Butte Water District has authorized the Butte County and Sutter County Sheriff's Offices, as well as private security patrol units, to disperse or apprehend anyone found loitering on the banks, or in the water of the canals, as covered in Penal Code Section 602, Trespass. This notice shall serve as a warning that all violators will be cited and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
The district has experienced extensive vandalism to district property, including their gates and weirs, which poses a safety hazard for the surrounding property. Butte Water District has spent a great deal of time and money replacing or fixing vandalized equipment.
Liability is another major concern facing the local water districts. People do not understand the amount of risk facing them while swimming in these canals. There are several structures throughout the canal system that can be changed either automatically or manually, causing a significant fluctuation in the water flow which could happen at any time of the day or night. In reality, water that might seem “calm” or “steady” to the eye is actually a strong current of water capable of causing dangerous undertows.
Butte County has many alternatives for swimmers, including Lake Oroville, the Afterbay, and the Feather River. Again, law enforcement has been advised of the district’s position and intention to prosecute all violators to the fullest extent of the law.