November 22, 2014
GUERNEVILLE, Calif. (AP) - Officials are monitoring contamination levels in the Russian River in Sonoma County after a ruptured sewer main spilled an estimated 100,000 gallons of raw sewage into the waterway.
The Press Democrat of Santa Rosa reports that the 16-inch concrete sewer pipe just outside Guerneville broke on Thursday afternoon while crews were repairing a leak. The workers were able to contain the spill a few hours later and planned to install a new piece of pipe overnight.
Sonoma County Water Agency spokesman Brad Sherwood said the spill was the largest discharge into the Russian River in at least a decade, though initial observations indicated the contamination had diluted. Officials were expected to continue testing the river on Friday.
Sherwood said the recent rainfall had increased flows in the river, which could help dilute the waste.