Punctured Pipeline Causes Wastewater Spill in Occidental


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    February 27, 2018 - For Immediate Release

    CONTACT: Ann DuBay: 707.524.8378 (office), 707.322.8185 (cell), Ann.DuBay@scwa.ca.gov       

    (Occidental, CA) — A four-inch wastewater pipeline was inadvertently punctured in downtown Occidental Monday morning, causing less than 1,200 gallons of untreated wastewater to be released. Construction workers on the scene, who were working on a county sidewalk project, were able to contain most of the spill, and used a small pump to move the wastewater to a nearby sewer lateral. An unknown amount of wastewater entered a storm drain, which carries storm water to Dutch Bill Creek.

    Staff from the Sonoma County Water Agency (Water Agency), which operates the Occidental County Sanitation District, responded to the spill to assist with containment and temporary repairs of the pipeline. The incident was reported at 9:30 a.m. when workers building sidewalks near Hill and Main streets inadvertently punctured the pipe with a metal stake. Temporary repairs of the pipeline were completed shortly after 10 a.m. The Water Agency reported the spill to the state Office of Emergency Services by 10 a.m., which in turn is responsible for informing State Water Resources Board and state Fish & Wildlife officials. In addition, the Water Agency contacted the state Division of Drinking Water.

    Water Agency officials are working with the contractor to permanently repair the pipeline, which carries wastewater through a pressurized pipe from Occidental to the wastewater treatment plant above town.

    The Water Agency manages and operates eight different sanitation districts and zones throughout Sonoma County.


    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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