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Novato Water Comes From Three Sources

Russian River Source

NMWD purchases approximately 80% of its supply from Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA). The SCWA water is collected 60 to 80 feet below the gravel beds adjacent to the Russian River. Extensive testing of this water has been conducted under the guidance of the California State Department of Public Health (CADPH). The testing demonstrates conclusively that the natural filtration of this water is so effective that further treatment is not necessary. A small amount of chlorine is added to keep the water in the pipeline free from harmful bacteria and a small amount of sodium hydroxide is added to raise the pH in order to minimize corrosion of pipes.

Stafford Lake Water Treatment Plant

Approximately 20% of Novato’s water supply comes from Stafford Lake. The Stafford Lake Water Treatment Plant is typically operated in the late spring through early fall to supplement NMWD’s purchased water supply. The amount of Stafford lake water used during the year depends upon the storage level attained from the previous winter’s rainfall.

Full treatment of Stafford lake water is required because it is a surface water source. A major renovation of the Stafford Lake Water Treatment Plant was completed in 2006, providing a host of new treatment tools to ensure water purity and to meet and exceed new surface water treatment regulations and requirements.

The water is first treated with chlorine dioxide to oxidize naturally-occurring organic and inorganic compounds and organisms. The water then undergoes an enhanced coagulation process and is filtered to remove any remaining solids, thereby reducing the turbidity level to no more than 0.09 turbidity units, significantly below the CDPH standard of 0.5 units. The water then passes through a series of granular activated carbon filters that remove any unpleasant taste and odor. Next, a small amount of chlorine is added to the finished water to maintain a safe disinfectant residual as the water is distributed throughout the Novato water delivery system. Finally, a small amount of sodium hydroxide is added to raise the pH of the Stafford Lake water to minimize pipe corrosion.

Treated Stafford lake water mixes well with the Russian River supply to provide the people of Novato with safe, high-quality and aesthetically-pleasing water.

Recycled Water

The Deer Island Recycled Water Facility, located adjacent to Highway 37, commenced operation in June 2007. The 500,000 gallon per day treatment facility provides irrigation water to the Stone Tree Golf Course and Novato Fire Protection District Station 2 in Novato. NMWD is responsible for treatment of recycled water to meet CDPH Title 22 stringent requirements for unrestricted bodily contact. This project was the first step to introduce and expand the use of recycled water within the Novato Service Area. Subsequent to 2007, The district entered into agreements with Novato Sanitary District (2009) and Las Gallinas Valley Santiary District (2011) to purchase recycled water for distribution within NMWD's recycled water service area for large landscape irrigation customers. NMWD offset approximately 150 million gallons per year of potable water demand for landscape irrigation, reduce dependence on imported water supply from the Russian River, and reduce wastewater discharge into the San Pablo Bay.

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