The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department issued a beach-closure notice for all recreational water contact at East Beach within a quarter mile of the Sycamore Creek 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 city of Santa Barbara of a broken sewer pipe on the bridge spanning Sycamore Creek at East Mason Street.

The broken pipe was repaired yesterday evening, and the city indicated the damage and associated release likely occurred as a result of the recent storm event.

It was estimated that the spill involved a release of approximately 5,500 gallons of sewage to Sycamore Creek. 

As a result, East Beach within a quarter mile of the Sycamore Creek 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.

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