Day: May 29, 2018

Sewer pipe inspections proposed for Guerneville to Geyserville

Property owners in Sonoma County sewer districts from Geyserville to Guerneville could face sewer pipe inspections and mandatory repairs under a proposed county sewer lateral ordinance under consideration.

The Sonoma County Water Agency will host community meetings in June and July to explain the proposed new lateral inspection plan and get public comment from residents in Geyserville, Larkfield-Wikiup, Guerneville, the town of Occidental and the Sea Ranch community.

“From research, we know that private sewers typically require repair after 20 or 30 years,” said Fourth District Sonoma County Supervisor James Gore, who is also a Water Agency director. “In several neighborhoods, field inspectors have reported excessive flows in the sewer system – an indication that storm water has entered the sewer and repairs are needed.”

Gore, in his role as a north county supervisor, also serves as a director to the Airport-Larkfield-Wikiup and Geyserville Sanitation Zones.

The ordinance would give the Water Agency the ability to inspect, and if necessary, require the repair of sewer laterals that are failing and contributing to pollution and sewer overflows, according to a recent Water Agency’s announcement.

“The Water Agency and its sanitation zones are committed to working with property owners to address this challenge together,” said Gore.

The proposed ordinance “would not include mandatory inspections or repairs at this time, but would allow the Water Agency to require repairs if faulty laterals are detected during their own scheduled inspections,” said the agency’s notice.

The ordinance covers five Sonoma County sanitation jurisdictions: the Geyserville and Airport-Larkfield-Wikiup sanitation zones, the Russian River County Sanitation District and the Occidental County Sanitation District and the Sea Ranch Sanitation Zone, all managed by the Water Agency.

The ordinance aims to reduce the “inflow and infiltration” process through which storm water enters the sewer collection system during storms, said the Water Agency. “During a heavy rain, storm water getting into the sewer system from cracked or improperly connected private laterals can overwhelm the sanitary system, resulting in sewer overflows. These overflows pollute creeks, and can damage private property and result in fines to the zone or district.”

Reducing inflow and infiltration “is an essential measure to protect our waterways and reduce risk to private property,” said Fifth District Sonoma County Supervisor and Water Agency Director Lynda Hopkins, who also serves as a sanitation district director for the five sewer districts. “The Water Agency is taking proactive steps to maintain the public infrastructure.”

The first meeting will address the Geyserville and Airport-Larkfield-Wikiup Sanitation Zones and is scheduled on Tuesday, June 19 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Sonoma County Water Agency, 404 Aviation Boulevard in Santa Rosa.

The Russian River County Sanitation District and Occidental County Sanitation District meeting takes place on Tuesday, June 26, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Monte Rio Community Center.

The Sea Ranch Sanitation Zone meeting is scheduled on Saturday, July 28, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Sea Ranch in the Del Mar Recreation  Center, 20600 Leeward Road.

The Water Agency anticipates that a proposed ordinance would go to the Board of Directors in fall of 2018 and, if approved, would take effect a year later, said Water Agency Public Information Officer Ann DuBay.

The effort to create a sewer lateral inspection program is part of a legal settlement stemming from lawsuits filed by California River Watch, the non-profit environmental watchdog group that files lawsuits accusing local government entities of noncompliance with state and federal anti-pollution laws.

Two years ago the Sonoma County Water Agency settled one River Watch lawsuit over alleged water quality violations at the Russian River Sanitation District. The settlement included $25,000 in legal fees and costs paid to River Watch and a requirement that the Water Agency develop a private sewer lateral ordinance for the district.

As a result of the River Watch litigation settlement, DuBay said, “We are systematically looking at sewer laterals and how they can be replaced so we don’t have as many overflows that we do in big storms. The idea is to replace sewer laterals that are failing.”

The Russian River Sanitation District that covers Guerneville went into service in the early 1980s so most of the sewer laterals are now reaching or have passed the 30-year benchmark for inspection and repair.

“We wouldn’t say categorically they all need repair,” said DuBay. “We definitely want to have them inspected.”

Inspections can be done by a licensed plumber using cameras that examine the interior of the lateral pipe. Estimates indicate the typical cost would run around $200 and up, said DuBay.

Interview: The 100th Anniversary Celebration of Johnson's Beach in Guerneville

Dan Poirier and Nick Moore, co-owners of Johnson’s Beach, share a preview of the Centennial Concert and Russian River Blues Festival, Saturday June 9th and Sunday, June 10th.

