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Santa Barbara’s wastewater treatment facility has officially rebranded as El Estero Water Resources Center in a move to change public perceptions about the reuse of wastewater. The facility, previously known as El Estero Wastewater Treatment Plant, celebrated the name change on Monday with a host of speakers and a tour of the facility.

“With ‘Water Resources Center’ we’re changing the narrative, pointing to the fact that there’s nothing ‘wasteful’ about what we do,” said Mayor Cathy Murillo.

This year, El Estero received $31.4 million in loans from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund — a state and federal program — to upgrade its facilities. The plant treats 6 million gallons of sewage water a day, and during the summer about a third of that becomes recycled water for irrigating landscapes and flushing toilets. However, during the rainy winter months, demand for recycled water drops off.

[Correction: This story was corrected to state that El Estero treats, not recycles, 6 million gallons a day. Of that, 2 million gallons is recycled during the summer.]

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