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EPA Gives Sonoma County $75,000 for Groundwater Studies

Release Date: 1/15/2003
Contact Information: Leo Kay, Press Office, 415/947-4306

     SAN FRANCISCO   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded the Sonoma County Planning and Resources Management Department $75,000 to investigate potential sources of groundwater contamination.  
     County officials will use the money to work with the local community and other agencies to determine the impacts of septic systems on groundwater in areas where water quality problems have been identified.  Groundwater can become contaminated with bacteria or other pollutants through improper or faulty septic system operation.

     Approximately 88,000 people in Sonoma County rely on private wells for their drinking water supply and county officials commonly encounter bacteriological contamination of wells in rural areas.  Roughly 45,000 landowners dispose of wastewater on their property.

     "This project will allow county officials to work on protecting drinking water supplies from nitrates, bacteria and other contaminants," said Catherine Kuhlman, director of the EPA's Water Division in San Francisco.

     For more information about this project, please contact Rich Holmer, Operations Division Manager, at 707-565-3636.