The trees in Oak Park got a good soaking today, and it was from what that in previous years would have just run down the drain.
Since it’s the end of the swimming season, the pool needed to be emptied. But instead of just wasting the water, it was put to good use Wednesday morning.
The current drought has limited the amount of irrigation the trees and grass get but just around the corner from the grassy area of the park is a wading pool with 16,000 gallons of water.
“There’s no chlorine in the water. The water itself has been dechlorinated. The water has been sitting for approximately three weeks. Had the water tested and such, no chlorine. It’s basically tap water,” said Santos Escobar, the Santa Barbara City parks manager.
Parks and the fire department joined forces to empty the Oak Park pool now that summer is winding down.
“And this is part of our drought strategy to try to go through and conserve water and go ahead and utilize the water from this particular kiddy pool,” said Escobar.
Using pumps, water ejectors and fire hose lines, it was a good opportunity for fire crews to get much-needed training.
“And the fire department has a need for training from these static water sources to help us in times of emergency,” said Amber Anderson, with the Santa Barbara City fire department.
During earthquakes or wildfires, hydrants could be interrupted or unavailable. Lakes, ponds and pools provide other water sources for firefighters.
“We can also use this in times where there flooding, such as basements flooding or mass area flooding and there’s a need to get water out of the area,” said Anderson.
After a little more than two hours, the pool was drained, the park watered and first responders newly trained.