Sonoma County Gazette, September 2007

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly…. Wastewater news…

Brenda Adelman

The good news is that Santa Rosa intends to get most of their wastewater out of the river between October 1st and May 15th each year, by sending almost all of it to the Geyser’s steam fields.  The bad (and ugly) news is that they are promoting the allowance of “incidental” discharges during summer when flows are low, human use is high, and waterways are more vulnerable to pollution.

Santa Rosa wants to eliminate the summer wastewater discharge prohibition because their goal is to offset water supplies needed to serve new development in the Southwest part of the City.  New urban homes, schools, parks, businesses, etc. will be irrigated with as much as 2 billion gallons a year, the same amount now used for agricultural irrigation. Water customers will be charged the same price for “reused” water as for potable water since Santa Rosa assumes that people will be grateful to use their wastewater.  On the surface of things, it seems like a good idea.