Flouting agency policy, and risking the health of area residents, employees of the California DOT (Caltrans) have been getting rid of tire-flattened raccoons, deer, and other critters by dumping the carcasses onto a Saratoga hillside.
One big problem, among others: the land might belong to the San Jose Water Co.
Caltrans has confirmed at least two of its workers have ignored the boldly lettered signs that read “No dumping,” and deposited the deceased animals—scooped off nearby Highway 9—onto the land. While the water company has not confirmed that the specific plot of land is theirs, they are concerned.
“This is an important issue—it could have an impact on the water supply,” says San Jose water spokesperson John Tang.
Local disposal ordinances allow animals 10 pounds or under to be disposed much like household waste: tossed in trash cans or dropped off at a landfill. However, larger beasts are supposed to be buried on cemetery grounds, or hauled to a rendering plant. The reason: landfill dumping or backyard burial of larger animals can contaminate creeks and groundwater.
Santa Clara County assistant district attorney David Tomkins said his agency is weighing an investigation into the matter.