The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department on Wednesday issued a “beach closed” notice at Arroyo Burro Beach in response to a spill of untreated sewage.
The closure will continue until testing reveals it is safe.
The spill involved about 700 gallons of sewage and occurred near the intersection of Cliff Drive and Mesa Lane.
The untreated sewage flowed into an adjacent storm drain that eventually discharges at Arroyo Burro Beach. As a result, Arroyo Burro beach has been closed to recreational water contact for about 300 yards on either side of Arroyo Burro Creek.
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.
In addition, the public should wait until at least 10 days to harvest shellfish in the affected area. Because they are filter feeders, shellfish from contaminated waters represent and elevated risk of disease if consumed.
On Tuesday, Santa Barbara Channelkeeper and the city of Santa Barbara issued health warnings for several other beaches because testing revealed they exceeded one or more bacterial health standards. Santa Barbara Channelkeeper said in a news release on Thursday that the warnings had been lifted after further testing.
The involved beaches were Butterfly Beach, Carpinteria State Beach, East Beach at Mission Creek, Goleta Beach, Rincon Beach at Rincon Point and Summerland Beach.
— Susan Klein-Rothschild is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara Channelkeeper.