SonomaCountyRecovers: Official recovery information for Sonoma County fires

Water Quality

With the exception of areas where residents have been notified of drinking water advisories, it is safe to drink and use tap water in Sonoma County.

Residents have been notified of drinking water advisories for the following areas:

  • No Service
    • Wilshire Heights MWC
    • URJ Camp Newman
    • Riebli MWC
    • Petrified Forest
    • Michelle MWC
    • Mark West Acres MWC
    • Heights MWC
    • Arrowood Vineyards & Winery
    • Paradise Ridge Winery
    • Redwood Adventist Academy
    • Journey’s End MHP

For information and resources regarding well water, please go to: Sonoma County Environmental Health & Safety: Well Water Webpage 

or

Click here to view Well Water Recommendations and Requirements After Wildfire Storms

Do not drink the water without boiling it first. Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one (1) minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking and food preparation until further notice. This is the preferred method to assure that the water is safe to drink. Optional alternative to include for prolonged situations where it fits.

An alternative method of disinfection for residents that are not able to boil their water is to use fresh, unscented, liquid household bleach. To do so, add 8 drops (or 1/8 teaspoon) of bleach per gallon of clear water or 16 drops (or 1/4 teaspoon) per gallon of cloudy water, mix thoroughly, and allow it to stand for 30 minutes before using. A chlorine-like taste and odor will result from this disinfection procedure and is an indication that adequate disinfection has taken place.

Onsite septic systems have most of their functional components below ground and are typically more resistant to fire damage. However, it is important to inspect the aboveground electrical and plumbing system for damage to PVC piping that may have been impacted by heat. If your wastewater disposal system has been damaged, or if your system is backing up or malfunctioning, discontinue use and contact Permit Sonoma 707-565-2849 or visit: http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/PRMD/Eng-and-Constr/Well-and-Septic/

Private well water is not regulated by any government agency. Although your well water may taste and smell fine, the only way to know your well water is safe is by testing it.  It is the responsibility of the individual property owner to ensure that their drinking water supply is safe by having the well water tested by a state certified laboratory. View a list of Laboratories that can perform these tests on the County of Sonoma Environmental Health & Safety website.

  • In collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Water Agency has developed a water quality monitoring program to assess the potential impacts to the Water Agency’s drinking water facilities resulting from the wildfires.
  • Data collected from this program will also be helpful in assessing potential impacts to other water supply systems within and downstream of the affected areas, as well as potential ecosystem effects.
  • To protect our drinking water system, multiple local agencies are working together to prevent fire-related debris, pollutants and sediment from burned areas from being carried into our storm drains, creeks and rivers.

If water quality is compromised, your water supplier is required to notify you with a “Boil Water Notice”, “Do Not Drink Water Notice” or a “Do Not Use Water Notice.” If you receive a boil water notice, do not drink the water without boiling it first. Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one (1) minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. If under a Boil Water Notice, boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking and food preparation until further notice, as boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water.

  • Your drinking water is safe. The water quality of municipal drinking water is continuously monitored and tested to ensure it meets or exceeds all state and federal drinking water standards.
  • The Sonoma County Water Agency (Water Agency) supplies water to more than 600,000 residents who live in the cities of Santa Rosa, Windsor, Rohnert Park, Cotati, Petaluma, Sonoma, North Marin Water District, Valley of the Moon Water District, and California-American Water.
  • The Water Agency is actively monitoring the watershed for any potential changes in water quality. To date, the Water Agency hasn’t seen any water quality issues associated with the recent wildfires.
  • Your water utility may supplement water supply with other local sources. For more information on drinking water quality in your neighborhood, visit www.sonomacountywater.org/water-quality.
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