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Russian River Water Quality, Sonoma County

Project Chief: Robert Anders

The Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA) supplies drinking water to municipalities and water districts in Sonoma and Marin Counties by diverting water from the alluvial aquifer underlying and adjacent to the Russian River. Currently, the natural process of riverbank filtration provides the necessary treatment to the river water. However, to meet future water supply demands, SCWA must extend its riverbank filtration facilities to new areas along the Russian River. Furthermore, federal officials have proposed to cut summer flows in the Russian River to improve the habitat for three salmonid species listed as 'threatened' under the federal Endangered Species Act. Therefore, an investigation is required to determine if riverbank filtration can continue to provide adequate treatment to the river water and to assess the impact on the water-quality in the Russian River during reduced flows.
The overall objective of the program is to determine the chemical, isotopic, and microbiological composition of the surface water and ground water in the Lower Russian River Basin in the vicinity where the Russian River water is treated by riverbank filtration and during reduced summer flows.

The program includes: (1) data compilation; a Geographic Information System (GIS) database will be compiled to include relevant land use, meteorology, stream daily and storm flow data, historic water quality and ground water levels for the Lower Russian River Basin. The database compiled during this study will be incorporated into the GIS already being developed for the Russian River area by SCWA; (2) preliminary evaluation of water-quality data; chemical, isotopic and microbiological data collected from relevant surface-water and ground-water locations to evaluate the overall water-quality conditions within the Lower Russian River Basin; (3) identification of water-quality changes; identify changes in water quality that occur in the vicinity where the Russian River water is treated by riverbank filtration; and (4) assessment of low-flow conditions; the water-quality implications of reduced flows will be assessed in the Lower Russian River Basin.

Contact Information

Robert Anders
Office phone: 619-225-6100

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Page Last Modified: Thursday, 01-Apr-2010 18:10:51 EDT