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City Says Water Quality Remains Safe After Discolored Water Complaints in Downtown Santa Barbara

Signs posted at 24 Hour Fitness on State Street warning the public of a contaminated water advisory have been taken down and deemed untrue, according to Santa Barbara water systems manager Cathy Taylor.

24 Hour Fitness employees posted the signs Tuesday in the front entrance, restrooms and by drinking fountains advising guest not to wash or drink water because “the Santa Barbara City water is contaminated.”

Taylor said the information on the signs was completely incorrect.

“If the water was polluted and not safe to drink, we would put out a water notice to tell the community of the affected area,” she said. “We would not have private citizens post signs in the windows.”

She said the gym, located at 820 State St., was the only business that posted signs.

“The informational signs were not sanctioned by the city,” she said. “It has not been helpful because the water is safe to drink.”

Taylor said the city received multiple complaints Tuesday of discolored water in the downtown area.

Santa Barbara water officials say water quality is safe despite complaints of discolored water in the downtown area and signs posted at the 24 Hour Fitness gym telling customers the water was contaminated. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara water officials say water quality is safe despite complaints of discolored water in the downtown area and signs posted at the 24 Hour Fitness gym telling customers the water was contaminated.  (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

“Yesterday’s flushing of the water distribution was in response to wide-spread discolored water complaints in the downtown area,” Taylor said. “It was not a part of an official flushing project.” 

City water crews worked to clear the quality by systematically flushing water from fire hydrants.

“The discolored water is caused by deposits on the interior surface of water pipes being disturbed by changing water velocities in the water system,” she said. “It is safe but we encourage people to flush the water and run it until it clears up.”

Anthony Cardoza, an assistant operation manager at 24 Hour Fitness, said the signs were posted in the area as a safety precaution.

“We posted the signs to inform people that it wasn’t perfectly clear until more information was available,” Cardoza said. “Residue iron and magnesium was in the water and built up over the years.”

Taylor urges anyone with water quality concerns, to call the City’s Water Resources at 805.564.5413.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland 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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