They share with Pat how they became only the fourth owners of the property over the past one hundred years, the family tradition of the beach through the generations, the musicians that will be performing during the two-day celebration, the outdoor sports and swimming you can enjoy, and the types of locals and tourists who visit the property:

http://dehayf5mhw1h7.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/sites/726/2018/05/29124519/05_29_2018_935_JohnsonsBeach100th_DanPoirierNickMoore.mp3

The Centennial Concert and Russian River Blues Festival:

Performance Lineup

Tickets

Homeless grant will fund Guerneville street clean-up

Homeless people will get hired to help cleanup downtown Guerneville’s streets this summer in exchange for meals, bus rides and movie tickets.

Sonoma County supervisors agreed to spend approximately $47,000 last week to fund a plan to recruit up to two-dozen homeless residents to work in teams cleaning the town streets twice a week.

“I hope to be part of it,” said Anthony Golden, a Guerneville homeless resident who has voluntarily helped clean Guerneville’s streets in the past.

So far he hasn’t heard about the new cleanup project, but he would be willing to sign up, said Golden, who was shoveling gravel last Sunday out in front of the old Guerneville church on First Street. “I guess the money has to go through channels.”

The Guerneville “CleanStreets” project approved last week will enlist the homeless to participate in downtown Guerneville cleanup events in exchange for vouchers for transportation, movie passes, meals “and other incentives,” said Sonoma County Community Development Commission Executive Director Margaret Van Vliet in her report to the Board of Supervisors. “The program will engage unsheltered persons by increasing participation in the larger lower Russian River community, ultimately changing the perception of community members towards homeless persons.”

The grant proposal, from Clean River Alliance working under the auspices of the Russian Riverkeeper, the non-profit Healdsburg-based environmental watchdog program, will enable Chris Brokate of the Clean River Alliance to recruit and coordinate weekly teams of up to six people to pick up trash and do other downtown cleanup chores. The cleanup will target downtown streets from the Highway 116 Bridge to Mill Street and from First Street to Fifth Street.

Clean River Alliance will recruit an estimated 15 to 24 homeless residents and train them in “safe and effective trash collection techniques, and complete 60 (twice weekly) town trash cleanups,” said Van Vliet in her report.

The homeless participants in the cleanup program will learn “soft job skills and will be engaged in housing and shelter services,” said Van Vliet.

Brokate and his Clean River Alliance effort, working under the auspices of the non-profit Russian Riverkeeper, got $100,000 earlier this year for a one-year Clean Camp and Education Program to facilitate homeless camp cleanups along the river and provide homeless camp residents with advice on how to be neater campers.

“Establishing relationships with unsheltered homeless persons offers Clean River Alliance the opportunity to provide environmental education while engaging homeless persons in debris cleanup efforts,” said Van Vliet’s report.

“These activities reduce the amount of waste in the river, engage the homeless population with services, build community relations between homeless and housed populations, and support the broader effort to move people towards shelter and housing opportunities,” said Van Vliet.

Also last week, the Board of Supervisors approved a total of $318,000 in lower Russian River grant funds targeting homelessness issues mainly in the Guerneville area.

Social Advocates For Youth (SAY) will get $70,000 to expand its Lower Russian River Housing Services program. West County Community Services (WCCS) was awarded $176,915 for rapid rehousing program.

West County Health Centers (WCHC) was awarded an additional $30,000 to support the training of their access coordinator team to aid people experiencing homelessness in the lower Russian River area.

SSU unveils new wine learning center

(1 of ) A Sonoma State University student skateboards past the Wine Spectator Learning Center, part of the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California, on Thursday, May 10, 2018. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

(2 of ) A lectern with a computer screen is seen inside one of the technologically advanced classrooms at the Wine Spectator Learning Center, part of the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California, on Thursday, May 10, 2018. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

(3 of ) Decorative wine bottles are seen in the lobby of the new Wine Spectator Learning Center, part of the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California, on Thursday, May 10, 2018. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

(4 of ) Sonoma State University students play a pickup game of soccer in front of the Wine Spectator Learning Center, which is part of the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California, on Thursday, May 10, 2018. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

(5 of ) Sonoma State University’s Dr. John Stayton, left, executive director of graduate and executive business programs, and Ray Johnson, executive director of the Wine Business Institute, share a laugh while giving a tour of the Wine Spectator Learning Center, which is part of the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California, on Thursday, May 10, 2018. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

(6 of ) One of the student lounge areas at the Wine Spectator Learning Center, part of the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California, on Thursday, May 10, 2018. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

(7 of ) Sonoma State University students mill around outside the Wine Spectator Learning Center, which is part of the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California, on Thursday, May 10, 2018. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

(8 of ) One of the student lounge areas, with outside views of university grounds, at the Wine Spectator Learning Center, which is part of the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California, on Thursday, May 10, 2018. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

(9 of ) Sonoma State University English/creative writing major Jason Brendel of Windsor takes a moment to relax from finals at the Bouchaine Vineyards Terrace and Garden outside the Wine Spectator Learning Center, which is part of the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California, on Thursday, May 10, 2018. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

