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With rainy weather on the way, Santa Maria reminding residents to still conserve water


SANTA MARIA, Calif. -- With the Central Coast set to potentially receive a few inches of rain over the next several days, the City of Santa Maria is reminding residents to remain mindful of water usage.

The Santa Maria Utilities Department is asking the public to remember the drought is still in effect and water conservation remains a high priority.

"We're still encouraging that residents and businesses of Santa Maria conserve water," said Shad Springer, Santa Maria Utilities Director. "While we have seen some recent rainstorms and we're looking forward to some in the near future, we're still in a drought situation and conserving this precious resource is important."

Residents are urged to stop all outdoor irrigation during rainy periods.

"It's a great time to do a seasonal adjustment on the sprinklers," said Springer. "There's less demand on your plants. They don't need the water, so save it If each of us saves a little, it adds up to a lot, and also in a single-family residence, with a yard, a big portion of the water demand is the outside watering, so reducing that really cut down on the water in the city."

In fact, a city ordinance restricts all application of potable water on outdoor landscapes during or within 48 hours after measurable rainfall.

Vinny's Landscaping owner Vincent Cruz was happy to see the rain on Wednesday, even if it might disrupt his business over the next few days.

"I love it!" said Cruz. "We've got to get through the rain and make sure we get the work, but we need the rain as much as we can. I hope it rains the rest of the month honestly."

Cruz agreed with Springer and pointed out sprinklers and other irrigation outlets should be turned off due to the current wet weather.

"Now that the rain is here, you should be advised to turn off all of your irrigation systems for at least the next few weeks," said Cruz. "Even after that, you can go out to your lawn and touch it, and if it's still damp in the first few inches of the lawn, then I recommend you keep the water off."

Cruz added irrigation should be cut back in the wintertime even when it's not raining.

"In the summertime, usually people are watering every other day, but come the winter months, with the rainy season and the fog, it's good to go off at least once or twice a week," said Cruz. "Don't feel nervous to turn off your water. A lot of people suggest that they water your lawn even when it rains, but things will survive. I've had mine off for the whole month and I'm still very green."

The Utilities Department is spreading its conservation messaging through its social media outlets and other outreach methods.

"Generally ahead of every storm we people to reconsider what they're doing for outside watering because essentially you're going to get free water coming out of the sky, take advantage of it," said Springer.

For more information about this week's weather forecast, visit the NewsChannel 3-12 weather webpage.

For more on this story, tune in to NewsChannel 3-12 tonight for a live report at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.

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Dave Alley

Dave Alley is a reporter and anchor at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Dave, click here.

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