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Dutch Bill Creek - Occidental to Monte Rio, CA

CCWI is performing research, testing and education on Dutch Bill Creek, a tributary of the Russian River, from the Sonoma County Water Agency. The focus of this project is to identify pollution sources and problems in water quality, and use data collected to develop fact sheets and educational materials for the general public highlighting best management practices and strategies for reducing pollution.

Two historic issues on Dutch Bill Creek are Wastewater and Erosion. The Occidental Wastewater Treatment Plant uses a holding pond at the headwaters of the creek, and is allowed to discharge to the creek up to 1% of creek flow between October and May. This Treatment Plant has been out of compliance with permits and environmental regulations for years and is under state order to upgrade the facility. Camp Meeker and Monte Rio residences and several commercial camps are suspected by some to have failing septic systems impacting the watershed. Manure from cattle which graze directly adjacent to the creek near its headwaters also may enter the creek. Erosion from dirt roads near the creek has also been a source of water pollution.

Site descriptions:

Starting from Occidental, going towards Monte Rio
At bridge near Graton Rd. and Main Street, Occidental. The stream is small and shallow in this area, and is mid gradient step pool habitat with a gravel substrate. The stream runs along Graton Road here and suffers from garbage dumping. It is downstream of the wastewater discharge point and cattle pasture and is adjacent to the town of Occidental, though location of storm drains is unknown. This site can dry up during low flow summers, and has good canopy cover. - GPS point: N 38 24.675' W 122 56.918'
DBC050: 75 yards downstream from sewer pump station, where primary sewage is collected and pumped up hill for treatment. The stream lies between Hwy 116 and Old Bohemian Hwy, with access from the latter. The channel is mid gradient step-pool with boulders, cobble, gravel and some bedrock. The sampling site is located in a confined bedrock and boulder scour pool several feet deep, and has very good canopy cover.- GPS point: N 38 24.887' W 122 57.064'
LAN010: Lancel Creek shortly before it's confluence near the railroad trestle, accessed from the west side of old Bohemian Hwy. The site is a large scour pool below the road culvert the stream must pass through. There were some concerns over turbidity from upstream areas in Lancel Creek.- GPS point: N38 25.372' W 122 57.x32'
DBC030: Just upstream of Camp Meeker Dam. The channel is unconfined here with a gradual flood plain. The stream is a shallow, low gradient glide/ riffle over gravel. Stream side vegetation is weedy shrubs and grasses with no tree cover. - GPS point: N38 25.609 W 122 57.547'
DBC020: Downstream from Bohemia Ranch, just downstream of where Grub Creek enters Dutch Bill Creek on Westminster Woods property. The stream reach is has overhanging banks along a shallow, wide u-shaped channel with cobbles and gravel. Mature trees provide good canopy cover. It is a run with mild mid-channel scour in this area, though some root wads and other instream structures have been added to enhance habitat. Flow measurements are taken here. There were concerns over possible turbidity form upstream erosion on Grub Creek.- GPS point: N 38 26.309' W 122 58.517'
DBC010: Along the curve in Hwy 116 just above the fish ladder. Pull off point is on the west side of the road at the three cement blocks. Stream is confined on one side by a steep rock hill, and the road on the other. High gradient step pools are made of boulders, cobble, gravel, bedrock and cement from road work and fish ladder. The site is at a relatively deep trench pool with overhanging cement ledge. Some tree and brush cover is present upstream of the site, though the site itself is too confined by cement and steep sides to carry many trees.- GPS point: N 38 26.747' W 122 58.842'

Factsheet  | 2002 Data Report  | 2004 Data Report | Bacteria study 2007 | 2004-2006 Data Report


Dutch Bill Creek Monitoring Plan

Objectives: The focus of this project is to identify pollution sources and problems in water quality, and use data collected to develop fact sheets and educational materials for the general public highlighting best management practices and strategies for reducing pollution.

Data Collection Activities:
Nitrate-Nitrogen (NO3-N)
Dissolved Oxygen
Phosphorus (PO4-P)

When: CCWI kicked off the Dutch Bill Creek Monitoring Project with a creek walk and sampling with a representative of Analytical Sciences, Inc. on March 26th, 2002 from 11AM to 3PM.

Why: Parameters were chosen according to general interest to citizen monitors, and relation to erosion impacts. Sites were chosen according to the following criteria:
- Representative of the areas of the Creek for general creek characterization.
- Concerns of water pollution from potential erosion from upstream logging or roads.
- Concerns with pollution from septic, sewer, and urban impacts.
- Accessibility and safely throughout the year, as well as trespassing constraints.

How: The monitoring program is intended to develop baseline characterization data, document water and habitat quality changes over time and to help establish a scientific basis for land use decisions. Sites and parameters were chosen after discussions with local residents.

Citizen Monitor: Tom Austin
Members of the Dutch Bill Watershed Group have been invited to participate along with other interested community members.


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