Santa Clarita resident captures 35 gallons of rain as part of city program to conserve water

Saturday, September 17, 2022
SoCal resident captures 35 gallons of rain amid water-saving program
When heavy rain from tropical storm Kay pounded Santa Clarita, one resident made the most of it with a city provided rain barrel in her front yard.

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (KABC) -- Heavy rain from tropical storm Kay pounded Santa Clarita recently, and one resident made the most of it with a city provided rain barrel in her front yard.

"We connected a flexible pipe to the downspout that goes directly into the barrel, and just in that little bit of rain that we had last night and over the weekend, my barrel is full," said Stacy Fortner, a homeowner in Valencia.

The rain water filled up her entire 35 gallon bucket. Now that water can be used around the house instead of tap water.

"We can use that for flushing our toilets in an emergency. We can use it for watering house plants, washing our cars," said Fortner.

The city of Santa Clarita is trying to prevent too much rain water from running into the sewer and then eventually going into the Santa Clara river.

"We're trying to capture storm water and prevent it from mixing with pollution on our driveways on sidewalks and roads, which eventually would get into the storm drain and enter the Santa Clara River," said Heather Merenda, a water compliance administrator with the city of Santa Clarita. "The Santa Clara River is a very important river to the city of Santa Clarita and the community. It's one of the last natural rivers left in Southern California. So the rain barrel program helps prevent pollution to the river, which is half our drinking water supply."

Right now the rain barrel program has 80 barrels at homes in Santa Clarita, and Fortner says that more residents should sign on.

"Just do it, just do it. They're affordable, it's something that people talk about, its a conversation piece, and maybe if people see you doing it, then maybe they will do it," said Fortner.

If you live Santa Clarita, there is another rain barrel event Oct. 8.

MORE | Local program offers residents a way to collect, recycle rainwater

The Rain Barrel Purchase Program is back in Santa Clarita. Twice a year for $40 plus tax, city residents can get a retrofitted and repurposed plastic barrel that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Instead, they will sit at the bottom of gutters collecting water to be recycled.