The Sonoma Valley County Sanitation District (SVCSD) is one of two county sanitation districts that will seek public comment in July on hazard mitigation planning efforts to increase the reliability of sanitation facilities during natural disasters, such as an earthquake. The other district is the Russian River County Sanitation District.

The SVCSD Local Hazard Mitigation Plan will be an agenda item at the Sonoma Valley Citizens Advisory Committee meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 23, in the Community Meeting Room, 177 First St. W., Sonoma.

The Sonoma County Valley Sanitation District began operations in 1953 and serves 17,027 Equivalent Single-Family Dwellings within a 4,500-acre service area. The treatment plant has a design capacity of 3-million gallons a day and treats wastewater to tertiary treatment levels.

“The occurrence of natural disasters such as flooding, landslides, fires, and earthquakes – all relatively common in Sonoma County – can result in enormous cost to communities. The Local Hazard Mitigation Plans for these districts will form the foundation for a long-term strategy to reduce disaster losses,” said Water Agency Director Susan Gorin.

Water Agency Director Efren Carrillo said, “I encourage our community to participate in these upcoming meetings.  Protecting human and environmental health is our highest priority as we identify potential hazards in our wastewater collection and treatment infrastructure.”

Both districts have already undergone a Natural Hazard Reliability Assessment (NHRA) to identify potential damage to existing infrastructure from local hazards including earthquakes, wildfires, landslides and floods. The second phase of the project is to develop a Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (plan) that incorporates strategies to minimize damage from those disasters. Public and stakeholder input are critical to identifying vulnerabilities to the Districts and to understand public ideas and priorities for various mitigation activities.

Mitigation measures in the plan will focus on increasing the reliability of sanitation facilities in order to provide public health protection, property protection, and natural resource protection.

This plan is intended to provide a framework for decision-makers to reduce damages to lives, property, and the economy from future disasters through the use of risk-based analysis.

In 1995 the Water Agency assumed responsibility from the County of Sonoma for managing the county sanitation zones and districts, which provide wastewater collection and treatment, and recycled water distribution and disposal services. Currently, the water agency manages and operates eight different sanitation districts and zones.

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