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Monday, December 10 , 2018, 1:43 am | Fair 51º


Ongoing Drought Forces Shutdown of Showers at County Beaches

Effort dubbed 'Stay Sandy, Santa Barbara' takes effect at five locations, urging visitors to brush off sand instead of washing it off

Beachgoers will have to forgo full-body showers at some Santa Barbara County beaches, where officials on Tuesday shut off showers until ongoing drought conditions improve.

In an effort dubbed “Stay Sandy, Santa Barbara,” Santa Barbara County Parks Department officials announced the shutdown that will affect five shower locations, including three showers at Jalama Beach, one at Goleta Beach and one each at Arroyo Burro, Lookout Park and Rincon Park beaches.

Signs went up Tuesday at all locations except Arroyo Burro, asking visitors to brush off sticky, persistent sand as they leave recreational areas instead of washing off.

The shower valve at Arroyo Burro is broken, so officials have to order and replace a part in order to shut it off, according to county parks director Paddy Langlands, who guessed that would be complete by Thursday.

Not all water will stop flowing, however.

Showers at the beaches have two elements. The four-head shower head to wash a person’s body has been turned off, but not the component to wash feet, according to Lael Wageneck, public engagement coordinator for the county CEO’s Office.

The Parks Department isn’t planning to shut off the coin-operated park showers at other campgrounds, he said, although a lot depends on how long the critical drought period drags on.

This marks the first time the county parks department has turned off the showers, Langlands said, touting the shower shutdown as another water-saving measure.

Already, the county parks department has eliminated power washing on the Goleta Pier and stopped washing its parks vehicles as regularly. Parks is also using reclaimed water at Goleta Beach.

Yellowing or brown grass at county parks indicates the department has reduced its watering by at least 30 percent, even more at some parks.

Eight waterless urinals have been installed at county parks, and more could be planned as modifications occur.

“Park officials thank beachgoers for skipping their beach shower and instead giving their sand the ‘brush off’ until drought conditions improve,” they said in a statement.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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