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Local News


Water-Quality Warning Issued for Leadbetter Beach

Santa Barbara County's Public Health Department issued a warning Wednesday about bacteria levels that exceeded state standards at Leadbetter Beach in Santa Barbara, but no closure is planned.

The warning was issued after Willie Brummett, who conducts ocean water-testing at each local beach weekly for the county's environmental health services office, went out on Monday to test local waters. He tests water samples for three types of fecal indicator bacteria, including E. coli and enterococcus.

On Monday, he found that the level of enterococcus bacteria "was a little bit high for state standards," but not alarmingly high, since the standard is a fairly low bar, he said.

The source more than likely was bird feces or decaying seaweed or kelp, and Brummett said he observed "quite a bit of kelp in the surf zone," which can produce bacteria.

The department does not plan to close the beach, but Brummett encouraged swimmers to stay away from the storm drain, which is near Shoreline Cafe and the beach's bathrooms.

"It's a kind of 'go in the water at your own risk' thing," he said, adding that knowing what he knows after the testing, "I would swim."

More information on local ocean water quality can be found by clicking here.

The results are also updated weekly on the Ocean Water Quality Hotline at 805.681.4949.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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