28 and to make the system operational by Jan. 31.

An average of 183 hunters have used the area daily for the past two years between October and January.

The Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area is nearly 17,000 acres in size and is home to a variety of species including ducks, geese, migratory birds, porcupine, mule deer and mountain lion. The area is also popular for fishing, according to the department of wildlife report.