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Occidental Wastewater Project Comment Period Extended


Occidental Wastewater Project Comment Period Extended

Sonoma County Water Agency (Water Agency) Director Lynda Hopkins announced on Monday, January 9 that the Water Agency Board will consider holding a public hearing for the Occidental County Sanitation District Wastewater Transport Compliance Project (Project) Initial Study and Negative Declaration. 

“I have heard from many people in my district who want more time to review the Occidental project and who want an opportunity to share their thoughts,” said Hopkins. “I’ve asked Water Agency staff to extend the comment period and to bring to the full Board a plan to hold a public hearing.”

Water Agency General Manager Grant Davis extended the comment period for the Project and Initial Study and Negative Declaration (IS/ND) to 60 days, ending at 5 p.m. February 24, 2017. On January 24, at its regular board meeting, the full Board will consider the proposal to schedule a public hearing at the Monte Rio Community Center, 6 p.m., February 16.

“The Project’s operations potentially affect people living in both Occidental and near the main lift station on Highway 116. A public hearing in Monte Rio will allow folks from both communities to attend,” said Hopkins.

The Project would allow Occidental’s wastewater to be transported, treated and discharged at treatment plants near Guerneville and Airport Business Park by making minor modifications to:

- The Occidental County Sanitation District’s wastewater treatment facility on Lu Dan Road to allow primary storage of untreated wastewater in Pond 1 instead of Pond

The District’s lift station on Bohemian Highway, to create a truck filling station and to allow the sewage to continue to be stored at the wastewater treatment facility on LuDan Road and returned to the lift station through the force main for transport;

- The Russian River County Sanitation District main lift station and an adjacent par­cel of land to allow trucks to drive into the lift station to dispose of wastewater into the main lift station.

Occidental Wastewater Transport proposed route to Guerneville Lift Station

Currently, the District discharges recycled water into Graham’s Pond located at the headwaters of Dutch Bill Creek during the summer and to Dutch Bill Creek during the winter. Dutch Bill Creek provides habitat for endangered coho salmon. An order by the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board District requires the District to stop releasing secondary treated water into the pond by 2018.

The Project would bring the District into compliance with the law by ending wastewater treatment at the existing treatment facility. Instead, the wastewater would be transported from District’s lift station to the RRCSD main lift station. Wastewater would be trans­ported to the Airport-Larkfield-Wikiup Sanitation Zone treatment facility when storage, treatment, or disposal operations limit the ability to utilize the RRCSD facilities.

Pending Board approval, the hearing date will be posted on the Water Agency’s website,  on January 24.

Wastewater Compliance Transport Project Frequently Asked Questions

For More Information

For more information, go to The IS/ND is available at this link, at Sonoma County libraries and by flash drive from the Water Agency. All written comments can be sent to or to Sonoma County Water Agency, Attn: Jeff Church., 404 Aviation Boulevard, Santa Rosa, CA 95403.