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Sonoma County Gazette, October 2007

RRCSD Storage

By Brenda Adelman

The Russian River County Sanitation District (RRCSD) needs additional storage capacity at the treatment plant in order to keep it from discharging contaminants into the Russian River during high water periods.  Russian River Watershed Protection Committee (RRWPC) agrees that it is necessary.  According to official documents, approximately 30 million gallons of storage is needed in order to fully serve current ratepayers under all river flows.  RRCSD currently has 3.5 million gallons (mg) of storage, and the proposed new storage basin would give us 3.5 mg more at a cost of $4.5 million dollars.

We agree on the need for storage, but this is where the agreement stops.  Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA), operators of the system, have neglected developing a master plan for this and other components as required in the General Plan, which states that no projects can be implemented until a master plan is complete.  Yet SCWA has proposed several component projects with separate environmental reviews.  Their intent has been to use inappropriate and possibly illegal methods to turn RRCSD into a regional system.

Sonoma County Gazette, December 2008

Russian River County Sanitation District’s Proposed New Discharge Permit

by Brenda Adelman

Even after $5 million dollars worth of improvements a few years ago, the Russian River County Sanitation District (RRCSD) treatment system does not function properly during high flows.  The system has violated its discharge permit every year since the Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA) took over in 1995.  A year ago, the District was fined $99,000 out of a possible $170,000 for permit violations  occurring between Oct. 1, 2004 and May 31, 2007, consisting of 34 effluent limit violations and six prohibited discharges.

Recently, on December 1st, comments were due to the Regional Water Quality Control Board on RRCSD’s proposed new discharge permit.  In order to address the system’s problematic history, many new requirements are being imposed.