Sonoma Water recently held a series of community meetings to discuss a proposed sewer lateral ordinance aimed at preventing sewer overflows that occur during heavy rains. The ordinance would apply to the Russian River and Occidental County Sanitation Districts, and the Airport/Larkfield/Wikiup, Geyserville, and Sea Ranch Sanitation Zones, all of which are operated by Sonoma Water.
The ordinance would provide Sonoma Water with the ability to inspect, and if necessary, require the repair of sewer laterals that are failing and contributing to pollution and sewer overflows. The proposed ordinance will NOT require any point-of-sale sewer lateral inspections or repairs. The proposed ordinance would not include a mandatory inspections program, but if faulty laterals are detected during routine inspections, Sonoma Water could require repairs. An inspection could also be required if a main sewer line that is connected to the lateral is being replaced or rehabilitated. The ordinance is proposed in five sanitation zones and districts Sonoma Water manages in Sonoma County.
The proposed ordinance is intended to reduce "inflow and infiltration," the process through which storm water enters the sewer collection system during storms. During a heavy rain, storm water from cracked or improperly connected private laterals can overwhelm the sanitary system, resulting in sewer overflows. These overflows pollute creeks, can damage private property, and result in fines to the zone or district.
In December 2017, the Board of Directors of Sonoma Water, which operates the Occidental County Sanitation District’s (District) Wastewater Treatment Facility, approved a project for transporting untreated wastewater from the OCSD to the Airport-Larkfield-Wikiup Sanitation Zone (ALWSZ) for treatment, storage, and reuse to avoid future discharges into Dutch Bill Creek and potential violations of the District’s operating permit.
The Project will allow the Occidental County Sanitation District (District) to comply with conditions set forth by the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board in Order No. R1-2012-0101 (Order). This order requires the OCSD to cease discharging secondary treated recycled water to Dutch Bill Creek by January 31, 2018. The Project includes transporting untreated wastewater to the ALWSZ wastewater treatment facility for treatment, storage, and disposal. The ALWSZ wastewater treatment facility currently treats wastewater to secondary and tertiary standards and utilizes irrigation of agricultural lands for disposal of secondary and tertiary-treated recycled water.
The Occidental County Sanitation District’s (District) regularly holds community meetings to inform, educate and seek input from ratepayers and surrounding residents on possible solutions for treating, storing, and disposing of wastewater generated in Occidental. The District currently discharges recycled water into a pond located at the headwaters of Dutch Bill Creek during the summer and to Dutch Bill Creek during the winter. The District is required by the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board to stop releasing recycled water into the pond. The District is currently examining feasible projects that meet the unique requirements of Occidental.
Materials from the February 16, 2017 Meeting:
A public hearing was held February 16, at the Monte Rio Community Center.
Materials from January 7, 2016 Meeting:
A public meeting was held on Thursday, January 7, 6 – 8 p.m. at the Union Hotel. The purpose of the meeting is to review a recently completed alternative’s analysis of treatment options.
Materials from January 8, 2015 Meeting:
Materials from September 30, 2014 Meeting:
Materials from March 13, 2014 Meeting:
Materials from October 24, 2013 Meeting: