Most folks associate Six Flags’ Magic Mountain with water parks, games, and thrilling roller coasters. Turns out the amusement park produces more than just smiles and old fashioned family fun — a whole mess of water pollution.
A coalition of local environmental groups recently accused Magic Mountain of spewing pollutants and trash into the Santa Clara River, a waterway that flows 45 miles from the park before emptying into the ocean. The coalition says that if the amusement park doesn’t clean up its act within 60 days, they’ll sue — just in time for summer vacation season.
The groups took water samples of runoff flowing from the amusement park’s two storm water channels and a pipe leading from the facility. Three rounds of tests revealed excessive levels of copper, zinc, aluminum, iron, lead, and titanium and also showed the presence of mercury, oil and grease, bacteria and other effluent, the groups said. They say the park’s storm water monitoring reports show similar pollution dating back to at least 2007.
Not only that, but the park’s massive amounts of trash — everything from plastic bottles to rubber ball prizes — wind up in the Santa Clara, too.
It’s unclear where, exactly, all these dangerous pollutants are coming from, but there’s certainly no lack of options. Runoff from the park’s irrigation system; water used to hose down midways, bathrooms, and restaurants; parking lots; and overflow from water park ponds are all possibilities.
But if potentially poisoning swimmers and aquatic wildlife isn’t enough of a reason for Magic Mountain to stop spewing noxious substances, perhaps losing a major amount of dough will serve as motivation. The environmental coalition seeks $37,500 for every day that the park is in violation of the federal Clean Water Act.