SANTA MARIA — Members of the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors joined the celebration Tuesday for the substantial completion of the Laguna County Sanitation District Recycled Water Distribution Project. (The sanitation district is based in Santa Maria.)
The water distribution project delivers recycled water over a 3.5-mile pipeline from the Wastewater Reclamation Facility to a 1 million gallon tank at Waller Park outside Santa Maria. Waller Park is owned and operated by Santa Barbara County and has 65 acres of irrigated turf that uses 84 million gallons of water each year.
According to a county news release, connecting recycled water to the park will save water and money by reducing groundwater use from its well. Raminha Construction Inc. started the $5 million project, funded by Laguna County Sanitation capital reserves and a $2 million grant from the State Department of Water Resources, on May 3, 2021.
“Groundwater is commonly used for agriculture and landscape irrigation,” Laguna County Sanitation District Manager Marty Wilder explained in the news release. “For large places like Waller Park, reclaimed water helps preserve that by offsetting the need to pump.”
Scott McGolpin, the Santa Barbara County public works director, added, “We process around 650 million gallons of recycled water every year here in Waller Park, and it’s estimated that the park uses 84 million gallons of water every year. So this certainly leaves us with more than enough recycled water to deliver to other parts in the area.”
— Dave Mason