On behalf of the Russian River County Sanitation District, Sonoma Water is offering the opportunity for customers to opt into a program designed to provide notifications during sanitary sewer system spills.
Spills may occur during heavy rain events or periods of high-water flow in the Russian River. During these events, Sonoma Water crews will respond to the incident. In cases where there are potential impacts to customers, Sonoma Water has provided a platform for communication and updates. Opting into voice calls, text messages, and/or email notifications will ensure that you receive up-to-date information about the impacts of these spills in your area.
To issue these notifications, Sonoma Water is using an alert and notification system which securely stores contact data and allows Sonoma Water staff to issue notifications to multiple contact points simultaneously. The information provided will be used only for these specific notifications.
To opt into this notification service, please add your information in this form: www.sonomawater.org/RRCSD-Notification-Opt-In. You will also have the opportunity to sign up for updates about the Russian River County Sanitation District and news on programs and projects.
The District has completed an alternatives analysis of three force mains in its network and an extensive condition assessment of all lift stations and the headworks facility. The results of each of the assessments have contributed to the District’s understanding of the infrastructure improvements necessary within its service area.
During heavy rainstorms associated with atmospheric rivers, the RRCSD sewer collection system could possibly become inundated with storm and flood water, which may contribute to an increased chance of sanitary sewer overflows (SSO) which could increase the risk to the public.
We are asking residents to assist by following these suggestions during heavy rains:
- Please do not drain any non-sewage, into the sewer system.
- Please reduce your indoor water use and limit your input into the wastewater collection system during rainstorms and rising river levels.
- Secure your sewer clean-out caps (typically located between your home and the street), making sure they are properly sealed and secure. Rain and floodwater entering through open caps may contribute s to an increased chance of overflows.
- Please report any manhole covers that are displaced. If you see a sewage overflow from a manhole please report it to the RRCSD immediately. Call the Operations Desk (24 Hours): 707-523-1070
Use caution and avoid any contact with overflowing sewage and flood waters as it may pose a variety of health risks to residents.
In 2022, Sonoma Water developed a new plan for notifying people about significant sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs). This notification process was developed with feedback from and in compliance with the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board and included feedback from residents and organizations.
Implementation of the plan is underway and includes signs in both English and Spanish that are being carried by maintenance workers, to be immediately posted at SSO sites. Other notification procedures include bilingual flyers to be hand delivered to affected neighborhoods, social media alerts, Sonoma Water website updates, press releases and a new sewer overflow hotline, which will be updated during events: (707) 521-1866. In addition, for very large SSOs, Sonoma Water is working with Sonoma County’s emergency management department on procedures for using its phone alert system.
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.
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