Document Details

A Menu of Fire Response Water Quality Monitoring Options and Recommendations for Water Year 2019 and Beyond

Lester McKee, Sarah Pearce, Alicia N. Gilbreath, Sarah Lowe, Jennifer Hunt | July 2, 2018
Summary

In October 2017, the Tubbs Fire and the Nuns Fire burned 93,400 acres of the Mark West Creek and Santa Rosa Creek watersheds, killing 22 people, and incinerating approximately 7,000 structures. After the fires, many agencies worked together to deploy water and sediment related best management practices (BMPs) in the burn area (e.g., waddles, emergency hydroseeding, and filter systems on storm drains) and worked on removing contaminated debris and soil from burned properties. The City of Santa Rosa conducted water quality sampling to verify that the BMPs were working. Water quality samples were collected at selected sites before and after flow interacted with the BMP; the City was generally pleased with the results. Subsequently, the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (Water Board) developed a preliminary monitoring design for WY 2018 to measure potential water quality impacts of the fires in relation to beneficial uses. Selected streams were sampled for parameters that could be compared to regulatory water quality criteria. The attachment contains a summary of the results for WY 2018. Based on this initial dataset, the apparent early success of the BMP program, and the soil clean-ups that have occurred, the focus going forward should be on monitoring larger-scale and longer-term impacts. This document outlines monitoring options for consideration for WY 2019 and beyond for four categories: Water Chemistry, Hydromodification, Geomorphic Response, and Ecology. 

Description

In October 2017, the Tubbs Fire and the Nuns Fire burned 93,400 acres of the Mark West Creek and Santa Rosa Creek watersheds, killing 22 people, and incinerating approximately 7,000 structures. After the fires, many agencies worked together to deploy water and sediment related best management practices (BMPs) in the burn area (e.g., waddles, emergency hydroseeding, and filter systems on storm drains) and worked on removing contaminated debris and soil from burned properties. The City of Santa Rosa conducted water quality sampling to verify that the BMPs were working. Water quality samples were collected at selected sites before and after flow interacted with the BMP; the City was generally pleased with the results. Subsequently, the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (Water Board) developed a preliminary monitoring design for WY 2018 to measure potential water quality impacts of the fires in relation to beneficial uses. Selected streams were sampled for parameters that could be compared to regulatory water quality criteria. The attachment contains a summary of the results for WY 2018. Based on this initial dataset, the apparent early success of the BMP program, and the soil clean-ups that have occurred, the focus going forward should be on monitoring larger-scale and longer-term impacts. This document outlines monitoring options for consideration for WY 2019 and beyond for four categories: Water Chemistry, Hydromodification, Geomorphic Response, and Ecology. 

Bulk Download

Become a member to access this feature

Get Document


Post-Fire-Menu-of-Monitoring-Options_Final.

Keywords:

Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta, sediment, stormwater, water quality