Sonoma Water
Released by: Water Agency
For Immediate Release

Faulty Valve Leads to Sonoma Valley Wastewater Spill

Santa Rosa, CA  –  January 14, 2019  –  A faulty valve resulted in the accidental release of 2 million gallons of untreated wastewater from a pipeline in the Sonoma Valley County Sanitation District (District). The leak occurred at Schell Slough in Sonoma Valley, and the wastewater flowed into the slough.

The problem valve was isolated, and flows were stopped at 10:45 a.m. Wastewater  maintenance crews are working to repair the valve. The State Office of Emergency Services, San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board and California Department of Fish & Wildlife were notified. Environmental specialists were dispatched to the site, and did not observe any dead or distressed fish or other species.

The valve, which failed to fully close, was leaking wastewater for about 24 hours, and is one component of a complex network of pipelines that collect wastewater from about 17,000 equivalent single family dwellings in the Sonoma Valley. The wastewater is treated to a tertiary level at the District’s treatment plant on 8th Street East, near the city of Sonoma. Since 1994, the District has completed approximately 9.7 miles of major capacity and structural improvement projects at a cost of $14.9 million.

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