Post-Fire Water Quality Advisory Update

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March 23, 2018

Investigation Results and Special Meeting

The City of Santa Rosa continues to rigorously work to assess water infrastructure and equipment that was damaged during the October 2017 wildfires. Santa Rosa Water has taken almost 2,000 post-fire investigative water samples, both inside and outside of the advisory area to verify the source of contamination. Working closely with the California Division of Drinking Water, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and national experts including forensic chemists, Santa Rosa Water is striving to determine the precise source and conveyance of this contamination, and the best course of action for restoring water quality to the affected area.

This group of specialists concurs with our assessment, that the contamination in the Fountaingrove water quality advisory area is a result of the fire damaging or destroying components of the water system infrastructure on properties that were burned. This resulted in a drop in water pressure which allowed contamination from burned properties to be pulled into the system. This caused the inflow of residue and contamination, which is extremely difficult to remove.  Working with our forensic chemists, we have found a range of contaminants that that are consistent with fire damage. Benzene remains the best indicator contaminant for the investigation and water quality advisory, due to the levels found and the widespread presence. The additional contaminants do not change the water quality advisory or the health precautions.

CLICK HERE to view the interactive Post-Fire Water Quality Investigation Map that details the locations of post-fire drinking water quality sampling data and investigative sample results.


On Tuesday, March 27, 2018 a special meeting of the City Council and the Board of Public Utilities will be held. At this meeting, city staff will provide an update on the water quality advisory, including the current results of the investigation, recommended repair, funding, and timeline to address this water quality issue. (Meeting Details & Agenda)

Our top priorities are providing a safe and reliable water source, restoring water quality to homes inside the advisory area, and minimizing the impact to residents trying to rebuild in the advisory area. Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we work toward resolving this unprecedented situation.

Additional Resources:


Post-Fire Water Quality Advisory Website

Up-to-date information on Santa Rosa Water's post-fire water quality investigation.



Providing residents affected by the Sonoma County fires with a one-stop-shop for information and resources for recovery efforts.