During the debate over whether Runkle Canyon’s surface water is a drinking water source for Simi Valley, a number of folks have insisted that it isn’t, including members of the Department of Toxic Substances Control. Indeed, Runkle Canyon drains into the Arroyo Simi which replenishes the aquifer under Simi Valley which is pumped out and blended to be served up to citizens in the east part of the valley. During wet years, as our Runkle Ranch photographs show, that means a lot of water. During drier times, as shown in this gallery, the topography, signage and sewers clearly show that what comes down Runkle Canyon comes out the tap in Simi Valley.
A number of these photographs, at the end of this gallery, show the 11-acre drainage leading off of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory’s Area IV, where most of Rocketdyne’s nuclear work was done. In 1959, the worst meltdown in American history took place there, followed by at least two other partial meltdowns. Radiation contamination emanating from Area IV is thought to be why Runkle Canyon has tested so high in strontium-90 in tests performed by the developer in the late 1990s.