As winter approaches, so does the season for rain. To avoid leaving sprinklers on when it’s raining, get a free rain sensor from the City of Santa Barbara Water Conservation Program.

City residents can call 805.564.5460 to schedule a free water checkup. At the checkup, if the water customer has a sprinkler timer, the city water resources specialist will hand out a rain sensor.

A rain sensor is an irrigation shutoff device that prevents an automatic irrigation controller (sprinkler timer) from turning on during and after a rainstorm.

These devices override a scheduled irrigation when a sensor on the shutoff device detects water. When the collected rainwater has evaporated from the device, scheduled irrigations resume.

— Alison Jordan is a water conservation coordinator for the city of Santa Barbara Public Works Department.