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Not Just Down the Drain: Learn the Life of Wastewater with El Estero Treatment Plant Tour

Join the Public Works Department in celebrating Creek Week with a free public tour of the El Estero Wastewater Treatment Plant this Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015, from 2–3:30 p.m.

This interactive tour will provide a deeper understanding of what happens to water that goes down the drain.

The tour is appropriate for all curious community members, limited to ages 8 and up.

For details and to RSVP, please contact Jessica Mkitarian at 805.560.7586 or [email protected].

Every day, El Estero treats over 6 million gallons of wastewater, helping to keep our environment and community clean and safe.

Treated wastewater in Santa Barbara doesn’t just go to the ocean, it is also used as recycled water for landscape irrigation.

Biosolids and methane gas are also generated from the wastewater treatment process; biosolids are composted and used as agricultural soil amendments and methane gas is used to produce energy to power the plant.

The tour will also visit the Water Resources Laboratory to look under the microscope and investigate the organisms that help clean our wastewater. 

Learn all about the physical, biological and chemical processes that take place at the plant as you follow wastewater on its journey from raw sewage to clean water.

For more information about the tour and Creek Week, please visit

— Madeline Ward is the acting water conservation coordinator for the Santa Barbara Public Works Department.

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