Millions of gallons of raw sewage and untreated runoff have poured into the United States’ second-largest estuary since a massive sewage treatment plant experienced equipment failures that forced it to stop fully treating Seattle’s waste.
State water quality officials are frustrated that nearly six years after they fined the owners of the former Shasta Paper Co. mill $682,500, little has been done to clean up the contaminated site near Anderson.
Guerneville is out and Graton is now in as a potential destination for Occidental’s wastewater. What may sound like west county musical chairs is actually the latest chapter in a 20-year effort to find an alternative for Occidental’s wastewater treatment plant, which has been under state orders since 1997 to quit discharging treated effluent into Dutch Bill Creek, a Russian River tributary and coho salmon spawning stream.
From the San Jose Mercury News, in a commentary by Richard Santos:
In the midst of exceptional drought conditions, a new, locally controlled, drought-proof water source for Silicon Valley could not have come at a better time. The Santa Clara Valley Water District, in partnership with the cities of San Jose and Santa Clara, is celebrating the completion of the Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center.
The most radical “green” features of the City of San Jose’s new Environmental Innovation Center are concealed behind two doors marked “Women” and “Men.” There, plopped between the other conventional stalls, are two “composting toilets,” the first ever installed in a California office building.
Sixty million gallons of wastewater are pulled from sewer pipes and into the Fresno municipal wastewater treatment plant every day. … The plant managers plan to treat to a higher level and disinfect the water so it can be used to irrigate schoolyards, golf courses, and cemeteries.
“The Ross Valley Sanitary District has known for a long time that its sewer system is old and failing. … In addition, the district has been slapped with costly fines by the state San Francisco Bay Water Regional Quality Control Board, the agency assigned to stem pollution.”
“The California State Water Resources Control Board says the new rules were created in response to Governor Jerry Brown’s drought declaration in January. The board says now there are more streamlined rules around the production and use of recycled water for irrigation.”
“Concerned about plans to develop a former sewer treatment site and the capacity of the current treatment plant, Marin residents urged the Ross Valley Sanitary District on Wednesday to oppose Larkspur’s draft housing and business development proposal.”
“Last year, the Antioch couple learned they were being charged for Delta Diablo Sanitation District sewer service despite never being connected to the district’s system. Their home, built in 1980, is on a septic tank.”
“With mere inches to spare, crews gently lowered a 70,000-pound disc of steel into place at the city’s wastewater treatment plant on Thursday, marking a milestone in a $1.5 million project expected to conclude this summer.”
“At two treatment plants in El Dorado Hills, millions of gallons of brown wastewater pour in every week, and millions of gallons of clean water pour out through purple pipes that irrigate the lawns of 4,000 homes.