The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has issued a “BEACH CLOSURE” for all recreational water contact at Butterfly Beach within one-quarter (¼) mile of the storm drain outfall in response to a spill of untreated sewage reaching ocean waters along this beach shoreline.
Santa Barbara County Environmental Health Services was notified by the Montecito Sanitary District of a broken sewer force main on Channel Drive. The broken pipe is currently being repaired and no additional sewage is anticipated to be discharged to the storm drain. It was estimated that the spill involved a release of approximately 6,650 gallons of sewage. As a result, Butterfly Beach within one-quarter (¼) mile of the storm drain outfall has been closed to recreational water contact. The affected area has been posted with signs warning the public to avoid contact with the water until sample results indicate the water is safe for recreational use. Contact with sewage-contaminated water increases the risk for certain types of illnesses such as rashes, fever, chills, ear infections, vomiting, and diarrhea.
The County of Santa Barbara implements a variety of programs to protect public health and enhance environmental quality of County watersheds and beaches. Working to improve water quality by reducing or treating sources of pollution is a multi-faceted task. To find out what is being done to improve water quality and how you can help, visit www.sbprojectcleanwater.org.