Leftover Labor Day Trash, Feces May Taint LA Water Supply

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Labor Day may have come and gone, but leftover trash and waste in one of the Southland’s biggest parks has left local campsites filthy and could even be contaminating your drinking water.

As much as 30,000 pounds of refuse was found in just one canyon of the Angeles National Forest in the wake of the holiday weekend, according to park officials.

KCAL 9’s Kara Finnstrom reports a small group of U.S. Forest Service workers and volunteers are still trying to make a dent in the amount of Labor Day litter.

Nathan Judy of the U.S. Forest Service said the concern is not just with trash this that ends up alongside roads and in campsites — it’s also the trash that ends up clogging up the San Gabriel River.

“Approximately 35 percent of L.A.’s drinking water comes from this river,” said Judy. “To pollute it up here where it begins is a travesty.”

While the city’s drinking water is filtered below, volunteer river watchers also monitor bacteria levels to assess just how much damage has been done.

“The trash content, the feces content that’s in here is high,” said Judy.

So Judy — who knows his small brigade is not enough to tackle this growing problem alone — is educating and recruiting younger park visitors in the hopes they can make a difference.

But after the mess from last weekend, Judy is just trying to keep the faith.

“It’s heartbreaking when you pick it up and it comes back the next weekend,” he said.

  • Dawn

    The rule is your supposed to leave it cleaner then when you found it! If you cant pick up your trash, then PLEASE stay out of our parks and forest!

    • Stryker 21

      All the ILLEGAL ALIENS destroying our COUNTRY. Send them back to their third world bottom feeding country.

    • Jose


      • Joe

        Call immigration, get this guy our of here!! If you don’t speak the language, leave our country!

    • Grizz

      In other words..come clean up after the trash who didn’t clean up after themselves? I already do that with the forest service as a volunteer every year for three months. MOST of the time it is from campsites occupied by Hispanics…like it or not..these are the FACTS,,and you KNOW I am right….YOU are an EXCEPTION..thanks for that.

    • Regulas

      The only groups of people who really celebrate labor day are the commie unions and the Democrat (Marxist) party. They preach clean the planet but they are pigs in truth, just like the stinky hippies they are.

      • john

        You are 100% right… :)

    • Bill O

      Exactly what does being “Latino” have to do with it? People like you who, first, have to label ethnicity are dumb as stones. Second, people like you who act like “Latino’s” don’t clean up after themselves are dumber still.

    • sdf gga

      Welcome to Mexifornia

  • theride76

    I love how the segment ended showing ugly gang banger graffiti. Poor Angeles National Forrest : (

    • sean patriot

      Gee It looks JUST LIKE MEXICO city. I wonder why.

  • TT

    Campers Please !!!! IF YOU CANT BRING A TRASH BAG OR A TRASH CAN WITH YOU OR YOU ARE TOO LAZY TO PICK UP AFTER YOURSELF .STAY HOME !!!! Our water isnt your toilet, our forest isnt the dump … If you cant find a bathroom at least have the descency to dig a hole and bury it….This just makes me sick – My guess is it isnt kids – It Full grown adults that cant pick up after themselves….c’mon now…

  • 1900innoho

    It’s a culture thing – people who have recently come to this country don’t give a damn about anything but themselves! Trash the neighborhoods, trash the beaches, trash the mountains – just use and leave. Frankly, we’re all sick of this ‘third world’ mentality here in America. Ruin your own country – but leave ours alone. And I can just here………’como?’

    • Fed Up

      Well you need to stop voting for idiots that allow these animals into your state and Country

      • offended

        OH NO– the people I vote for would never allow this…….. hehehe

      • Clean Higene

        I would agree with that.

      • Fed

        It has more to do with not having enough Rangers to educate visitors and ticket offenders.

  • mike


  • the real TT

    i didnt write that –

    • the real TT

      but whoever did obviously doesnt have anything intelligent to add to the conversation

  • Joe

    Anyone caught leaving their trash shoudl be shot on the spot!

    • Stev

      So should people who can’t spell simple words correctly! :)

  • the real TT

    I dont care if they are purple ,green,blue and orange and red – you know how to put trash in a bag, and where to use the restroom..,Its not brain surgery

  • Stubby

    It’s common knowledge what kind of people visit parks with indifference to the environment. There should be a substantial entrance fee as well as enforcement to prevent alcohol use. Would it be so easy for a terrorist to add a little something to the origin of 30% of LA’s drinking water by pretending to be on a picnic? Close the whole park if the water supple can so easily be threatened.

  • Coach Ron

    Goood Morning!!!! my name is Coach Ron with the Fun Zone Reading Club for Homeless Kids in Downtown LA and would like to Volunteer to Help with the Clean Up? like to meet Up and shear Ideas?

    • jerry

      Yeah, stop spamming!

    • oc49er

      Every year there is a large All Volunteer clean-up on the East and North Forks of the San Gabriel Rivers. All groups of all kinds are welcome, including yours.
      I’ve done this a couple of times myself, huge piles of trash and lots of diapers too!!!
      I just don’t know if they still do this?
      I was up there this spring, plenty of trash cans and restrooms too.
      Lazy I guess???

    • Bill O

      Fun Zone Reading eh? You want to shear ideas? Hows about you meet up and study spelling and grammar?

