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In This Issue:
Dennis Allen Named First Water Hero
Free Rain Shut-off Sensors
Biosolids Composting
Garden Wise Guys Episode 18
Advances in Water Efficient Technology
Learn about new water conserving products such as high-efficiency toilets, rotating sprinkler nozzles, and smart irrigation controllers. Click here to watch the video!
Indoor Water Savings Calculator

Giving your bathroom a high-efficiency makeover by replacing older, inefficient bathroom fixtures with a WaterSense labeled toilet, faucet, and showerhead can help your household save in more ways than one. Calculate how much you can save!


Where Does My Water Come From?
Watch the new video "Water Resources of Santa Barbara County"
Lake Cachuma
Flush Tests
Third party comparison of over 1,800 toilet models, click here for MaP Tests.
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Dennis Allen Named the City's First Water Hero
Dennis Allen

Dennis Allen has been named the City's first Water Hero for his downtown LEED Platinum residential development, Victoria Garden Mews. The four-unit condo development, which he helped design, build, and now lives in, showcases many advances in water efficiency practices, both indoor and outdoor, and other sustainable features.

DA Downspout


All condo units have high-efficiency appliances and plumbing devices, and an extensive rainwater catchment system irrigates the water-wise garden. Rainfall directed into roof gutters leads to a 14,000 gallon rubber "bladder" in the basement; winter rains are enough to fill up the bladder and water the garden year-round.


Click here to read more.

Save on Water Bill with Common Sensor

Households use 16% less water with free rain shut-off sensor

Rain SensorBefore the rainy season gets here, get a free rain shut-off sensor for your sprinkler timer. Residents can reduce their winter water consumption (and their bills) by an average of 16 percent with a rain shut-off sensor, according to Cathie Paré, Water Resources Specialist.


Since the free rain shut-off sensor program started in 2007, over 1.4 million gallons of water has been saved by the 313 water customers who have installed rain shut-off sensors. Larger properties with water meters dedicated to irrigation saved even bigger - 36 percent.


A rain shut-off sensor automatically stops the sprinkler timer from watering during and immediately after a rain event. Rain shut-off sensors work best for short off periods. For extended periods, turn sprinkler timer to "off" position.


On average, a household with a rain sensor could save more than 4,500 gallons of water over at least one rainy season. To be one of those households, call the city's Water Conservation Program at 564-5460, schedule a free water checkup and get a free rain shut-off sensor.


Click here to read more.

Waste Not 

El Estero Wastewater Treatment Plant Sends Biosolids to Compost Bin

El Estero Beltpress El Estero has a trick to its treatment of waste; it contracts with a company to convert the waste material into compost. The compost returns the nitrogen and organic material from the waste (biosolids) to the soil, recycling and giving plants beneficial nutrients.


For five years, the City of Santa Barbara has contracted with Engel and Gray, Inc. to manage its biosolids and turn it into compost. Engel and Gray, based in Santa Maria, then sells some of the compost back to the City for use by the Parks and Recreation Department for a top dressing on fields, parks, and the City golf course.


"Local use of compost provides the public with an opportunity to see the value of recycling this material, while also helping to green the City's parks and golf course," said Chris Toth, Wastewater System Manager. Compost replaces the need for chemical fertilizers, while also adding organic matter to the soil. Recycling biosolids through composting also keeps it out of landfills, preserving landfill space.

Garden Wise Guys Episode 18:

Gnome and Garden

GWG 18

The Garden Wise Guys have gone missing! News reporters at GWGTV start a city-wide search for the two landscape architects while discovering informative water-wise tips and landscaping facts along the way. From replacing lawns to creating healthier soil, join the Garden Wise Guys' crack news team and travel across the South Coast to find them! Catch the show on your TV (click for schedule) or watch online here.