Drilling of Sonoma Valley Groundwater Monitoring Wells Commences

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2011-06-02

WellPress Release

For Immediate Release 
June 2, 2011                                                        

 CONTACT:
Brad Sherwood
Public Information Officer
 707.547.1927 (Office)
707.570.7448 (Cell)
sherwood@scwa.ca.gov

(Sonoma, CA)  Drilling preparations for two specially designed 500-foot deep groundwater monitoring wells in the Sonoma Valley basin commenced Tuesday, May 31, 2011 as a part of the Sonoma Valley Groundwater Management Program (SVGMP). The Sonoma Valley Groundwater Monitoring Wells Project (Project) is managed by the Sonoma County Water Agency (Water Agency) with oversight from the Basin Advisory Panel of the SVGMP. The Basin Advisory Panel is a collaborative group of Sonoma Valley stakeholders representing varied groundwater interests formed in 2006 to develop and adopt the SVGMP. The Project is slated for completion by mid-July.

“Data obtained from the groundwater monitoring wells will benefit ongoing and future components necessary for the successful implementation of the Sonoma Valley Groundwater Management Program,” said Water Agency Director Valerie Brown. “The data will also provide a technical basis to better manage the Sonoma Valley basin in the southern portion of Sonoma Valley to reduce risk of degradation to groundwater quality.”

The two well sites will each be constructed with depth-specific intervals to monitor multiple aquifer zones and are located along Watmaugh Road near Sonoma Creek and at 22333 Eighth Street East, north of the Sonoma Valley County Sanitation District’s wastewater treatment plant. These sites were specifically selected in the southern portion of Sonoma Valley due to concerns over saline water intrusion and declining groundwater levels. Each well will consist of several small wells targeted to monitor groundwater at specific depth intervals, thus allowing scientists to assess conditions vertically in addition to spatially. In addition to drilling and constructing the wells, the work will include subsurface investigations using sophisticated geophysical instruments to gather information regarding geology and groundwater.

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) in 2008 awarded the Water Agency on behalf of the SVGMP a $250,000 Local Groundwater Assistance Act (AB 303) grant to fund the Project. Included in the cost of the Project and grant was the development of a groundwater recharge study recently completed by the Sonoma Ecology Center.

 Data provided by the wells will be used to evaluate and monitor:

• Groundwater levels and flow patterns in the region

• Reported salinity intrusion in the region

• Groundwater quality

“These two wells will complement the successful voluntary groundwater-level monitoring program in the Sonoma Valley that currently includes over 130 wells - many from private landowners,” said Basin Advisory Panel Chairman and Valley of the Moon Water District Board Member Mark Bramfitt. “This is a crucial component of our effort to preserve and protect groundwater resources for generations to come.”

Water Agency Chief Engineer Jay Jasperse added, “Drilling and constructing the wells will enable Sonoma Valley stakeholders to obtain detailed geologic and hydrogeologic data of the area, and will provide long-term monitoring points to evaluate groundwater flow and quality.”

In addition to providing funding for the project, geologists from DWR will be onsite to assist in characterizing the geologic materials encountered during the drilling.

View a video of the drilling.

Learn more about the SVGMP at http://www.scwa.ca.gov/svgroundwater/

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Sonoma County Water Agency provides water supply, flood protection and sanitation services for portions of Sonoma and Marin counties. Visit us on the Web at www.sonomacountywater.org.

 

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