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How to save water ahead, during and after the upcoming storm

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Posted at 6:26 PM, Dec 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-10 22:17:03-05

With a storm heading our way, experts are encouraging residents to turn off their sprinklers and other outdoor irrigation before the rainfall hits.

It’s recommended that irrigation is turned off for at least two days after it rains. In lieu of this, collecting that rain can be beneficial. With drought severity worsening across the state, water conservation is encouraged.

“Our motto really in our water conservation program is that every drop counts,” said Kate Ballantyne, County of San Luis Obispo Deputy Director of Public Works.

Besides limiting showers and other typical ways of conserving, residents can collect water from our upcoming storm from their rain gutters. That water can be used for landscaping.

“The rule of thumb is on a 1,000 square foot roof, one inch of rain equals 620 gallons of water so that would fill this up over three times,” said Dan Loomis, President of Loomis Tank Centers in San Luis Obispo.

Loomis says rain barrels are becoming more popular.

“You can collect so much water from such a small amount of rain,” Loomis said.

This comes as most local cities have some sort of water restrictions in place.

“I would say that's the main driving factor right now and there are more and more people doing it,” Loomis said.

Collecting stormwater can also prevent erosion and pollution while saving on your water bill.

“This prevents again wasting of water that it's not just going to run off,” Loomis said.

“It's a great way to get your landscape through those dry periods in between storms,” Ballantyne said.

While this storm is encouraging, those who monitor it say we will need multiple storms to improve our state.

“Experts have cited that we need about 140% of average rainfall to help get us out of the drought situation that we're in now,” Ballantyne said.

A typical rain barrel will cost you about 80 cents per gallon.

According to the county, rain barrels up to about 360 gallons do not require any permits.