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Natural Resources

For Immediate Release

Sanitation Rate Relief Program for low-income property owners launched by Sonoma Water

SANTA ROSA, CA | May 23, 2023

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The Sonoma County Water Agency (Sonoma Water) Board of Directors has approved a Sanitation Rate Relief Program, allocating up to $1 million for low-income property owners in the eight sanitation districts and zones managed by Sonoma Water. The new program will reduce qualified residential property owners' sanitation rates by 50% of their total annual sewer service charge.

"For many low-income households and non-profit organizations, every penny counts. The Sanitation Rate Relief Program can help ease the financial strain by providing a significant discount on sewer service charges. We are committed to supporting our community and ensuring that everyone has access to the essential services," said Chris Coursey, chair of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and of the Sonoma Water Board of Directors.

To be eligible for the Sanitation Rate Relief Program, property owners in the eight districts or zones must be billed for sewer services on their property tax bill, own their home, and live in it as their primary residence. Non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations can also apply for the program, provided that they rent 85% or more of the property to tenants who have household earnings of 60% or less of the area median family income.

Sonoma Water will begin accepting applications on May 24, 2023 for the Sanitation Rate Relief Program for the next fiscal year, (July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024). All applications are due by July 10, 2023. Applications will be accepted until funds are exhausted, and a waiting list will be maintained. Applicants must renew their application every year.  For more information or to obtain a Sanitation Rate Relief Program application, visit, call (707) 521-1885, or email

The Board also approved sanitation rate increases for all districts and zones. Rate increases ranged from 3.5% to 8.9%, depending upon the Zone or District. The rate increases are necessary for the maintenance and replacement of aging infrastructure, and deferred maintenance to maintain the integrity of these publicly-owned assets, and to responsibly manage the systems in a way that protects public health and the environment.

Sonoma Water manages and operates the Occidental County Sanitation District, Russian River County Sanitation District, Sonoma Valley County Sanitation District, South Park County Sanitation District, Airport/Larkfield/Wikiup Sanitation Zone, Geyserville Sanitation Zone, Penngrove Sanitation Zone, and Sea Ranch Sanitation Zone.

Andrea Rodriguez
Communications Manager, Sonoma Water
(707) 331-2040