November 2010: Incidental runoff, Low Flow & Monte Rio Sewer Meeting


November, 2010

Dear RRWPC Supporter:

Sonoma County water issues continued on the front burner throughout 2010.  Recent local election results indicate that things may get even more intense in 2011.  With two brand new and two relatively new Sonoma County Supervisors, and critical budgetary cuts to be made, it is easy to predict that vast changes in County governance will occur at all levels.  One change may be new leadership of and a possible restructuring at the Sonoma County Water Agency.   That Agency is in charge of summer dam releases and river flows; they manage the water system for about 500,000 people in mostly urban areas, and are in charge of County sewer districts.  We will keep you informed.

Healdsburg Reclamation Permit and “incidental runoff”…..
The North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board recently authorized the first Reclamation Permit to be issued since the new Storm Water Permit had been approved.  Reclamation permits regulate wastewater reuse for irrigation, and are intended to prevent runoff of toxins to waterways and groundwater. Irrigation occurs in the summer, when flows are low and assimilative capacity can be very poor. “Incidental runoff” will become especially problematic if “low flows” become permanent.