San Jose

Pollution Problem: Water District Pulls in San Jose, County to Help Clear Homeless Camps From Creeks

Garbage and human waste from homeless camps pouring into rivers and creeks are creating a pollution problem in the South Bay.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District in response is pulling together San Jose city and county leaders to come up with a plan to address the issue.

"It's a threat to all the communities around the Bay," said Chad Grande with the water district. "All the water flows through the creeks ends up in the Bay and carries whatever trash, debris and contaminants."

Charles Nelson has been homeless for two and a half years ad has been living near Coyote Creek in San Jose. He supports the water district's plan of creating an ad hoc committee of city and county leaders to find a solution.

"I think that would be a good idea if they can come up with a solution," Nelson said. "But there has been people living out here for 50 years and they haven't come up with a solution yet."

George Reed, who owns a home nearby, also is hoping officials come up with a solution. He said he has met some very fine homeless people, but no group should be allowed to turn a creek into a combination of a garbage can and toilet.

"I'd like to see people respect it," Reed said. "Eventually they are going to put a trail from here all the way down to Alviso and everybody can enjoy it."

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