SANTA BARBARA — After a three day scheduled shut down, the Cater Water Treatment Plant is back up and running. No new water came out of the plant from Friday though Sunday and three Central Coast cities were relying only on the reservoirs while the clear water well upgrades took place. The treatment plant provides clean water to Santa Barbara, Montecito and Carpinteria. The underground holding tank, which is the last step before the water comes through the faucets on the South Coast, was shut down so new pipes and valves could be installed. “It’s a daunting task to try to get everything prepared and filled up to the brim and then hope that we can get through the scheduled shut down period,” said Brett Wieser, treatment supervisor. During the shut down, residents were asked to hold off on the non-essentials like watering the lawn and washing the car. After conserving, the numbers were in on Monday. Water usage dropped 20 percent, which totals around 5 million gallons of water. “We couldn’t be any more pleased with the response we received from the community,” said Cathy Taylor, water systems manager. During construction, the entire holding tank was emptied, but that most likely won’t happen again since the new valves and piping allow for more flexibility. “We will be able to take one side of the basin down independent of the other, such that we will not have to do a complete plant shut down in the future,” said Taylor. The project is just one part of the overall upgrade of the water treatment plant. Construction continues on the ozonation building which when done, will eliminate chlorine in the pre-treatment of the water. There was a second scheduled water treatment plant shut down for January 18-20, but that has been cancelled because all the underground well work is complete.
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