Water Agency Responds to Weather-Related Events in Sonoma Valley


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    December 21, 2010 - For Immediate Release

    CONTACT: Ann DuBay, Public Information Officer - 707.524.8378, 707.292.9250 

    Sonoma, CA — Sonoma County Water Agency crews on December 20 responded to a leak in a levee in the Hudeman Slough area of Sonoma Valley and to wastewater overflow from a manhole in Agua Caliente.

    Water from the tidal Hudeman Slough is leaking through the bottom of an earthen levee and into a wetlands managed by the Sonoma Valley County Sanitation District (SVCSD) which is operated by the Water Agency. No structures are involved or at risk. Work crews, including a biologist, assessed the situation and prepared a response plan.

    “These wetlands are important to the health of the bay,” said Water Agency Director and Sonoma County Supervisor Valerie Brown. “Water agency crews are acting quickly to repair the levee and take advantage of a short window of opportunity between storms.”

    Repairs to the levee are slated to begin at 1 p.m. today, during low tide. The repair will consist of excavating the leak area (about 300 square feet), backfilling the area with native soil, compacting and returning the site to the original grade, and replacing gravel on the levee road top. The Water Agency has conducted several construction projects within sensitive habitats at the Hudeman Slough Mitigation and Enhancement Wetland and will implement as many biological protection measures as feasible in this emergency situation including pre-construction surveys, removing salt marsh vegetation by hand, biological monitoring during construction and installation of erosion control mat along recontoured levee banks. Regulatory agencies have been notified.

    The Water Agency was informed at 8:45 p.m. of a wastewater overflow in the Meadowbrook Trailer Park in Agua Caliente. The sewer system in this area is owned by the SVCSD and managed by the Water Agency. The overflow was caused by heavy rainfall.  Flows from a sewer lateral owned by the trailer park entered Aqua Caliente Creek.  Work crews responded immediately and repairs were made within two hours. It is unlikely that fish or wildlife were affected by the overflow due to high rainfall volumes.  Engineers are in the process of developing a permanent solution to overflows that occasionally occur at this site due to heavy rainfall.

    The San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, California Department of Fish and Game, Sonoma County Health Services and the Office of Emergency Services were notified. 


    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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