Jun 28, 2019

California Maintenance Project Aims to Reduce Flooding Risk

Sonoma Water removes sediment to enhance water flows in nearby rivers 

Sonoma Water removes sediment to enhance water flows in nearby rivers

Crews in Sonoma County, Calif., have cleared brush and sediment from streams that can also be used as flood control channels. According to The Press Democrat, the maintenance project runs along more than 40 streams and costs around $4 million. The project aims to reduce flooding risk to the Russian and Petaluma rivers as well as the San Pablo Bay. 

The work includes, “clearing vegetation and removing sediment to enhance water flow along portions of the creeks that double as engineered flood control channels, as well as planting vegetation to enhance the waterway habitat for fish and wildlife,” said Barry Dugan, a Sonoma Water spokesman. 

The agency delivers water to 600,000 residents in Sonoma and Marin county. According to The Press Democrat, it also maintains 74 miles of flood control channels and conducts studies during the spring to see where work needs to be done. 

“It’s one of the many ways we work to protect our communities and our watersheds,” said David Rabbitt, chairman of the county board of supervisors and water agency board of directors, according to The Press Democrat

The program includes sediment removal and brush clearing on Santa Rosa Creek. The water then flows past Spring Lake and through a tunnel under Santa Rosa City Hall. It then continues along the Prince Memorial Greenway as an engineered channel. 

Dugan said maintenance is done to benefit the environment but to also maximize channel capacity to prevent overflows that cause flooding. 

“Sonoma Water biologists and arborists survey the maintenance sites to prevent disturbance of nesting birds and oversee brush clearing,'' he said to The Press Democrat.