(10 of ) A view of the pyramid-shaped skylights at the Wine Spectator Learning Center, part of the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California, on Thursday, May 10, 2018. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

(11 of ) An inside view of the iconic pyramid-shaped skylights at the Wine Spectator Learning Center, which is part of the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California, on Thursday, May 10, 2018. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

(12 of ) A view of the Peter Michael Winery Executive Classrom at the Wine Spectator Learning Center, part of the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California, on Thursday, May 10, 2018. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

(13 of ) A row of new vines grow outside the Wine Spectator Learning Center, part of the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California, on Thursday, May 10, 2018. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

Sewer pipe inspections proposed for Guerneville to Geyserville – Sonoma West

Property owners in Sonoma County sewer districts from Geyserville to Guerneville could face sewer pipe inspections and mandatory repairs under a proposed county sewer lateral ordinance under consideration.

The Sonoma County Water Agency will host community meetings in June and July to explain the proposed new lateral inspection plan and get public comment from residents in Geyserville, Larkfield-Wikiup, Guerneville, the town of Occidental and the Sea Ranch community.

“From research, we know that private sewers typically require repair after 20 or 30 years,” said Fourth District Sonoma County Supervisor James Gore, who is also a Water Agency director. “In several neighborhoods, field inspectors have reported excessive flows in the sewer system – an indication that storm water has entered the sewer and repairs are needed.”

Gore, in his role as a north county supervisor, also serves as a director to the Airport-Larkfield-Wikiup and Geyserville Sanitation Zones.

The ordinance would give the Water Agency the ability to inspect, and if necessary, require the repair of sewer laterals that are failing and contributing to pollution and sewer overflows, according to a recent Water Agency’s announcement.

“The Water Agency and its sanitation zones are committed to working with property owners to address this challenge together,” said Gore.

The proposed ordinance “would not include mandatory inspections or repairs at this time, but would allow the Water Agency to require repairs if faulty laterals are detected during their own scheduled inspections,” said the agency’s notice.

The ordinance covers five Sonoma County sanitation jurisdictions: the Geyserville and Airport-Larkfield-Wikiup sanitation zones, the Russian River County Sanitation District and the Occidental County Sanitation District and the Sea Ranch Sanitation Zone, all managed by the Water Agency.

The ordinance aims to reduce the “inflow and infiltration” process through which storm water enters the sewer collection system during storms, said the Water Agency. “During a heavy rain, storm water getting into the sewer system from cracked or improperly connected private laterals can overwhelm the sanitary system, resulting in sewer overflows. These overflows pollute creeks, and can damage private property and result in fines to the zone or district.”

Reducing inflow and infiltration “is an essential measure to protect our waterways and reduce risk to private property,” said Fifth District Sonoma County Supervisor and Water Agency Director Lynda Hopkins, who also serves as a sanitation district director for the five sewer districts. “The Water Agency is taking proactive steps to maintain the public infrastructure.”

The first meeting will address the Geyserville and Airport-Larkfield-Wikiup Sanitation Zones and is scheduled on Tuesday, June 19 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Sonoma County Water Agency, 404 Aviation Boulevard in Santa Rosa.

The Russian River County Sanitation District and Occidental County Sanitation District meeting takes place on Tuesday, June 26, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Monte Rio Community Center.

The Sea Ranch Sanitation Zone meeting is scheduled on Saturday, July 28, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Sea Ranch in the Del Mar Recreation  Center, 20600 Leeward Road.

The Water Agency anticipates that a proposed ordinance would go to the Board of Directors in fall of 2018 and, if approved, would take effect a year later, said Water Agency Public Information Officer Ann DuBay.

The effort to create a sewer lateral inspection program is part of a legal settlement stemming from lawsuits filed by California River Watch, the non-profit environmental watchdog group that files lawsuits accusing local government entities of noncompliance with state and federal anti-pollution laws.

Two years ago the Sonoma County Water Agency settled one River Watch lawsuit over alleged water quality violations at the Russian River Sanitation District. The settlement included $25,000 in legal fees and costs paid to River Watch and a requirement that the Water Agency develop a private sewer lateral ordinance for the district.

As a result of the River Watch litigation settlement, DuBay said, “We are systematically looking at sewer laterals and how they can be replaced so we don’t have as many overflows that we do in big storms. The idea is to replace sewer laterals that are failing.”

The Russian River Sanitation District that covers Guerneville went into service in the early 1980s so most of the sewer laterals are now reaching or have passed the 30-year benchmark for inspection and repair.

“We wouldn’t say categorically they all need repair,” said DuBay. “We definitely want to have them inspected.”

Inspections can be done by a licensed plumber using cameras that examine the interior of the lateral pipe. Estimates indicate the typical cost would run around $200 and up, said DuBay.