Clark Mason, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
The historic drought and the emphasis on conserving potable water is bringing new urgency to using reclaimed wastewater for irrigation.
The Healdsburg City Council at 4 p.m. Friday is holding a special meeting to consider extending a pipeline from the city’s sewer plant to provide highly treated wastewater to surrounding vineyards.
It also would make it easier for trucks to access and haul the water beyond Healdsburg, not only for vineyards and orchards, but for frost prevention and dust control.
“It’s great quality water. There’s people who could use it,” said Mayor Jim Wood. “It’s a tremendous offset for potable water (use).”
Currently the state-of-the-art treatment plant discharges about one million gallons daily of “near drinkable” reclaimed water into a pond, which then leaches into the adjacent Russian River.
via Healdsburg may use treated wastewater for vineyards | The Press Democrat.
Sean Scully, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
A ruptured sewer main is spewing out as much as 40,000 gallons per hour in Guerneville and at least some of the untreated waste has reached the Russian River, the Sonoma County Water Agency said.
The pipe ruptured around 12:20 p.m. at the corner of Beach and Orchard avenues. Repairs are expected to last through the night.
It’s not clear how much of the waste is reaching the river, but the agency said the majority is being recovered and pumped into tanker trucks for safe treatment elsewhere.
Drinking water supplies are not threatened, but the Sweetwater Springs Water District, which supplies water to the area, was asking customers to reduce consumption to slow the flow of the sewage, the agency said.
via Sewage from ruptured pipe reaches Russian River | The Press Democrat.
Lori A. Carter, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
A new Petaluma brewery has been shut down for operating without proper permits.
Petaluma Hills Brewing Co. on North McDowell Boulevard opened last month. But city code enforcement officials halted operations this week after learning about an agreement to share the brewery’s space with HenHouse Brewing Co.
Petaluma Hills owner JJ Jay was served with a shut-down notice Tuesday. He said he has been going through the city permitting process for almost a year and wasn’t purposely flouting the law.
via New Petaluma brewery shut for lack of permits | The Press Democrat.
Jamie Hansen, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
The latest in a series of efforts to clean up Occidental’s sewage discharge has stalled, ironically, over environmental concerns.
“It’s back to square one,” said Steve McNeal, a 13-year member of an informal ratepayers group seeking solutions to the small town’s wastewater problems.
Occidental, whose sewer system is run by the Sonoma County Water Agency, has been looking for a new way to dispose of its wastewater since 1997, when the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board ordered it to clean up its discharge to comply with water quality standards by 2008.
The water quality control board extended Occidental’s deadlines over the years, recognizing the financial challenges of updating such a small sewer system, but this February issued another order that authorities believe they must meet by 2018 or face huge fines.
Now, Occidental residents are seeking a fix with increased urgency, both because of the impending deadline and because residents and business owners are struggling to pay current rates. Sewage rates rose from $976 per household in 2005 to $1,682 in 2013, making them some of the highest in the state. And that’s with the Water Agency subsidizing rates to keep costs down for the roughly 100 customers in the tiny sewer district.
Read more via Occidental still seeking a sewer solution | The Press Democrat.
Alastair Bland, NORTH BAY BOHEMIAN
Pressure is growing in communities around the world against Veolia Transdev, the worldwide industrial solutions firm based in France, clouded in political and environmental controversy and currently the operator of Sonoma County’s public bus line.
But the 25-year contract that gives the France-based giant several million dollars each year to operate the Sonoma County Transit bus fleet will come to an end in mid-2014, and local activists aligned against the company due to its support of Israel’s presence in Palestine want the county to part ways with Veolia.
via Bus Stop | News | North Bay Bohemian.
By Kevin McCallum, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Cleaning wastewater requires huge amounts of energy.
It has to be moved with pumps, blasted with pressurized air and zapped with ultraviolet lights. Even after it’s cleaned, it has to be pumped to local farms and soccer fields or piped 40 miles to be injected into the Geysers steam fields.
All that makes the Llano Road wastewater treatment plant, operated by the City of Santa Rosa, one of the largest energy users in Sonoma County, absorbing between 3 and 7 megawatts of electricity daily.
via Santa Rosa wastewater treatment plant on Llano Road undergoing energy upgrade | PressDemocrat.com.