Water & Sewer

Water and Sewer_web
The highly skilled staff of Water Operations maintain the water distribution, wastewater collection and urban water reuse system in Santa Rosa. The water and wastewater system operators are responsible for nearly 1,200 miles of water and sewer pipe, 6,000 fire hydrants, 20 water booster pump stations, 24 water reservoirs, and 17 wastewater pump stations. This includes testing, cleaning, leak repair, fire hydrant maintenance, installation of water meters, operational emergency response, general construction, and more.

Water Distribution System

Santa Rosa's primary source of water is from the Russian River supplied by the Sonoma County Water Agency (Water Agency) through the Water Agency’s aqueduct. Santa Rosa’s Water System provides water service to over 53,000 residential and commercial connections through over 600 miles of water main.

There are 24 reservoirs (tanks) located in higher elevations within Santa Rosa that provide valuable storage of 22 million gallons of drinking water. Due to elevation differences throughout the City, 25 - 30% of Santa Rosa’s water is boosted to these reservoirs by water pump stations to help to maintain adequate water pressure to our customers. 

Water Operations is able to effectively operate and troubleshoot the city’s Water Distribution System by monitoring all pump station and reservoir parameters remotely using a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) System. 

Maintenance & Repair 

The water system is maintained by three Water Operations Construction crews to insure delivery of clean and safe drinking water with a minimum or no interruption to our customers. These crews are responsible for mainline, valve and sample station repairs, maintenance and repair of fire hydrants, city-side leak repairs, and plastic service line replacement.
Local crew replacing a water valve.
As part of our aggressive Leak Detection program, the crews walk a street at a time using a listening device that can hear underground leaks before they surface. This proactive effort saves Santa Rosa thousands of gallons of water per year. 

Additionally, the Water Operations crews maintain the 6,000 fire hydrants throughout the City. Maintenance includes testing for proper operation and clearing any obstructions, such as vegetation that might impede the use of the hydrant. The crew also tests the flow of the hydrants and paint a color coded top indicating the flow rate for easy identification, as well as, paint a number on the body of the hydrant indicating its static pressure.

Wastewater Collection System

Water that goes down your shower, toilet and sink drain enters our wastewater collection system. Over 500 miles of underground pipes brings this wastewater from homes, businesses and industry located within the City of Santa Rosa, as well as, within the cities of Rohnert Park, Cotati, Sebastopol, and the South Park Sanitation District to the Laguna Treatment Plant.

The majority of our wastewater runs by gravity through a series of wastewater pipes to the Plant. The remainder of the wastewater, due to elevations that will not allow for gravity flow, must be lifted (pumped) to a location through force (pressurized) mains in the wastewater system that will allow the wastewater to return to a gravity wastewater main. The wastewater lift station system consists of 18 wastewater lift pump stations. 

Maintenance & Repair

Santa Rosa Water has a robust maintenance and repair program to prevent sewer line blockages, breaks, overflows and Inflow & Infiltration of groundwater and storm water into the collection system. 

The Cleaning Crew cleans and maintains the collection system using Combination Cleaning Trucks which have the ability to clean the sewer lines with high water pressure, as well as, the capability to vacuum debris that is encountered.
Crews Cleaning Lateral
The Crew also uses a Rodder to remove roots, heavy grease and/or other obstructions from sewer lines. The Water Operations Construction crew conducts scheduled and emergency repairs, as well as, installs manholes and clean-out ports throughout the collection system for maintenance access. 

Additionally, Santa Rosa Water works to eliminate inflow and infiltration of groundwater and storm water into the collection system, as such water does not need to be treated at the Laguna Treatment Plant; it should be entering our storm drain system or soaking into the ground.  Santa Rosa Water conducts smoke testing to find the source of an inflow and infiltration problem, as well as, leaks and illegal connections to sewer line and abandoned sewer lines that have not previously been surveyed. Identifying and eliminating inflow and infiltration reduces flows into the wastewater system, helps stabilize treatment costs and helps prevent sewer backups and overflows when it rains.

Sewer Lateral Maintenance Areas of Responsibility

A sewer lateral is the pipe that is constructed from the public sewer main in the street (or sometimes located in an easement) to the property. A sewer lateral shall be installed at the property owner’s expense per current City standards and all connections fees associated paid to the City. After the connection is approved and complete, a monthly sewer bill will be charged according to current City rates.  You may contact Water Billing for monthly bill fees and charges at (707) 543-3150.


City Code; Title 15 Sewers, Chapter 15-16 Sewer Connections:

User shall maintain, operate, and repair, at user’s own expense and after obtaining all required permits, the entire sewer service lateral, cleanouts, backwater valves and backflow overflow devices from, upon, within, and under user’s premises and property and to the City sewer. User shall be responsible for maintaining a clear, unobstructed sewer service lateral, free of all breaks, leaks and obstructions, including, but not limited to, roots, rocks, dirt, and grease, from, upon, within, and under the user’s premises and to the City sewer. It is user’s responsibility to operate, maintain, and repair the entire sewer service lateral, however, the City may, in its sole discretion and at City expense, elect to perform occasional repairs on that portion of the sewer service lateral located between the City sewer and to the backside of the curb or sidewalk. (Ord. 3914 § 1, 2009; Ord. 3895 § 1, 2008)”

For questions regarding installation of a sewer lateral, or the fees associated to connect, contact Utilities Engineering Customer Service at (707) 543-4200.