Why I am Running for Montecito Sanitary District

By Woody Barrett   |   October 4, 2018

I am running for the Board of Directors of the Montecito Sanitary District because I want our neighborhoods to have a diversified and secure source of water for the safety and well-being of our community. Montecito deserves water security. Our family has called Montecito home going on 18 years. Our children all attended Montecito Union School. We love and care deeply for this community. A reliable source of water is imperative in preserving the natural beauty and pristine environment we all cherish.

Recycled water is environmentally responsible since it provides sorely needed landscape water and reduces the contaminants discharged by the sanitation facilities into our precious ocean. Orange County, California, has been using recycled water for almost 50 years. Santa Barbara has been recycling water for 27 years and is currently providing recycled water to numerous areas including Santa Barbara High School and the Montecito Country Club. This is not a new process. We are not recreating the wheel. 

The Montecito Sanitary District discharges 500,000 gallons of effluent (treated to the Secondary Level) per day into the ocean just off Butterfly Beach. If recycled, that would be equivalent to 10 percent of the total water used by Montecito every day. It’s high time Montecito moved into the 21st century by evaluating and implementing this process.

There are two parts to the equation of realizing recycled water, the Montecito Sanitary District and the Montecito Water District. Neither entity can implement the recycling of water without the assistance of the other. The Montecito Sanitary District has the affluent (the source of the recycled water). It needs to install the equipment to raise the level of treatment to Tertiary (commonly referred to as Purple Pipe) for landscape irrigation. However, the Montecito Sanitary District cannot distribute or sell the recycled water. 

That’s where the Montecito Water District comes in. It must install the distribution system, charge the customers, and pay the Montecito Sanitary District for its expense to recycle the water. The Montecito Sanitary District has a 2004 Master Plan to study and implement the recycling of water. It’s been 14 years, and those plans have still not been implemented. That’s why we have a slate running for both boards. Ken Coates, Cori Hayman, and Brian Goebel are running for the Montecito Water District Board. Dana Newquist and I are running for the Montecito Sanitary District Board. If we are all elected, our goal is to have water security for Montecito. One of the only reliable sources of water we have is recycling. With both boards striving for water security, recycling can finally be implemented.

I received my B.S. in geology and B.A. in political science from Southern Methodist University. My geological and business experience has prepared me to analyze the challenges of implementing a plan to install the necessary equipment needed to recycle water. As a small businessman, I often face infrastructure and regulatory challenges, and if elected, I will use my skills to implement solutions tailored to our unique community’s needs to ensure we have access to a diverse water supply now and for our future generations. 

Our entire slate would be honored to have your vote and immediately start the work needed to obtain water security for Montecito. Thank you.


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