“When it comes down to it, water is water. Everyone who lives downstream on a river is drinking recycled water.”
— George Tchobanoglous, UC Davis Expert in water reuse

Agua de vida

We in the Goleta Valley are remarkably responsive when called upon to conserve. Fresh water is a precious resource, and we know it! 

If our goal is creating dependable water sources and becoming self-sustaining, we need to explore options. Everyone can participate in water recycling at home, business, and community. 

There is no single answer, but there are several possible options which in tandem offer solutions. Below are benefits of increased treatment and grey water.

Recycle: verb

  1. a. To recover useful materials from garbage or waste
    b. To extract and reuse.

When we think of recycling, it's usually cans, plastic, paper items, batteries, automotive oil, so many things, but rarely do people consider water.

Direct and Indirect Potable Reuse

This will be the new debateDirect Potable Reuse (DPR) versus Indirect Potable Reuse (IPR). 

With increased treatment, waste water can be upgraded to drinking water either in a controlled facility or through ground water injection into the aquifers where it mixes with natural water in the aquifer. Both treatments are really much more complicated.

Both DPR and IPR are proactive decisions to transform treated wastewater into drinking water.

Increasing the treatment would save around 25% of our valuable water that is discharged into the ocean.

Wetland & Riparian enhancement

Our wildlife habitat is suffering. We could use treated water in areas like the Goleta Slough and Lake Los Carneros to sustain the habitat.

Industrial Uses

With GSD's tertiary treatment the most common uses are irrigation and in toilets.

Increased treatment would allow for street sweeping, power washing, cooling towers, boilers, and dust abatement on construction sites. 

It is commendable that the City of Goleta has suspended power washing of public sidewalks in Old Town. Do our sidewalks have to look like a slum? This question is for Goleta Water District.

Grey Water & Rain Harvesting

Landscape-to-Laundry is the simplest option for home owners. Bio-degradable detergents combined with a filtration system, makes it suitable for home irrigation (non-edible plants). This doesn't save a lot of water, but helps homeowners to be more self-sustaining.

Phebe's go-to source for all things 'grey water' is Santa Barbara's Art Ludwig. Available on Art's site, Oasis Designs, is a wealth of DIY info. There is also a free informative newsletter.

Sweetwater Collaborative, a non-profit organization is another favorite of Phebe. They offer free community workshops on rain harvesting and grey water