    • Genius

      How much wool do you get shearing ideas?

  • David Huffman

    It really sickens me to see this happening to our country and our government does nothing about these people.I am a Veteran of the U.S. Army and i can tell you for a fact that most of the countries that we visit as tourists DO NOT have this problem.I can say that for a fact that if you go down to Mexico,you will see much more willful disregard for the land than you see here in the U.S.!! These third world animals have no respect for the care and cleanliness of our Precious Mother Earth.!! Go visit a Native American Reservation,sure some of them are poor,but they DO NOT trash thier Mother !!! What’s really sad is because of the illegal Mexican invasion,i’m willing to bet that today’s grade schoolers could not sing to you from memory one of our Nation’s National Songs,America the Beautiful !!!! Obama must go,along with all the rest people !!! Our country needs fresh blood in high places that have an agenda of making our country the Super Power that we have always been until the invasion of Mexico!!!

  • Yank

    L.A.? I would never have guessed that all those tree huggers and latino lovers would do such a thing. Look illegals are like renters…it’s not their property so they are not going to take care of it yet the LA bleeding hearts want more and more latinos. Well when you elect people like Waters, Pelosi and that other witch we all know you are not too bright.

  • Steve Roberts

    I saw this complete indifference about the environment when I lived in South America. Litter and piles of trash everywhere and I see it here in Atlanta whenever large groups of illegals get together in a park.. I hope the liberals that claim to love the environment are happy with their open borders/amnesty policy and it will get worse in the years to come. Democrat’s chickens are coming home to roost!

  • KP2GMU

    Anybody want to take a guess at the political affiliation of those that left the trash? Look at the mess left after President Obama’s inaugeration and compare that to the Glenn Beck Restore Faith rally. The former left the National Mall covered in trash and the latter left it spotless. Just an observation from an Independent.

  • Craig Rowe

    I saw this happening in the Sequoia National Forest in and around Kernville as well. Even in the high mountain campgrounds, there was little respect for silence or the land. Piles and piles of empty beer cases, loud music throughout the night and just trash everywhere. The forest service is not paid enough to manage people. How can one not have the simple common sense it takes to clean up after yourself.

    • the real TT

      @ craig -My thinking exactly – i think they can figure out where the bathroom is and how to pick up a diaper ….Or a beer can in your case…..Maybe this is where we need to enforce a little more community service – since our jails our FULL – make them do something besides sit in a cell…and at least then i know our tax dollar are being put to good use…..If the forestry service doesnt get paid enough to pick up after people – use what we have – inmates, im sure they would rather be out in the fresh air than sitting in a cell anyway….

  • peetah

    LA’s water does not start there , it starts at the lakes of northern california and gets pumped there from the california delta, get your facts straight.

  • Dad


    • denogginizer

      Not all of LA water comes from NoCal. Get your facts straight.

    • denogginizer

      Not all of LA water comes from NoCal. Gety your facts straight.

  • Joe

    Its a shame how people treat the National forest these days. The fact is the majority of these people who litter, graffiti, and just don’t care are the “illegal immigrant” type. All you have to do is drive up the 2 or the 39 on a weekend, the proof is in the pudding. That being said, I don’t think the racist comments help anything, especially our cause. Something definitely needs to be done but we all need to keep a level head and figure out a way to remedy this situation…. On second thought, its time to get the hell out of California and live this miserable state to the illegals and the politicians who love to cater to them.

  • Hank Warren

    Illegals leaving trash everywhere, yet another violation of our rights. Add it to the list of gov’t violations of our rights:
    They violate the 1st Amendment by placing protesters in cages, banning books like “America Deceived II” and censoring the internet.
    They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns.
    They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by molesting airline passengers.
    They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars for foreign countries.
    Impeach Obama, vote for Ron Paul.
    (Last link of Banned Book):

    • Jeff

      That book is on Amazon dummy

  • No mas mexicans

    The same stuff goes on here in NY/NJ. You’ll see a hispanic group of people enjoying a picnic at our parks/beaches and as soon as they’re done they get up and leave all of their garbage behind. You could put a dozen garbage cans between them and their el camino but it wouldn’t change a thing.

  • pocketpal

    Did you see the trash left after President Zero’s inauguration on the Capital grounds? I’m thinking both times were Demoncrats

  • Tiny Litess

    Obama voters?

  • ss12

    It’s the Tea Party’s fault. Gang banger conservatives. They tear up everything.

    • Mikey

      Probably the militant wing of the Amish Liberation Front.

    • Ben Dover

      It’s George Bush’s fault.

  • Nancy Pelosi

    Isn’t diversity wonderful.? Tolerance everybody, plus more taxes to pay for the cleanup. And if you disagree, you are a racist.

  • Joe

    I am not pointing my finger at anyone, I am simply stating facts. The swimming holes, streams, campgrounds etc. that I have been visiting for 15 years in the Angeles forest are now full of trash and dirty diapers. Unfortunately the majority of the people that I see doing this are the “illegal type”(don’t speak english, etc). I never said all Mexicans do this or its only Mexicans but It is mostly hispanics that strike me as being illegal and obviously dont care about their community. I also am of Hispanic descent, but I am an American and I don’t have anything in common with these low lifes.

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