SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Another group of frontline city workers has a message for the community: It's safe to drink the water.
"If I can get across to the community how committed we are to making sure these vital resources - our water, wastewater and solid waste - are going to be here for this community throughout this disaster," said Joshua Haggmark, Water Resource Manager for the City of Santa Barbara.
The City wants to get word out - especially to consumers stacking shopping carts with now-rationed bottled water - that it is not necessary to buy bottled water, reiterating that the water supply is safe and clean.
There is a designated staff working 24/7 to monitor the system that we all rely on.
"The water quality remains excellent, nobody has anything to worry about during this outbreak," said Gaylen Fair, Laboratory Supervisor for the City of Santa Barbara. "Although the water does have a unique taste here in Santa Barbara, it's always been safe to drink, bathe in, cook with. And our water treatment uses the latest technology that does remove viruses, including COVID-19."
The City's drinking water and wastewater are tested daily. Haggmark and others say that is a primary need and a top priority.
"Daily, weekly, monthly," Fair said. "All different tests for that."
All segments of the City's Public Works Department are on task during the coronavirus pandemic, monitoring street and sewer infrastructure, utility bill issues for struggling customers, and staffing levels.
These behind-the-scenes employees are also considered working heroes in our community.
"The wastewater workers are on the frontlines every day, in the streets, at the wastewater plant, protecting the public," said Thomas Welch, WastewaterTreatment Plant Operator for the City of Santa Barbara.
The City is also working with local customers struggling financially to pay their water, trash and sewer bills. Check back Friday for more information on that.
Visit the City of Santa Barbara's website for updates and information: