Russian River Sanitation Ultraviolet
wastewater disinfection system
New ultraviolet disinfection system at Russian River County Sanitation District to reduce chlorine, ensure compliance with stringent water quality regulations
Sonoma County Water Agency Director Efren Carrillo, Water Agency General Manager Grant Davis along with District staff and members of the community on March 24 cut the red ribbon to officially unveil the Russian River County Sanitation District’s new ultraviolet disinfection system. The ultraviolet disinfection system is designed to reduce the use of chlorine-based disinfectant used at the District and meet stringent water quality discharge requirements set by the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board.
The District developed the ultraviolet disinfection system in cooperation with the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board. The wastewater treated with the new system will allow the District to continue to meet California Code of Regulations, Title 22 requirements for reuse and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit requirements for river discharge. The District’s discharge permit restricts the amount of disinfectant byproducts that can be discharged into the Russian River, such as chemicals that are formed in the reaction between organic materials and chlorine. The District has violated this permit requirement in the past and the new ultraviolet disinfection system will ensure compliance into the future.
“The new ultraviolet disinfection system is a project that will help the Russian River County Sanitation District meet stringent water quality standards set by the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board,” said Sonoma County Water Agency and Russian River County Sanitation District Director Efren Carrillo. “The new system brings the District into the 21st Century with this technology by reducing the District’s reliance on chlorine as its sole sources of disinfectant. ”
The District treats 300,000 gallons per day of wastewater during the summer, which is treated at the highest level possible and then reused to irrigate the Northwood Golf Course and nearby redwood trees adjacent to the District’s Neeley Road treatment plant. In the winter, the District treats as much as 3.5 million gallons per day due to inflow and infiltration from storms. That highly treated water is discharged into the Russian River between Oct. 1 and May 14.
The $4 million ultraviolet disinfection system was financed by the State Water Resources Control Board, with a $2 million loan and a $2 million grant. “The $2 million grant means that District only has to finance half of the project’s total $4 million cost. This is a win-win for the District, ratepayers and environment,” said Director Carrillo. The cost of building the ultraviolet disinfection system equates to approximately $4 per month per ratepayer, or equivalent single dwelling. The cost of maintaining and operating the new system will be similar to the maintenance costs associated with the chlorine-based system.
“This project couldn’t have been done without the cooperation of our local partners including our community, which includes the Sweetwater Springs Water District, community advocates and countless others. The District would especially like to thank the neighbors on Neeley Road for being patient and working with the District during the construction of this facility,” said Director Carrillo.
Water Agency General Manager Grant Davis added, “I am thrilled that this project was completed on budget and ahead of schedule. The District greatly appreciates the support from its community and hopes everyone takes advantage of a public tour of its treatment plant to learn more about how our wastewater is treated.”
A public tour of the ultraviolet disinfection system was given after the ribbon cutting. If you missed out, don’t worry, another public tour is scheduled for August 15, 2012 at 6p.m. To register for the tour, go to www.sonomacountywater.org/tours. The tour will include a lesson on how our community’s wastewater is treated.
For more information about the new ultraviolet disinfection system, visit www.sonomacountywater.org/rrcsd.