Emergency Groundwater Supply

In 2003, the City developed an exploratory groundwater program to study the City's groundwater sub-basins, establish a more thorough understanding of the hydrogeologic conditions underlying the City, and investigate and evaluate potential future emergency well sites within the City's Urban Growth Boundary. Eight test borings (test wells) have been installed and tested and are being monitored by the City.

In September of 2013, the City completed the Ground Water Master Plan (GWMP). The Plan recommends implementation of near term actions in the first five years following the adoption of the plan, including the following: 

  • Provide and maintain emergency groundwater pumping capacity of 16.3 million gallons per day (mgd) to meet existing and future health and safety demands should water delivered by the Sonoma County Water Agency become restricted or unavailable due to an emergency. The City’s current emergency groundwater supply is about 4.3 mgd.
  • Continue collecting data via the City’s Emergency Test Well Siting Program.
  • Short term: Construct four new emergency wells within the next 2 to 3 years.
  • Long term: Construct several additional emergency groundwater wells to ultimately provide a total of 12.0 mgd of additional emergency supply.

A consultant, West Yost Associates, was retained in 2014 and work began for the emergency groundwater supply program including: well siting, design and construction management services in support of the City’s Groundwater Program.

Current Projects

The City of Santa Rosa is finalizing plans to evaluate site conditions at two locations to determine if the sites can support an emergency supply well.  If the site conditions are favorable, an emergency groundwater well will be installed. The two sites being evaluated are the Oakmont Treatment Plant and a newly acquired site on Speers Road.  
The purpose of the project is to implement emergency wells to provide the City of Santa Rosa water in the event of an emergency or disconnection to the Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA).

The water provided by the wells will support the City of Santa Rosa Water customers, such as hospitals, schools, nursing facilities, homes and businesses. The emergency well would be operated up to 15 days (per year), which would allow for repairs to reconnect to the SCWA transmission line.

The need for these projects was identified in the 2013 Groundwater Master Plan. Currently in the event of an emergency, the City would not be able to meet the City’s water demand.

Multiple locations are currently being investigated to install new emergency wells and to perform needed maintenance to protect the water supply at existing groundwater wells.

Project FAQ (English)

Project FAQ (Spanish)

Additional Info...

Second Public Meeting for Emergency Well on Speers Road

Wednesday, June 21, 6:00-8:00pm
Rincon Valley Library, 6959 Montecito Blvd., Santa Rosa
The following questions/concerns regarding the investigative drilling and possible installation of an emergency well have been brought to our attention and will be addressed at the public meeting:

  • Proposed emergency groundwater well’s effect on the groundwater table in the Speers Neighborhood and on resident’s wells in the surrounding area.
  • Analysis of environmental impacts of an emergency groundwater well.
  • Notification to residents about the project.
  • Emergency well and pump station facilities look and feel in the neighborhood.
  • Ability to connect to the City’s water and sewer system.
  • Impacts to Speers Road due to the potential extension of City water and sewer to the property.

In addition to the public meeting, we have also included a list of frequently asked questions to address these concerns. If you have additional questions that you would like the City to specifically address at the meeting, please send them to aallen@srcity.org. You can also share your questions at the public meeting.


Project FAQ (English)

Project FAQ (Spanish)