Santa Rosa, CA — The City of Santa Rosa’s $19.4 million environmental infrastructure authorization under the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) is included in the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act. The City submitted the WRDA request to Congressman Mike Thompson, who ensured the request was included in the final version of the WRDA Act. This is the first WRDA authorization received by the City since 1992.
The approved authorization allows Santa Rosa to seek crucial water and wastewater improvements from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The City will review with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers urgent infrastructure projects related to the sewer system. Certain priority sewer pipes transport significant flow to the Laguna Wastewater Treatment Plant via large-diameter sewer pipes located in environmentally critical areas, and are identified as habitats for endangered plant and animal species.
“This crucial authorization will allow Santa Rosa to continue to provide essential water and sewer service necessary for the health and safety of the region’s residents and businesses. We appreciate Congressman Thompson’s commitment to improving our water quality and infrastructure here in the City and are so grateful to be included in the National Defense Authorization Act,” said Santa Rosa Mayor Natalie Rogers.
Santa Rosa’s wastewater collection system delivers nearly 6 billion gallons of wastewater to the Laguna Wastewater Treatment Plant where it is recycled. Nearly 100 percent of Santa Rosa’s recycled water is beneficially reused for urban and agricultural irrigation, and to recharge the Geysers steamfields, that produce enough energy to power 100,000 homes in the North Bay.
“This key federal investment for Santa Rosa helps fund improvements to its aged-out wastewater collection and treatment facilities. Several of the City’s large-diameter sewer pipes require urgent rehabilitation to avoid catastrophic failure, which would interrupt the Regional Water Reuse System and have sweeping negative environmental and economic impacts to our community. We will continue to work with our federal partners to deliver infrastructure improvements for Santa Rosa,” said Santa Rosa City Manager Maraskeshia Smith.
“Every community deserves to have clean water and secure wastewater systems,” said Congressman Thompson. “Replacing aging pipelines is vital to the health and wellbeing of our community in Santa Rosa, and this funding is going to deliver the resources necessary to modernize the water system and protect habitats of endangered species. Proud to have secured this funding, and I will continue to work with local leaders to identify additional projects that will benefit Santa Rosa and all our district.”
“These infrastructure improvements under this authorization will protect our natural environment and help preserve the region’s recycled water supply. With the growing threats from climate change, there is significant concern that the added flows during storm events can add stress to our aging infrastructure, which makes this federal investment so significant,” said Santa Rosa Water Director Jennifer Burke.