Crews Responding to Wastewater Overflows from Rising River, Heavy Rain


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    For Immediate Release - February 8, 2017

    CONTACT: Ann DuBay, 707.524.8378 (office), 707.322.8185 (cell), - or Brad Sherwood, 707.547.1927 (office), 707.322.8192 (cell),

    (Guerneville, CA)  Rising Russian River levels from a large atmospheric river resulted in two wastewater overflows within the Russian River County Sanitation District (District). With river levels reaching 34 feet (flood stage is 32 feet), the District wastewater collection system exceeded capacity. Overflows occurred at the District’s main lift station on Riverside Drive and on River Road.

    Wastewater maintenance and work crews are working around the clock to minimize overflows as much as possible, evaluate any impacts to public and environmental health, and will continue to monitor the collection systems. The State Office of Emergency Services and California Department of Fish & Wildlife were notified. Total volume of the overflows will be calculated at the end of the storm event.

    During heavy rain events the District’s wastewater collection system can become overloaded due to inflow and infiltration of rainwater and groundwater into sewer mains. Another contributing factor to overflows is the rising river, which can inundate the system.

    The District collection system is a complex network of 11 separate pumping stations that transport wastewater from users’ homes and businesses to its treatment plant. When inflows from the river and storms are high, such as the current average inflows of 3.5 million gallons per day (mgd), the lift station pumps cannot keep up with demand. These stations represent the harshest working conditions of for electrical and mechanical equipment, and require constant maintenance and frequent pump rebuilds. Periodically their high voltage electrical systems must be completely replaced. Over the next decade, the RRCSD will be attempting to rebuild one station a year.

    The wastewater collection system treats wastewater from approximately 3,200 equivalent single-family dwellings from Rio Nido, Guerneville, Guernewood Park and Vacation Beach.


    The Sonoma County Water Agency is working to secure our future by investing in our water resources, community and environment.  The Water Agency provides water supply, flood protection and sanitation services for portions of Sonoma and Marin counties. Visit us on the Web at



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