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Goleta Beach is back open following sewage spill


Goleta Beach reopened Thursday by noon after a day-long closure linked to a large untreated sewage spill.

Willie Brummet, a plan checker with Environmental Health Services, sent out an email stating “all samples were all well below thresholds and the beach has been reopened.”



Santa Barbara Public Health Department officials have closed Goleta Beach due to a spill of untreated sewage that is impacting the ocean water.

The “Beach Closed” notice was issued Wednesday.

The spill involved over 2,500 gallons of sewage that occurred at the intersection of Nogal Drive and Nueces Drive in Goleta, according to the Public Health Department.

“The untreated sewage flowed into the Cieneguitas Creek that discharges at Goleta Beach,” said a statement by the Health Department. “The presence of contaminants in water can lead to adverse health effects, including gastrointestinal illness, reproductive problems, and neurological disorders.

The statement continues, “Infants, young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people whose immune systems are compromised because of AIDS, chemotherapy, or transplant medications, may be especially susceptible to illness from some contaminants.”

Signs have been posted on all affected areas warning beachgoers to avoid contact with the water until public health officials determine the water is safe.

Public health officials advise the public to wait until at least 10 days to harvest any shellfish in the affected area due to the elevated risk of disease if eaten.

The Goleta Sanitary District issued the following statement:

The Goleta Sanitary District was notified at 10:30 a.m. on April 25, 2017 that a manhole was overflowing near the bike path at Nogal and Nueces Drives near the Vieja Valley School.

Goleta Sanitary District crews responded and discovered that the source was a partially plugged sewer line, and quickly controlled the spill. The spill entered Cieneguitas Creek approximately three miles upstream of the Goleta Slough. The affected area was limited to a stretch of creek adjacent to the spill location. The District crews stopped the overflow and put the sewer line back into service.

District crews captured the wastewater in the creek and pumped it back into the District’s system sewer. No wastewater left the affected area of the creek. The total spill volume is estimated to be 2500 gallons. The affected area was disinfected and restored to pre-spill conditions. Goleta Sanitary District crews completed all cleanup efforts by 5:00 p.m.

Although the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department issued a temporary beach closure at Goleta Beach as a precautionary measure, the District does not expect any impacts to the Goleta Slough or the Goleta Beach Park as a result of this spill.

At the time of our 5:00 p.m. newscast, we did not receive any update on the total spill volume. After our newscast, the Goleta Sanitary District sent us the statement above.

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