Sonoma County Water Agency E-News | May 2018
Public Facilities Tours
This spring, members of the community joined Water Agency staff for public tours of the Sonoma Valley and Russian River County Sanitation Districts. 

Learn more about these treatment plants by clicking the buttons below each photo.

Learn More

Interested in attending a public tour of Water Agency facilities? Keep reading the Water Agency’s E-News, where tours will be announced. We hope to see you on a future tour! 
Water and Wastewater Treatment
Operators in Training (OIT) Program
The public’s health and quality of life relies on safe, reliable sources of water, as does our economy. Maintaining a safe and secure water supply is crucial to our economic stability and requires an adequate and prepared workforce to ensure that our water is safe not just for drinking but also for manufacturing, agricultural and healthcare needs. Water and Wastewater Treatment Operators are among the most critical occupations because their work is essential to safe and reliable water and wastewater operations, and also because there are concerns about the ability to fill future vacancies due to the anticipated reduction in qualified candidates in the industry. Typically, applicants lack relevant work experience or lack required certification or licensure.

The goal of the Sonoma County Water Agency Operators in Wastewater/Water Training Program Trainee/Intern Program is to prepare qualified individuals for a career in the wastewater and water industry. The Operators in Training (OIT) program has been established to provide participants with the opportunity to gain practical field experience by working under direct supervision of certified Wastewater & Water Treatment Operators. The overall program will consist of two components: the Academic Education Component (AEC) and the Practical Experience Component (PEC). OIT interns must be currently enrolled in at least one class related to this body of work at an accredited institution.
Sonoma Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant
Claire Ernst, the first trainee in the OIT program, says “I love the blend of biology, chemistry, mechanics, and plumbing that I get to experience in this position. I like the problem solving operators get to engage in from day to day, and above all I love that operators get to participate in this giant recycling effort that is wastewater treatment. I get some one-on-one training time with the operator as I shadow them throughout their day, and I help out with anything they’re tasked with. Currently I’m at the Russian River treatment plant, and after doing the rounds with the operator on duty and collecting data for our bench sheets, I learned how to start up and operate the sludge belt press here. Later today I’ll be learning how to clean the press.”

Intern/Volunteer OIT’s are considered having successfully concluded the program once they complete 1,800 hours of qualifying time and received their SWRCB Grade 1 or Higher Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Certification. Such an approach to creating qualified candidates will help to alleviate the challenges currently faced by employers to find eligible workers in the water/wastewater industry.
For more information about the Operators in Training Program, or to inquire about participating, please contact Ryan Kirchner at 707-521-1848 or
Water Storage and Rainfall
Current water supply conditions (5/14/18)

Lake Mendocino
Target Storage Curve: 87,134 acre-feet
Current Storage: 87,052 acre-feet (99.91% of Target)

Lake Sonoma
Target Storage Curve: 245,000 acre-feet
Current Storage: 228,318 acre-feet (93.19% of Water Supply Pool)
Current rainfall conditions (10/1/17 - 5/6/18)

Average (1894-2017 water years): 35.56"
Current Water Year: 23.44" which is 65.92% of average
Santa Rosa:
Average (1950-2017 water years): 29.50"
Current Water Year: 24.99" which is 84.71% of average
Upcoming Events
  • May 22, 2018, 8:30 am
  • June 5, 2018, 8:30 am
  • June 11, 2018, 8:30 am (Budget hearing)
  • June 12, 2018, 8:30 am (Budget hearing and Board meeting)
  • June 13, 2018, 8:30 am (Budget hearing)
Fact of the Month
Each summer, the Water Agency works in and around streams throughout Sonoma County, managing creekside plants, removing sediment and garbage and planting trees. Our stream maintenance program helps prevent flooding in the county and protects wildlife habitats.
Employment Opportunities
We invite you to explore the career opportunities available with the Sonoma County Water Agency.
Public Comment Opportunities
Please click the button below to see opportunities to provide your input and comments.
This E-News is produced by the Water Agency's Community & Government Affairs Department. We want to hear from you!  Contact us with your questions. 
Sonoma County Water Agency